- Powered by a range of light and compact engines
- Smart packaging for ‘spacious and versatile’ cabin
- Strong but light body, new driving technologies
KIA’S ALL-NEW Stonic is an eye-catching and confident compact crossover set to become an important conquest model for Kia in one of Europe’s newest and fastest-growing vehicle segments.
The B-SUV segment currently accounts for 1.1-million new car sales in Europe each year – around seven per cent of the market – and is forecast to pass two million annual sales by 2020.
It was launched in Europe yesterday (June 20 2017).
Michael Cole, COO of Kia Motors Europe, told The Corner in a media release: “The Stonic will be one of the most compelling new cars in this rapidly-expanding class. It will be backed by a unique warranty, and the brand’s reputation for reliability, quality and contemporary design.
“As the segment expands the Stonic looks set to become one of our best-selling cars. By volume, the B-SUV market is expected to overtake the C-SUV segment by 2020 when more than 10% of new cars sold in Europe will be from the Stonic’s segment.
“The B-SUV segment attracts buyers from across the spectrum, with 21% of all customers upsizing from a supermini, and another 15% downsizing from family hatchbacks. Cars suc as the Stonic also appeal to those looking to replace their compact MPVs.”
The design of the car, Kia asserts, is one of the its most striking yet, immediately recognisable as a Kia thanks to key signature design elements such as the tiger-nose grille. It was designed in Europe.
The shape of the roof, for instance, will allow buyers to choose a two-tone paint finish and the rest of the car will be open to as many as 20 two-tone colour combinations.
POWERFUL SMALL ENGINES
A range of small and light turbocharged petrol and diesel engines will be available, each turning a manual transmission – a choice of one-litre T-GDI (turbocharged gasoline direct injection) engine capable of 90kW or 1250cc or 1400cc non-turbo multi-point injection petrol engines.
A 1.6-litre diesel completes the range.
“The car’s European-tuned steering and suspension,” Kia says, “have been designed to offer an exciting drive; stability control should ensure the front-wheel drive Stonic remains enjoyable and confidence-inspiring to drive in all conditions.”
The cabin, the automaker adds, has technology and ergonomics at its heart with infotainment technology designed to enhance safety, comfort and convenience: Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard to bring smartphone functionality to the touchscreen.
Options, Kia says, will include heatable front seats, cruise control and keyless entry and “smart packaging” is said to maximise passenger space with “class-leading” shoulder room and “generous” leg and head room.
The boot has a two-step floor, its volume a maximum of 352 litres..
Crash avoidance technology includes auto emergency braking with pedestrian recognition, forward collision alert, blind-spot rear cross-traffic alerts and lane-crossing warning.
The cars will be delivered with Kia’s still-unique seven-year or 160 000km warranty and should be in showrooms in Europe by July 2017. Kia SA told The Corner they knew little about the Stonic yet, adding that evaluation for the SA market would decide on its arrival – or not.
Price in the UK expected to be the equivalent of about R230 000.