For 2009, both the four- and six-cylinder engines see a modest bump in horsepower, and the base LX trim now features air conditioning as part of its standard equipment list. Last year's Leather Package, which includes leather seating surfaces and heated front seats, is now standard on EX trims.
The 2009 Kia Rondo boldly strides into the burgeoning crossover segment with little concern for the fierce competition it faces. Affordable, flexible and offering both four- and six-cylinder power, plus room for five or seven passengers, this user-friendly front-wheel-drive hauler displays the kinds of features and options – including standard stability control, anti-lock brakes (ABS) and the industry's longest and most comprehensive warranty package – that have come to characterize most of Kia's current-generation products. While the Rondo's closest direct competitor would be the slightly smaller Mazda MAZDA5, its cross-shopping potential encompasses everything from a Chrysler PT Cruiser, Chevrolet HHR or Dodge Caliber to front-wheel-drive versions of smaller SUVs like the Honda CR-V, Saturn VUE and Toyota RAV4.