KIA HAS a new compact crossover type of SUV, called the Stonic, on the way for the end of 2017 as the Korean brand aims to get a slice of one of Europe’s newest and fastest-growing vehicle segments.
This market segment is called the B-SUV segment in motor industry language and currently accounts for 1.1 million new car sales in Europe each year, around 7% of the market. The segment is forecast to expand to more than two million annual sales in Europe by 2020.
Kia claims that the new Stonic will be the most customisable Kia ever, inside and out, and that it boasts true European design flair. The design of the car includes the familiar Kia ‘tiger-nose’ grille designed in Europe, in collaboration with Kia’s Korean design studio.
The new Stonic’s ‘Targa’-style roof enables buyers to choose a two-tone paint finish. It will be available in up to 20 two-tone colour combinations, with a choice of five distinctive colours for the roof.
A range of lightweight, downsized, turbocharged petrol and diesel engines are available, each paired with a manual transmission, claims to deliver maximised driver engagement and efficiency. Buyers have the choice of Kia’s lightweight 1.0-litre T-GDI (turbocharged petrol direct injection) engine, producing 120bhp, as well as 1.25- or 1.4-litre naturally-aspirated MPI (multi-point injection) petrol engines. An 1.6-litre diesel engine completes the range, offering the lowest emissions in the line-up.
Kia claims that the car’s European-tuned steering and suspension are designed to offer an exciting drive, with immediate handling responses and a stable ride. The car is fitted as standard with electronic stability control and vehicle stability management (VSM), ensuring the front-wheel drive Stonic can cope in all conditions. Specific functions of VSM include torque vectoring by braking, straight line stability, and cornering brake control.
The car gets Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard, bringing seamless smartphone functionality to the touchscreen infotainment system. Like other Kia models, it is available with heated front seats, automatic cruise control and keyless entry.
The car claims class-leading shoulder room and generous leg- and head-room. The impressive 352-litre boot capacity expands or shrinks as required with a two-step boot floor.