The Rio-based Kia Stonic has been unveiled, as Kia aims to rival the Nissan Juke and other SUVs
Kia has revealed the latest addition to its burgeoning SUV range in the form of the all-new Stonic – a new Nissan Juke-sized crossover which the Korean brand expects to become one of its best-selling models when it goes on sale in the UK before the end of the year.
The small SUV market is booming and Kia is after a slice of the profits. The Stonic is set to sit beneath the Sportage and Sorento in the range and serve as a rival for the likes of the Juke and Renault Captur, as well as the new Hyundai Kona.
In order to make the new Rio-inspired crossover stand out in this increasingly crowded marketplace, Kia promises this is its most customizable car to date. The styling lends itself to a two-tone paint finish, and up to 20 two-tone combinations will be available, alongside five unique colors for the roof.
In terms of design, contemporary Kia cues such as the ‘tiger-nose’ grille and strong, swept headlights define the Stonic’s face, but Kia has made an effort to distance the crossover from the Rio hatchback on which it’s based. Looking down the side of the car, sharp creases and kinks are found near the door sills, while the window line kinks upwards, too. Rugged-looking black plastic cladding runs in a ring around the bottom edge of the car and around the wheelarches, giving the crossover a tougher stance. Similarly, brushed metal skid plates are found front and rear.
Kia has turned to past concept cars to influence the design – the ‘targa’-style roof loop at the C-pillar is plucked from the Provo coupé concept of 2013. In the cabin, things take on a much more Rio-inspired bent. The dash is near identical, while the switchgear is carried directly over. Again, lots of customizable color schemes are promised.
A seven-inch infotainment touchscreen will appear on some models, bundled with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Kia promises that space won’t be at a premium, with generous leg and headroom, plus class-leading shoulder room. In the back, a two-step floor will allow owners to expand or shrink the 352-litre boot to suit their needs.
Under the bonnet, the three petrol engines to be offered in the Stonic are all taken from the Rio. Kia’s new turbocharged 1.0-litre three-cylinder T-GDI will be offered with 118bhp, while naturally aspirated 1.25-litre and 1.4-litre four-cylinder options line up alongside it. The petrols will be joined by a 1.6-litre four-cylinder diesel, too.
No fuel economy figures have been revealed, but the diesel will serve up the lowest emissions. Hybrid versions could appear down the line by adapting the technology underpinning the Niro. All Stonics will be front-wheel drive only.
Technology highlights will include heated front seats, automatic cruise control and keyless entry, alongside a raft of safety and assistance features. Autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian recognition and forward collision alert appears, while things behind the car are monitored by a rear-cross traffic alert system. Blind spot detection, lane departure warning, high-beam assist and a driver attention alert will also be available.
All versions of the Stonic will come as standard with Kia’s seven-year/100,000 mile manufacturer warranty. Prices should start from around £14,000.