Reader Question: Kia Rondo?

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Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!

Keith writes: I am currently looking for a solid used car and I know nothing about Kia and their reliability. Noticed a recall listed for 2008-2009 Rondo. Let me know if you have any links or details about this model and if there are others that you might recommend that I might find for under $5,000 that are good for driving around the country for a few months. Not wedded to a wagon. Just saw one listed locally for cheap. I just put 5,000+ miles driving in the Western States on my nephew’s 2004 Camry so I know they are solid. Any opinions on the Mazda 6?

My reply: I would skip this Rondo unless the deal is a steal – and even then, I’d be reluctant. Current Kia (and Hyundai) vehicles are excellent but older ones not so much. The Mazda6 is a fine car; also the Mazda3, which you should be able to find for less money because it is smaller.

However, I will steer you toward what I consider to be the bar-none best transportation appliance ever made: The Toyota Corolla. More of these have been stamped out than original VW Beetles – over less than half the original Beetle’s total production run (roughly, 1936-2000) and it is common to see 20-plus-year-old examples in use as daily drivers. They are as exciting as oatmeal but if you want a car that is almost unkillable, that will run for 300,000 miles with decent care and that rarely asks for more than oil and filter changes, occasional brakes pads, etc. and which is remarkably roomy and comnfortable for its size (check the specs) then this is the car to seek.

They are also abundant and so affordable. You ought to be able to find a good one for $5k or so.

Keep me posted!

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