Automotive

2010-2014 Mazda 5 vs Chevy Orlando vs Kia Rondo

  • Last Updated:
  • Aug 25th, 2021 8:33 pm
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Mar 21, 2019
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2010-2014 Mazda 5 vs Chevy Orlando vs Kia Rondo

Hello everyone,

I scrapped my car last week and been riding my motorcycle to work every day.

I'm looking to get a car I can camp in, throw a bike into and otherwise. I originally wanted a Ford Transit, but price and their unreliability past 200km knocked them out of the choice matrix.

Essentially what I'm looking for is

- 8 L/100 km or less hwy
- Preferrably manual
- LOOOONG, I'm 6'4", but handy with wood and could easily build a platform if required.
- Ability to throw my bicycle in or bonus motorcycle.
- Preferrably removable seats so I'm not carrying around a 3rd row I will never ever use.

Does the Mazda 5 seem like the best option? I've found a manual of each of the 3 mentioned cars but I can't figure out if they're right for me.
11 replies
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2012 Ford escape?
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Short answer is, yes Mazda 5 is easily the best of them. Its very much a mini-minivan but it does have minor flaws in that in 6-seater config it loses a lot of cargo capacity, in 4 seat config you got a lot of room. The Mazda 5 despite looking like a minivan is actually a rather nice drive, its easily better than most CUVs and I do think a manual transmission would improve how it drives. Never saw a reliability issue when I was driving these around. These can be speced nicely if you get the GT trim.

Kia Rondo is technically the most practical of these 3. The 2nd row does move back and forth. Its very CUV like in how it drives so its not very exciting at all and I'm not sure if Kia/Hyundai manual will make it any more so better because Hyundai-Kia manuals are notorious for not being very nice. As far as reliability, I didn't see them actually go wrong, however in the current situation with Hyundai's engine troubles and IIRC it was CBC where it was a final gen Rondo that was part of the story.

Chevrolet Orlando...I hated this one. This was unbelievably slow and it was very dull to drive too. I don't know if it was the weak engine or whether this thing was too heavy but very unpleasant to drive. This one is very cheap and cheesy inside and almost all of them are spartan. The stereo in this car is easily the worst, and the interior control layout really sucked. I'd remove this one off your list, its pretty bad and a big reason why it didn't last long.

I would normally comment on ride quality, but all 3 aren't that great. Again since you can get the Mazda in nicer trim, it will ultimately win out.
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Mar 23, 2004
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My vote goes to the Rondo. I never drove a 3rd gen one but the 2nd gen one I always thought was good for what it was supposed to be. Plus yeah I guess you can get them in manual too. Also if you buy one when your friends ask what it is (it's not exactly common and the 3rd gen never even sold in the US), you can be like, "Rondohhh, bitch!" :D At least that's what I'd say if I owned one lol.

However I kind of don't get why you'd want one of these if you don't want the 3rd row. Isn't that claim to fame for these cars--an otherwise compact "MPV" type vehicle, that can fit extra people/kids?

I think something like the Transit Connect (and I assume you mean the Connect since the regular Transit is much bigger?) might be better If you don't need the seats. Why not just buy one with low kms (if you can find one)? Also what about that Nissan one--the NV200 (aka Chevy City Express)?
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Aug 30, 2020
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Those Mazda 5s are rust buckets... A 2010-2014 is definitely a death trap
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Jul 12, 2003
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All 3 of them sounds bad choices for their own reasons.

I would get a used or maybe an older Sienna or Odyssey if you need something with space as the main purpose for the car, Although they are not the most gas friendly one and no manual, but def better choice than a Mazda5, Orlando or Rondo,
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Gas mileage on the Mazda 5 is pretty bad...this was before the skyactive engine
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You listed 3 of the worst cars in the last decade. Pretty sure you could only find these on "buy here pay here" lots in a shady part of town.
Last edited by RaphaelG041 on Aug 25th, 2021 12:27 pm, edited 2 times in total.
[OP]
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Mar 21, 2019
3 posts
1 upvote
JeganV wrote: Short answer is, yes Mazda 5 is easily the best of them. Its very much a mini-minivan but it does have minor flaws in that in 6-seater config it loses a lot of cargo capacity, in 4 seat config you got a lot of room. The Mazda 5 despite looking like a minivan is actually a rather nice drive, its easily better than most CUVs and I do think a manual transmission would improve how it drives. Never saw a reliability issue when I was driving these around. These can be speced nicely if you get the GT trim.

Kia Rondo is technically the most practical of these 3. The 2nd row does move back and forth. Its very CUV like in how it drives so its not very exciting at all and I'm not sure if Kia/Hyundai manual will make it any more so better because Hyundai-Kia manuals are notorious for not being very nice. As far as reliability, I didn't see them actually go wrong, however in the current situation with Hyundai's engine troubles and IIRC it was CBC where it was a final gen Rondo that was part of the story.

Chevrolet Orlando...I hated this one. This was unbelievably slow and it was very dull to drive too. I don't know if it was the weak engine or whether this thing was too heavy but very unpleasant to drive. This one is very cheap and cheesy inside and almost all of them are spartan. The stereo in this car is easily the worst, and the interior control layout really sucked. I'd remove this one off your list, its pretty bad and a big reason why it didn't last long.

I would normally comment on ride quality, but all 3 aren't that great. Again since you can get the Mazda in nicer trim, it will ultimately win out.
ES_Revenge wrote: My vote goes to the Rondo. I never drove a 3rd gen one but the 2nd gen one I always thought was good for what it was supposed to be. Plus yeah I guess you can get them in manual too. Also if you buy one when your friends ask what it is (it's not exactly common and the 3rd gen never even sold in the US), you can be like, "Rondohhh, bitch!" :D At least that's what I'd say if I owned one lol.

However I kind of don't get why you'd want one of these if you don't want the 3rd row. Isn't that claim to fame for these cars--an otherwise compact "MPV" type vehicle, that can fit extra people/kids?

I think something like the Transit Connect (and I assume you mean the Connect since the regular Transit is much bigger?) might be better If you don't need the seats. Why not just buy one with low kms (if you can find one)? Also what about that Nissan one--the NV200 (aka Chevy City Express)?
You're right on this one, why do I need a 6-7 seater. This sat with me last night.


I'm also looking at Honda Elements, theyre a bit pricey for the km's but you get tons of room, a tail gate and a lot of no bs. Thoughts?
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AdamK5354 wrote: I'm also looking at Honda Elements, theyre a bit pricey for the km's but you get tons of room, a tail gate and a lot of no bs. Thoughts?
Element is a pretty durable vehicle. As you noted its expensive and lately its a target for catalytic converter theft.

Although if this is the sort of vehicle you're looking at, perhaps the Scion xB? This is another box car but its effectively using Camry/RAV4 powertrain. The cargo capacity in this thing beats most CUVs/SUVs larger than it even to this day, for reference it has able as much cargo capacity as a Venza. It resale is pretty low despite it basically being a Toyota because its called Scion and I guess some people don't like the fact it looks like a toaster. Strongly suggest finding a manual transmission if you can because this car isn't as fuel efficient considering its size which the 4-speed automatic won't help with...but again it has the aerodynamic properties of a brick.
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Kia Soul has been great for us. We picked up a 2012 Soul 2U w/80k back in 2020. $8500

Decent on gas (w/6 speed automatic). On highway with AC on and 2 adults aboard I get 7-8 l/100km.

Tons of space.

Super reliable so far. We've already added 25k kilometres to it with just oil changes

Manual transmission will be tricky to find. They're rare
I'm serious as cancer when I say rhythm is a dancer.

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