2008 Kia Rondo EX vs. 2009 Mazda Mazda5 Grand Touring

Posted on 17. Sep, 2008 by in Auto News

Nearly a quarter century ago, Chrysler rocked the automotive scene by a two-box body on the K-car platform, calling it a minivan and reinvent the soccer mom. Unfortunately, the intervening years have not been kind to the concept of the mini-minivan is no more. In fact, the 2008 Dodge Grand Caravan near two feet longer than the Full Size 1984 Dodge Ram Van. If you are for a three-row people mover that is not Max looking out of your garage, you can always go the CUV route-if you are poseurmobiles. Or you can check the Mazda5 or Kia Rondo. But these reborn minivans carry the torch, or has the genre flame fizzled out?

The Mazda5 Grand Touring and the Rondo EX adhere to the original formula. Both are based on passenger car platforms and shares powertrains built with economy cars. Both are within a few inches of the size of the original Chrysler minivan. Both have three rows of seats, as the original Caravoyagers the third row is optional on the Rondo. And like those early minvans, you can have a flat load floor, if you wish. But that's where the similarities end between them.

Mazda and Kia has decidedly different design disciplines. The Mazda5 looks like the child of the love of a Mazda3, and the Space Shuttle. DNA shows the family in the grille, preceded by a steeply sloping hood and windshield. While the more traditional of the two minivannish, it takes a certain kind of shows with snatches up beltline compulsory headlights swept past the dual sliding doors and rear-where you are … by two large silver Things welcomes … mounted next to the rear window. These pods contain the LED taillights and reverse lights. They are easy to see but to look oh-so-recent decades.

The Rondo eschews zoom iness for cute. With its huge headlights, trapezoidal grille opening and rounded corners, it looks like one of the talking cars in the Chevron commercials. The Rondo deviates from the standard minivan recipe with parking-unfriendly doors instead of sliders. The gently rounded shape later, where it is abruptly terminated by a sharp bend below the rear window.

At first glance, both inside vehicles similar to sprout to the controls at a 45-degree angle from the console. However, differences abound. The Mazda5 is rated at six passengers and offers front buckets, in the middle of the captain chairs and a two-person bench in the Wayback. The Rondo says seat seven. With a split bench in the middle, and an optional two-seater on the back Unfortunately, the small size of both glaringly apparent when you get to the bottom places. There is only enough room for preteens (or adults hate you) in the base of a minivan. If you need to secure your child in car seats or booster seats, hip room is too tight to mention. In an attempt to give access to the torture chamber, the door openings are wide and the middle seats slide forward. But you'll still get a long distance each leaned returns.

The second series is much better. The Rondo has plenty of leg room, even with the front seats pushed all the way back. But all that Rondo does recline second row, is to fold forward and backward movement and flat. The Mazda does that and much more. Flip-up the pillow on the left side and there is a storage space large enough to store an extra supply of diapers for long trips. Fold the pillow on the right and There are cup holders and tray, you can flop about in the space between the seats. Lift the bottom of this subject and there maintain a network among small toys and other flotsam, which seems to be de rigueur for traveling with young 'us today. In contrast, consider the Rondo rear cupholders from the bottom of the console at the bottom where it would be completely useless for the kids that are strapped in above them.

Both cars offer plenty of space to the front. But the Mazda5 has a very annoying bulge on the side of the console, which should be the driver's leg. It partially blocked the accelerator, so you keep the foot at an odd angle. If your leg rest of the console, it is. Against hard plastic with a 90-degree edge on it If you're larger than average, you'll notice that she felt so spacious by downsizing everything in the interior. The steering wheel is. The size of a plate, and every time I wedged my 6'3 "carcass behind it I felt like a parent-teacher conference are sitting in a chair was in third grade The mail slot size sunroof opening only added to the sensation. The second-row seats have a very low back – so low that if the head restraints all the way down, they were not even come out on top of my shoulders. They adapt by seven-eighths-scale furniture eventually, but it's still troubling.

Neither Rondo or Madza5 have an abundance of cargo room with the third seat up. The Mazda trunk has enough room to hold a small suitcase or a few footballs. The Kia has only 6.5 cubic meters. Fold the third row either, though, and there are a lot of running room for the beer. The Rondo has 35 cubic feet behind the second seat and the Mazda5, with 44 cubic feet.

The Mazda5 Grand Touring and Rondo EX are both at the top of their food chain model. The Mazda Kia blows out of the water equipment-wise. Both with the usual power stuff, remote locking, six-speaker sound system, and steering wheel mounted radio and cruise control come. However, the Grand Touring. Includes leather seats, electroluminescent gauges, automatic headlights, rain-sensing wipers, the aforementioned sunroof, heated seats, Bluetooth and an optional nav system The leather, sunroof and heated seats are optional on the Rondo EX, and you have to pay extra for third-row seats. The other electronic toys are not at any price.

In return, the Rondo two things that are not available on the Mazda5. The first is the electronic stability control system, standard on the Kia. The second is a V6 engine. Mazda excellent 2.3-liter four-pot pumps 153hp, it is not enough to cover the zoom-zoom you expect, especially if there are three or four people on board offer. It takes almost 10 seconds to walk from 0 to 60 mph. You find yourself wishing she built a MazdaSpeed5.

The Rondo-standard 2.4-liter four-cylinder cranks out 162HP, and the smooth 2.7-liter V6 ups the ante to 182HP. With the larger engine, the Rondo does the 0-60 shuffle in about nine seconds. In the city there is more than adequate. Slide the mill in the higher speed ranges wring out more speed and methinks it doth protest too much. With these two vanlets, you should plan your overtaking maneuvers in advance, especially in hilly terrain.

The Kia and Mazda both pretty good handle on top-heavy 3500-pound boxes. The Mazda5, the steering feels right to the front wheels as the Rondo in combination, but it shows more body roll when pushed into a corner. Both are very nimble in city traffic and small enough to fit into the spaces in which fear greater SUVs, crush to contact. You would not want to give all of gymkhana, but it's to have fun. As an added bonus, the base-level Mazda5 is available with a five-speed manual transmission.

For highway cruising, suggests the Rondo the Mazda5, hands-down. Its front seats are more supportive and much more comfortable. The large analog instruments are easier to read than the Mazda tech electro ones. The radio controls are much simpler than Mazda radio cum nav system, where you have to agree, they sue just to get the basic radio functions. The only really annoying thing about the rondo was the wind. Noise around the rear view mirror on the driver side

The Mazda shrunken front seats and oddly shaped console conspire to any above-average size of more comfortable to hold. That, added a resonance that boomed through the interior at speeds over 40 mph, has wanted me, I would have Rondo winner every time I drove it.

Priced, it is advantageous Kia, as you would expect. My fully loaded tester listed for $ 23,495. They are with $ 2k incentives so that you directly over the $ 21k mark before you start haggling. The admittedly much better equipped Mazda5 stuck for $ 25,395 (there are currently no incentives).

When you talk about a Kia, there are a few other considerations factor in. First, the terrible first year is written off. You can expect to drop the Rondo-value by about a third of its sticker price, once you drive off the lot. Then there is the issue of durability. Although Kia's improved quality wise and are one of the best warranties in the industry, it is still too early to tell how well the Rondo will keep over the years. Everything in my tester was tight and felt solid. But that does not believe it for five or ten years.

Despite that I prefer the Rondo. It was more comfortable, more fun and easier to control as long as the Mazda5. Nevertheless, it is preferable either, the bloated monstrosities they currently market as "minivans" and probably 95 percent of what people drive SUVs would need to do one vehicle. Perhaps the real-time minivan returned.

Kia and Mazda provided the vehicle reviewed, insurance and a tank of gas.