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Easy on the eyes, easy to drive and easy to live with, the new Kia Stonic ticks all the necessary boxes to function as an effective and accessible compact crossover.

07 Jan 2019



Here we have yet another crossover, the brand new Kia Stonic. Yes, one more crossover to add to an already crowded segment. But anyone who says they are surprised is straight up lying. Everyone wants a crossover, therefore every brand shall make a crossover. Demand and supply, it's basic economics. 

The Kia Stonic is handsome and easy on the eyes

Bright lights

Also basic but no less impressive is the Stonic's design. In bright yellow, the car bears more than a passing resemblance to the Audi Q2, especially from the side and rear views. This shouldn't come as much of a surprise, considering Kia's Chief Designer, Peter Schreyer, spent many years at Audi before moving to Kia.

The strange plastic grille at the front is a little off putting, but all in all it's a car that's quite pleasant on the eyes. You have a choice of 29 different colourways, so there's a good amount of personalisation available as far as colour is concerned.

A sunroof helps the compact cabin feel more spacious

It doesn't look very big, and that's because it isn't very big. The compact size and low roofline means the rear might be a little cramp for larger adults, and the 352-litre boot is just about sufficient.

The cabin is fairly standard fare. There's not a lot in the way of creature comforts, but it's enough for most drivers just looking for a simple runabout vehicle. It's a good thing that the infotainment system supports Apple CarPlay, giving you access to navigation functions the car otherwise doesn't have. In this particular trim, you also get a modestly sized sunroof. 

The 7.0-inch infotainment system comes standard with Apple CarPlay 

Smooth

Powered by a turbocharged 1.0-litre engine, the Stonic isn't endowed with tremendous amounts of power, with just a modest 118bhp and 171Nm of torque. That said, it's still a pleasant powertrain. Power comes urgently once you overcome the initial turbo lag, and the seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox shifts smoothly and effectively. The gear ratios are also quite short, adding to the car's sense of urgency when accelerating.

The Stonic isn't going to be winning any drag races, but for a day-to-day vehicle it packs more than enough verve to satisfy most drivers.

Driven lightly, the engine is quiet and unobstrusive, allowing you to cruise along peacefully. The car is also reasonably efficient, returning 13.8km/L during our time with it.

As far as the ride and handling goes, the suspension is soft and soaks up bumps in the road well. The steering is light and somewhat disconnected, but at least it makes piloting the car pretty effortless. There's not much in the way of dynamic agility, but no one buying a car in this segment really bothers about that, we reckon.

The car rides on good-looking 17-inch alloy wheels

No surprises

You must be thinking, "Wait so is this just a rebadged and re-bodied Hyundai Kona?" The parallels are clear - both are compact crossovers powered by a turbocharged 1.0-litre engine, and of course, the two companies are affiliated. The two cars are certainly quite similar in style, purpose and function.

The perky turbocharged 1.0-litre engine offers eager acceleration

The big difference, at least in Singapore, is the transmission. The Kona 1.0 was only offered with a manual gearbox, which may not be for everyone. Plus, the Stonic is a tad cheaper, with this SX Sunroof variant priced at $80,999 (as of 4 January 2019).

The Stonic follows a pretty clear and straightforward formula. It's affordable, equipped with key essential equipment, and is easy to drive and easy to live with. It's not a crossover the industry needs (there are like, a million of them already), but it's a crossover that people want.

The Kia Stonic is an unsurprisingly effective compact crossover

And if we're being honest, we're okay with that. The Stonic isn't a car we are going to be particularly excited about, but it's a car that we have no doubt will sell. And that's okay with us. It is because of cars like the Stonic (and the windfall the model will inevitably bring for Kia) that allows the company to make a car like the Stinger.

And if there needs to be 100 more Stonics sold to pave the way for another Stinger, then we say bring it on. 
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Car Information

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Price

: $80,999

Engine Type

:

3-cylinder in-line 12-valve Turbocharged

Engine Cap

:

998cc

Horsepower

:

88kW (118 bhp) / 6000 rpm

Torque

:

171 Nm / 4000 rpm

Transmission

:

7-speed (A) DCT

Acceleration (0-100 km/h)

:

10.6sec

Top Speed

:

185km/h

Fuel consumption

:

18.5 km/L

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