Kia Motors' expansive display at the 2018 Auto Expo attracted plenty of showgoers, but the SP Concept (and the lovely Stinger GT) aside, there were two Kia cars that generated quite some interest – one of which was the Stonic SUV. Here are five things you need to know about it.
How big is it?
For the uninitiated, the Stonic is essentially a sister model to the Hyundai Kona crossover, the electric version of which will be launched in India in 2019. It's the smallest SUV that the company makes, and it sports a muscular bonnet with Kia’s trademark ‘tiger nose’ grille, flanked by angular headlights featuring LED DRLs. What make it look smarter are its swooping roofline, large alloys and muscular wheel arches. Kia believes design will be a key differentiator for the brand, enabling its models to appeal to a different set of customers – which could work well for the Stonic.
Size-wise, the Stonic is not a whole lot bigger than the compact SUVs we're used to. Sure, at 4,140mm in length, it is longer than all of them, and has a bigger wheelbase (2,580mm), but is narrower than both the Ford EcoSport and Tata Nexon, and at 1,520mm, it's only about as tall as a Maruti Baleno. Boot space is pegged at 352 litres. To give you some perspective, the Nexon has a 350-litre boot, while the EcoSport has a 341-litre boot.
What engines and gearboxes does it come with?
Internationally, the Stonic is offered with a range of engines including a 120hp, 1.0-litre T-GDI petrol; an 84hp, 1.2-litre petrol; a 100hp, 1.4-litre petrol; and a 110hp, 1.6-litre diesel unit. Gearbox options include a five- and six-speed manual and a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. While a plug-in hybrid option is expected at a later date in those markets, the model is expected to remain front-wheel-drive only.
What about features and equipment?
The Stonic's interior exhibits a high level of quality, and the India-spec car is likely to retain the same premium feel. Talking of features, the Stonic is loaded with equipment such as climate control, a 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, reverse camera, steering-mounted controls, cruise control, heated front seats and a six-speaker music system. In addition to this, Kia is also known for its superior warranty packages: in the USA, for instance, it offers a 10-year/1,60,000-km warranty on its cars. It remains to be seen if Kia offers such comprehensive warranties in our market.
How’s it on safety?
Take a look at the Stonic's equipment sheet, and it becomes immediately apparent that the focus is very much on safety. In addition to front, side and curtain airbags, the Stonic is also equipped with ABS, Electronic Stability Control, hill start assist, tyre pressure monitoring system, autonomous emergency braking, lane departure warning system and blind spot detection, among other things. For your information, Euro NCAP had given the Stonic a full five stars when it tested the SUV in 2017.
Is it coming to India?
We've learned that Kia is evaluating the Stonic for India, along with the Grand Carnival MPV. If Kia does bring the Stonic to India, it'll be interesting to see how it positions the small SUV between the production-spec SP Concept (likely to be called the Kia Trazor) and its made-for-India compact SUV that will also go on sale in the years to come.
Do you think the Stonic would be a wise addition to Kia's India line-up? Let us know in the comments below.