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SAFETY | 9 out of 10
handled emergency maneuvers...with refreshing predictability
safety rating is almost perfect
New York Newsday
impressive number of standard safety features
New York Times
The Kia Rondo for 2008 scores well in crash tests and in standard safety equipment.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has given the Kia Rondo nearly perfect safety scores across the board. It scores five stars for front crash protection, five stars for driver-side impact protection, and four stars for passenger-side impacts and rollover resistance.
The New York Times reports that the "Kia has loaded an impressive number of standard safety features into this inexpensive family hauler, including electronic stability control, tire-pressure monitors, four-wheel antilock disc brakes and six air bags."
Canadian Driver suggests, though, that the 2008 Kia Rondo's stability and traction control is so attentive that it becomes intrusive. If the "system senses some slip, it cuts some engine power...leaving you stranded at the corner." This can be a problem in snowy or icy conditions that are all too common along the northern tier and into the provinces. Fortunately, drivers can shut this feature off if necessary. This source highly recommends using different tires if you are driving in snow and ice, however, as the stock tires have very little in the way of "grip." Jalopnik confirms this impression: "traction control kicks in if you push too hard, and causes an odd wha'happen sensation."
The Kia Rondo for 2008 provides excellent value in terms of safety.