The latest to join the lucrative but increasingly competitive compact crossover segment is Kia. The all-new Kia Stonic aims to capture the market with its youthful outlook and an attractive warranty package (in the UK, for now).
At first glance, the Kia Stonic looks like the current Kia Rio hatchback with higher ground clearance. The signature “Tiger-nose” grille aside, the Stonic prides itself with its ‘targa’-style roof and two-tone paint finish. Customisation is plenty here; the roof can be had with five distinctive colours while there’s up to 20 two-tone colour combinations available.
Inside, the dashboard looks similar to the one in the Rio, with the Stonic featuring contrasting lines in the trimmings. Boot space is rated at 352 litres and will include a two-step boot floor. Kia claims that the Stonic will offer “class-leading shoulder room and generous leg- and head-room.”
Four choices of engines are offered, starting with the 1.0-litre turbocharged gasoline direct injection (T-GDI) engine shared with the new Rio that outputs 118 hp and 172 Nm of torque. The naturally aspirated units are the 1.25-litre (83 hp/122 Nm) and 1.4-litre (98hp/132 Nm) four-cylinder MPI petrol mill as well as a 1.6-litre diesel engine. All models are front-wheel drive and currently offered with a manual transmission.
Safety is a strong point in the Stonic thanks to Kia’s DRiVE WISE Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS). The suite includes autonomous braking, blind spot detection, forward collision alert and lane departure warning.
Sales will begin by October and will be backed by a class-leading seven-year manufacturer warranty, although pricing is yet to be revealed. Given the popularity of compact crossovers and SUVs in Malaysia, expect Naza Kia Malaysia to introduce the Stonic by 2018.