The new Kia Stonic small SUV will cost from £16,295 to £20,495 when it arrives in showrooms at the end of next month.
The newcomer, which debuted at the Frankfurt motor show earlier in September, is Kia’s first entry in the booming small SUV/crossover market. Sales of such vehicles have soared by 50 per cent since 2014 and are expected to go up another 40 per cent by 2020 by which time across Europe there are expected to be 2.2 million such vehicles. Kia expects to sell at least 7,000 Stonics in the UK in 2018, rising to 10,000-plus a year.
The Stonic is based on the same underpinnings as the Rio supermini and reflects the trend among buyers to move out of smaller cars into small crossovers, which are felt to have more presence on the road. The Stonic measures 4140mm long which is only slightly more than the Rio, but it is 70mm taller and rides 42mm higher off the ground.
Kia will offer the new model in five versions – three powertrains and two trim levels. Engine choices will be across 99hp 1.4-litre and 120hp 1-litre turbo petrol units, or a 1.6-litre turbodiesel of 110hp, all with six-speed manual gearboxes and stop-start functions. All versions will be front-wheel-drive – very few buyers in this market want all-wheel-drive.
All versions will be available in ‘2’ trim, but buyers will not be able to choose the 1.4 petrol with the higher specification ‘First Edition’ grade. Standard equipment in 2 models includes a 7-inch infotainment screen with DAB radio and MP3 compatibility, plus Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity. All models get a safety package that includes Electronic Stability Control, Vehicle Stability Management and a hill-hold system.
First Edition models upgrade the infotainment to a seven-inch touchscreen and navigation system with Kia’s Connected assistance service. Auto-emergency braking, a lane departure warning system, blind-spot warning and an alert of crossing traffic when reversing are also standard, along with a driver attention monitor and auto high-beam headlamps. The First Edition also features two-tone paintwork.