2008 Kia Rondo

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Kia’s Youngest Vehicle Returns to the Line-up and Crossover Segment With Class, "Safety All-Overness" and "Giddyupidness"

IRVINE, Calif. – Returning to the Kia line-up after its North American introduction in 2007, the Rondo crossover utility vehicle (CUV) combines comfort and convenience with utility, value and a little bit of "stylatude," offering consumers a unique vehicle that is capable of seating five or seven passengers, depending on their needs.

2008 Kia Rondo2008 Kia Rondo

"Steady sales throughout its first year in the market have proven Rondo to be a serious contender in the crossover segment," said Len Hunt, executive vice president and COO of Kia Motors America (KMA). "Consumers have embraced the functionality, style and overall value of Rondo and reaffirmed the need for such a vehicle in the North American marketplace."

Car-Like Performance and Handling

Available with either a 2.4-liter in-line four-cylinder engine or a 2.7-liter sixty-degree V6, Rondo is built on the same platform as the Kia Optima, sharing engine, transmission and chassis components. The four-cylinder delivers 162 horsepower and 164 pound-feet of torque while the six-cylinder produces 182 horsepower and 182 pound-feet of torque. The four-cylinder comes with a four-speed automatic whereas the V6 is equipped with a five-speed automatic, both mated to an electronically controlled Sportmatic™ transmission.

The front-wheel drive Rondo features independent front and rear suspensions. Situated in front are MacPherson struts with coil springs while the rear’s multi-link and coil springs complete the layout to provide a comfortable, balanced ride. Standard front and rear anti-roll bars are calibrated for precise and responsive handling, while the hydraulic power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering’s effort and feel are tuned accordingly.

Fresh and Functional Exterior

Rondo exudes a fresh, clean look with a modern dynamic shape. Available in LX and EX trim levels, standard LX features include body-colored door handles, body-colored side moldings and black front grille crossbars packaged with 16-inch, six-spoke alloy wheels fitted with 205/60HR16 tires. Upgrading to an EX adds fog lights, 17-inch, five-spoke alloy wheels and 225/50R17 tires. Chrome accents, which are standard on the EX, include exterior door handles, side moldings and front grille crossbars. Integrated roof rails – sans crossbars – also are standard on EX and most LX models.

The exterior shape of Rondo can be further enhanced by an accessory body kit, which includes front/rear/side fascia extensions and a lower rear spoiler. An upper rear spoiler, mudguards, and roof rack crossbars are available as standalone options.

Interior Space with Comfort and Convenience

Exterior refinement continues to flow into the cabin. Standard features include a four-speaker AM/FM/CD tuner, air conditioning (for most models), along with power windows and door locks, as well as an auxiliary input jack for personal MP3-type players, which is new for the 2008 model year. The EX upgrades include a MP3-capable AM/FM/CD stereo with front tweeters and steering wheel-mounted audio controls. A leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, illuminated vanity mirrors and metal-finish interior door handles also come standard on all EX models.

Additional packaging options, including the Convenience Package, Leather Package and Premium Package, upgrade the interior. The Convenience Package (LX) adds cruise control and keyless entry; the Leather Package (EX) adds heated leather seats; and the Premium Package (EX) adds a power dual-action sunroof and upgraded 10-speaker Infinity AM/FM/MP3-capable 315-watt digital audio system with in-dash six-CD changer and 7.5-inch subwoofer.

Inside Rondo, an immediate sense of spaciousness and "huge cabinocity" is evident. The standard five- and optional seven-passenger seating configurations will appeal to consumers looking for the functionality of a minivan, but not the size and heft. Slightly taller and wider than its closest competitor, the Mazda5, Rondo provides a comfortable front row with 41.6 inches of headroom and 41.3 inches of legroom. Second-row space is fixed at 40.2 inches of headroom and 38.2 inches of legroom regardless of a five- or seven-passenger seating layout. The optional third-row seating offers a sensible 35.1 inches of headroom and 31.3 inches of legroom, more than enough room to accommodate the average-sized adult. And when optioned with the third row, Rondo’s second row adjusts with a forward/backward sliding range of nearly one foot in travel.

The versatile second-row seats also provide "seat flexology" with a 60/40 multi-fold split, while the third row folds down in a 50/50 split. Additionally, both rows fold completely flat for maximized cargo room. Practicality does not sacrifice comfort as the driver’s seat offers six-way adjustments, including height adjustment, and the front passenger seat offers a four-way adjustment. Each passenger is also well taken care of with an abundance of storage cubbies and multiple cup holders located in every row.

Class-Leading Safety

Rondo, a recipient of the five-star frontal crash rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in only its first year on the market, comes well-equipped with an unprecedented amount of standard safety equipment, including six standard airbags (advanced dual front, dual front seat-mounted side and full-length side curtain including third-row passengers). Also standard is Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and a four-channel four-wheel Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS), which help maintain vehicle control during difficult driving conditions. Active front headrests, side-impact door beams, an energy-absorbing steering column, a front crumple zone and an improved Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) provide more passenger protection.

More images from the 2008 Kia Rondo Photo Gallery:

Industry-Leading Warranty

Like all Kia models, Rondo is covered by a comprehensive warranty program, which offers unprecedented consumer protection. Included in this program are a 10-year or 100,000-mile limited powertrain warranty; a five-year or 60,000-mile limited basic warranty; and a five-year or 100,000-mile anti-perforation warranty. A five-year/60,000-mile roadside assistance plan is also part of the comprehensive coverage program.

Kia Motors America – the sales, marketing and distribution arm of Kia Motors Corp. in Seoul, South Korea – offers a complete line of vehicles through more than 630 dealers throughout the United States.

Government star ratings are part of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA’s) New Car Assessment Program (safercar.gov).

Source: Kia (November 14, 2007)

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