Test Drive: Kia Rondo

Due to imbalances in the cosmos, radiation emitted by soil, and other random factors operating to my disfavor, I find myself engaged in the unenviable task of shopping for an automobile. I would almost rather go to the dentist than endure a barrage of sales pitches. It’s not that I fear saying no. It’s just that my noes are more often than not interpreted as a suggestion to try harder. Now, I understand that people want to do their best at their job. I certainly don’t blame anybody for that. But for some reason when I finally do make myself perfectly understood, it somehow comes across as astonishingly rude. Needless to say, by the time that point has been reached, the entire exercise will have become a phenomenal waste of time for all parties involved.

Now where was I? Oh yes, automobiles. I decided that I did not want another four door sedan. So the first offering I tested was the Kia Rondo, which might be described as either a mini-minivan or a jumbo wagon.

The vehicle had some nice features. I found the Rondo to be surprisingly maneuverable for a vehicle of its size. There was pretty good visibility all around, and I never felt like another vehicle might be lurking in a blind spot.

The cabin seemed roomy and spacious, not only to myself, but also to my giant passenger. We found that there was lots of clever storage space in the Rondo: cupholders everywhere, clips for papers on the sun visors, a three-tier center divider with a chamber at the base for charging one’s mobile devices, and also some sort of purse hook or something on the passenger side.

The horn also had the cutest little honk.

However, there were a few important things that I disliked about the Rondo.

First of all, I didn’t care for was the steering. At twelve o’clock on the wheel, there was a dead zone of about five minutes. While this may help to keep some drivers from zigzagging all over the road, it might have actually caused me to start zigzagging. I’m just not used to having a dead zone on the wheel and found myself hunting for its edges.

One of my major complaints is with the gas pedal. It seemed as though it were more of a pushbutton than an analog control. In other words, press to go, press hard to really go, and let go to stop. This may work really well for racing video games, but it does not work so well in the real world. This vehicle was lurching down the street like Frankenstein’s monster.

Frankenstein's Monster
Mrrrngh! Rnngngn!

As comfortable as it might have been, sitting in the driver’s seat of this vehicle reminded me of an office chair I had many years ago. The hinge linking the plastic seat to the base was broken, and it acted more like a ball joint. Sitting in that awful office chair was a constant balancing act, as the seat would tip backward, forward, left or right at the slightest movement.

Maybe it’s that I just wasn’t driving the vehicle the way it should have been driven. But even traveling down the freeway, which really didn’t call for changes in acceleration or course, this vehicle would gyrate like a seesaw bolted crosswise to a teeter totter.

In conclusion, while this vehicle might well be perfect for somebody else, somebody with a lot of passengers, I was not impressed. I fancy something a bit more sporty than this, something more stable, something less lurchy.

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