Although classified by the EPA as a wagon, Kia is clearly aiming at the new crossover market with the Rondo. The car can hold a lot of passengers or cargo, although it doesn't have the tech amenities offered in other crossovers.
Updated: / Caption: CNET Reviews staff / Photo: CNET Networks
Kia borrows some design ideas from Subaru for the front of this car, with its tightly defined grille bookended by headlight casings.
Updated: / Caption: CNET Reviews staff / Photo: CNET Networks
From the side, the shape of the Rondo reminds us of a duck, with the low hood butting up against the high-roofline body.
Updated: / Caption: CNET Reviews staff / Photo: CNET Networks
The large windows on the Rondo are a nice feature, allowing good visibility all the way around.
Updated: / Caption: CNET Reviews staff / Photo: CNET Networks
The Rondo isn't any longer than a compact sedan, but its optional third row allows seating for six, comfortably. The third-row seats can also be folded down to create a fairly large cargo area.
Updated: / Caption: CNET Reviews staff / Photo: CNET Networks
The cabin of the Rondo feels well built, but large areas of hard plastic covering the dashboard don't suggest luxury.
Updated: / Caption: CNET Reviews staff / Photo: CNET Networks
The optional Infinity stereo system includes a six-disc changer but no satellite radio capability or auxiliary inputs.
Updated: / Caption: CNET Reviews staff / Photo: CNET Networks
The car's 10-speaker stereo system includes a centerfill speaker on the dashboard and a subwoofer in the cargo area.
Updated: / Caption: CNET Reviews staff / Photo: CNET Networks
The doors hold tweeters and midrange speakers. The triangle window in the A pillar is an interesting architectural detail.
Updated: / Caption: CNET Reviews staff / Photo: CNET Networks
Although the steering feels responsive in the Rondo, the car's high center-of-gravity gives it a teetering feel in corners.
Updated: / Caption: CNET Reviews staff / Photo: CNET Networks
The five-speed automatic, included in the V-6 version, has a manual-gear-selection mode.
Updated: / Caption: CNET Reviews staff / Photo: CNET Networks
Besides the Infinity stereo, the other bright spot on this car is its engine. The 2.7-liter V-6 gives the car plenty of power.
Updated: / Caption: CNET Reviews staff / Photo: CNET Networks
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