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you can get a manual in the Orlando, but odds on it will be extremely difficult to purchase, as I doubt dealers will stock it.
I would be extremely surprised if the Rondo comes with a manual. The market for manuals is very small - 5% or less. You can manual shift the auto if you want too. I've driven manuals for over 35 years, but not anymore.
That's what I do right now in my dad's Rio5. He's thinking of not driving anymore in the next year or so. That is when I want to sell the Rio5 and get a manual, but I want something that can hold 6 people so when he and my mom need a ride to go somewhere, then I can take them and my wife and kids. I just personally don't like automatics which is why my next vehicle has to be a manual.
As it stands right now, it would likely be a Mazda5 unless what the sales guy told me was true.
A 3200+ pound, 7 passenger car with 164 hp/ 156 lb torq is going to be underpowered especially when loaded. That's near the same power as a Soul which weighs 400 pounds less and doesn't have 7 passenger capability. I expect that when more information is released that we'll see a more powerful optional engine offered.
I think that info in the article could be a mistake, as that 164hp engine is the same one I have in my Soul, I think the standard engine would have been the 173 hp 2.0L GDI engine that is standard in the Forte 5-door. This is one of the engines the European version offers.
So far I can't find any specs on the Canadian version.
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I believe the info is correct but that the engine is tuned differently to make the hp and torq at lower rpms for the heavier Rondo. That would be similar to the 2.4 GDI that makes lower hp and torq in the Sorento than it does in the Optima but does so at lower rpms to better motivate the heavier Sorento.
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