In a competitive market, does Kia’s crossover Stonic have the power to surprise, asks Geraldine Herbert
What is it? Car makers are getting serious about small SUVs and a host of new models are set to join the burgeoning market over the next few months. Hyundai has just announced pricing for its new Kona, while its sister brand Kia launched its Rio-based Stonic recently
Building on the success of its large seven-seat Sorento model and Sportage, Kia has added the Stonic to its line-up, a lifestyle crossover targeted mainly at young buyers and downsizing baby boomers in need of style and practicality.
First impressions of the new Kia Stonic? Essentially it’s a Rio with planning permission; the styling is sleek and there are some nice details including black body cladding around the base of the car and skid plates at the front and rear give it a robust and chunky appearance.
What about the interior? The Stonic is bigger than the Rio hatchback and benefits from a spacious cabin and some smart storage options. An 7-in infotainment screen is standard on all versions, along with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Space is fine for up to four adults, although taller ones may find the legroom in the back a little tight and the boot isn’t large at 352 litres.
Under the bonnet? The engine range kicks off with a choice of three petrol engines and one diesel. At the launch we drove the 1.4 100 ps petrol, the one likely to be the best seller. It promises a healthy average of 5.5 litres per 100km on a mix of urban and motorway driving. Other petrol options include a 1-litre 120 ps and a 1.25 84 ps and a 1.6 110 ps CRDi diesel with a choice of five or six-speed manual.
And on the road? On the road it is smooth and easy to drive and while you are not likely to marvel at its acceleration, it won’t disappoint compared to rivals. The ride quality is good and it doesn’t roll too much in corners but it gets a little bumpy on poor roads.
How Much? Prices are a little higher than for similarly sized hatchbacks and start at €18,599 for the 1.2 petrol K1 Stonic model while prices for the Hyundai Kona start from €20,995.
What are my options? Four trim levels K1, K2, K3 and K4 are offered and all are well equipped.All Stonics feature ISG, skid plate (front and rear), audio remote, Bluetooth, 3.5 cluster, 7 inch screen, 15 inch alloy, leather gear knob and handle, front armrest, spare wheel, privacy glass, rear USB, speed limiter, cruise control, centre console and rear USB and charger. Creature comforts on the top of the range K4 model include Smart Key, metal pedals, blind spot detector, dual auto air con with rain sensor. All K3 and K4 models come with the option of two tone roof and interior trim personalisation.
How Safe? Plenty of features are on board to keep you safe and secure including Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and Kia’s Vehicle Stability Management (VSM) system as standard.
3 words to describe the Kia Stonic? Safe; Reliable; Economical
1st November, 2017