3. Efficiency replaces power
The new Rondo no longer has a V6 engine option, and in fact downsizes the four-cylinder unit as well. A 2.0-liter engine with 164 hp and 156 lb-ft of torque is the sole powerplant. That is a reduction of 11 hp and 13 lb-ft of torque compared to the old 2.4-liter four cylinder. Kia also replaced the old four-speed auto-box with a pair of six-speed transmission; either an automatic or a manual.
On the road power is a bit weak, especially when loaded up with passengers. Response is good though, and the extra gears help keep the engine in its power band. Merging and passing are not a problem with this drivetrain; just don’t expect to beat any Grand Caravans in a dash to leave soccer practice.
The advantage of the downsized engine is improved fuel economy. With the automatic transmission, fuel economy is officially improved 16 percent in the city and 12 percent on the highway. During our week with the Rondo, we averaged 23.8 mpg during city-biased driving.