$25,990 – $31,990
Good: Cheap for a seven-seater (and it’s by no means bad!?) Great value for money & a clever interior.
Not so Good: Unrefined Petrol engine and automatic transmission PLUS it lacks performance and isn’t economical enough – the 2.0 litre Turbo Diesel engine option sold in Europe would suit the Rondo more.
Design and Engineering
Good : Smart compact looks (for a People Mover) especially with 17” alloys on EX and EX-L grades.
Not so good : The wide rear pillar can make reversing visibility difficult.
Interior and Styling
Good : The layout of the dash and centre console is modern and practial – there’s a quality feel to dials and buttons and they’re all within arm’s reach of the driver. The outwards visibility for 1st & 2nd row occupants is great, as well as plenty of drink holders for the kids. Plenty of second row legroom. Huge 900 litres of cargo space when 2nd & 3rd row seats are folded down (which fold flat!).
Not so good : Third row seats for kiddies only (but expected considering the vehicle’s compact design). We didn’t love the cheap-feeling steering wheel on entry level LX grade.
Good : The performance is fine if you’re driving normally on level grounds without a heavy load.
Not so good : Slow, and that’s before the family and luggage comes aboard. The 4-speed auto transmission is not good enough and struggles to find the right gear. The un-sporty and coarse-ounding engine lacks pulling power (torque) if the engine is doing anything other than high revs.
Ride and Handling
Good : EX and EX-L ride well on relatively low profile 17” tyres. The Rondo has a lower centre of gravity than the typical SUV, helping it to ‘sit’ during cornering.
Not so good : The Rondo is no lighter than even a compact SUV – and so handles not much better. The lack of steering ‘feel’ doesn’t encourage spirited driving. The LX grade is fitted with 15” steel wheels and cheaper tyres and therefore has noticeably worse grip and body control…
Buying and Owning
Good: Inexpensive to buy and comes with plenty of standard equipment, including: ESC (electronic stability control) and 7 lap/sash seatbelts fitted.
Not so good : Considering it’s a basic 2.0L 4-cylinder it’s too thirsty (also blame the cars hefty weight and the four-speed auto). Only the range-topping EX-L grade comes standard with 6 airbags. Most shoppers still tend to lean towards a trendy SUV (when truthfully a small People Mover would better suit their actual needs)?