They come along about every twenty minutes; it seems…new SUVs, that is. And so we give a warm welcome to the All New Kia Stonic.
Tom Scanlan from the launch of the All New Stonic from Kia
Kia’s All New Stonic is the midsize B-SUV addition to their range. It will sit below the highly successful Sportage and Sorento. The new model is based on their Kia Rio supermini, but as an SUV is now 70mm higher with more ground clearance and a slightly commanding driving position.
With prices starting at £16,295, Kia offers a choice of two trim levels and three engines, one being a 1.6 diesel and the other being the entry-level 1.4-litre, 98 bhp 4-cylinder petrol and their 3-cylinder petrol engine of just 1-litre, but with an impressive 118 bhp.
All cars have a very slick, light, 6-speed manual gearbox, with an automatic being introduced next year in the 1-litre car. Trim levels start with ‘2’ and top at the First Edition version that costs £2600 more.
The diesel performed very adequately, with plenty of pulling power when required; it was refined and quiet and handled safely. The 60-mile test route was taken at 49.5 mpg, said the trip computer. This 2 version had no satnav and, although smart enough and apparently well-finished, its interior felt a little bland.
In contrast, the First Edition 1-litre Stonic, had a quite different atmosphere, with colour accents here and there in the dashboard and on the upholstery. The price difference was £1550 and as soon as I drove off in it on the same roads, I reckoned that that money would be well-spent. Although I had felt instantly at home behind the wheel of the diesel car, the 3-cylinder immediately felt lighter and more fun. Both cars had that excellent gear-change and clutch action, but this one was a sprightlier performer, with less weight under the bonnet, along with a few extra horse power. 45.6 mpg was the return provided by the little engine, very good for its type.
This engine also provides a faster acceleration up to 62 mph — 9.9 seconds against the diesel’s 10.9 seconds. The car is quiet enough, purring along happily at any speed. All Kia Stonics have the automatic stop/go technology, ISG in Kia language.
Space in the front is fine; space for two rear-seat passengers is good enough except either for very long-legged adults or if the driver has his/her seat right back. For load-carrying, it’s the simplest of operations to fold the 60/40 rear seats forward to create a big flat floor.
The Stonic First Edition is available with dual colour schemes and contrasting roof, with the grey/orange combination being my personal favourite.
Standard equipment on the Stonic is generous enough and competitive in its market, more or less everything that should be expected at the price being supplied.
This includes voice recognition, air-conditioning, Bluetooth and music streaming, rear parking sensors plus a list of safety functions to help prevent the car getting into a skid.
The extra money for a First Edition gets you those colours in and out and smart key entry, engine start/stop button, the air-con becomes automatic, LED rear lights, rear side window and tailgate privacy glass, heated front seats and dual-height luggage floor and chrome here and there to distinguish its looks. Connectivity is enhanced, as are the car’s driver assistance systems.
Of the two cars driven, the diesel ‘2’ was priced at £18,145 and the 3-cylinder First Edition totalled £19,695 and would be my recommendation for most would be buyers. And don’t forget Kia’s uniquely generous 7-year, 100,000-mile warranty which is also transferable. The All New Kia Stonic fills a gap in the Kia range and deserves success.
Car reviewed: Kia Stonic ‘First Edition’ 1.0 T-GDi ISG – Base Price On the road £19,695 0-60mph 9.9 secs Top speed 115mph Fuel Economy combined 56.5mpg CO2 emissions 115g/km Engine 998cc 3-cylinder turbo unleaded petrol Max Power [email protected] rpm Torque [email protected] Transmission 6-speed manual
Great looks, great colour combinations
Low emissions and good fuel economy
Well equipped, good connectivity
Slightly bland interior on entry models