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15 Jul 2022

What We Dislike
Meagre performance from the car's drivetrain

The Kia Sonet gives those that prioritise cabin space and hassle-free motoring an attractive and mighty cool new option to consider.


This Kia Sonet sits in a confusing spot within the firm's current lineup of crossovers here in Singapore.

With a 114bhp output and a price tag of $132,999, it is more expensive and yet comes short on the 118bhp output of the smaller mild hybrid Kia Stonic (yours from $124,999). Further up the range meanwhile, rests the Kia Seltos, which starts from $160,999. The Seltos is 195mm longer and comes with 138bhp, yet sits only 10mm wider and is actually 22mm shorter than the Kia Sonet.

Roof rails and a tall height give the Kia Sonet a proper off road-ready look despite its small footprint
And as if all this is not bewildering enough, bear in mind this thought: There's also a new Kia Niro and Kia Sportage, both of which will soon join the lineup here on our sunny shores, ready to complicate affairs further.

So, should you make the Kia Sonet your pick of the bunch today?

Shall I compare thee

Reading the specification sheet of the Kia Sonet hardly does it any favours. Whereas the rest of Kia's crossover lineup gets to benefit from either turbocharging or electrification, the Kia Sonet makes do with a naturally-aspirated engine.

Both the Stonic and Seltos also get dual-clutch transmissions, while the Sonet makes do with a CVT. And then there's the fact that the Sonet gets drum brakes at the rear axle, while the other two cars gets discs at all wheels.

A 4.2-inch TFT LCD display within the instrument cluster offers up driving information in a clear and legible manner
Thankfully, these don't compromise the drive of the Kia Sonet too much. A meagre 144Nmof torque from its 1.5-litre combined with a CVT means there isn't much drivetrain responsiveness to speak off, but drive the Sonet gently and the transmission will keep any engine drone to a minimum.

And sure, keeping up with traffic will require that you dig into the engine's mid ranges, but even when driven so, this drivetrain will still easily return you a fuel economy close to 13.4km/L.

More impressive still is the quality of the ride in the Sonet. Soft and comfortable, the crossover is adept at rounding off all sorts of bumps and road imperfections, and it will do all these while keeping the cabin remarkably hushed, with only wind noise creeping in at higher speeds.

To a summer's day

This Sonet is currently the most affordable crossover from Kia that comes with ventilated front seats
And, there's plenty to like about the cabin of the Kia Sonet as well.

All passengers here can expect generous amounts of space all around, with headroom being especially remarkable for a car of this footprint, courtesy of the Kia Sonet's height. There are also mighty comfortable seats for you to rest your bum on, with the cushioning for those at the rear being even softer still, and some rather plush carpets for your feet as well.

And the Kia Sonet is also decked in plenty of tasty features that don't typically appear on more affordable vehicles, including a sunroof and ventilated front seats, the latter of which will no doubt come in handy on those sweltering days that are now becoming so common.

There's plenty of space all around for passengers here, with headroom being especially generous for the segment
Drive on a rainy day however, and you'll also find that there's equally handy storage within the door cards which are designed to hold your folding umbrellas.

Thou art more lovely indeed

If you're shopping outside the Kia range, this Kia Sonet will likely go up against the Hyundai Venue, which is asking for $137,999, although there's also the smaller Suzuki Ignis (available from $124,900), or the Opel Crossland (asking for $138,500, all prices as of 13 July 2022) to consider.

Opt for the Kia Sonet instead of these rivals and you'll get access to the Kia Connect Lite suite of services, which will allow you to check on your car's fuel and tyre pressure levels, as well as to book servicing appointments, and most importantly perhaps, turn on the engine and air-conditioning, all from your smartphone.

But here's the thing: These connected features are also set to be available across Kia's range here in Singapore. And with both the upcoming Sportage and Niro looking as futuristic as they do, I can't help but feel you'll regret not waiting and saving up these coming months for what could likely turn out to be the better picks in Kia's lineup.

Shopping for a small crossover? There's also these other options to consider:

The Opel Mokka comes with strong, chiseled looks and a punchy engine

The Honda HR-V meanwhile, comes with a future ready look, alongside a comfortable ride

Or you could consider the Renault Captur, with its sporty and handsome looks along with a clever interior

There's also a pleseant drive, and plenty of refinement to be had with the Skoda Kamiq
Car Information
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Price

: $146,999

Engine Type

:

4-cylinder in-line

Engine Cap

:

1497cc

Horsepower

:

85kW (114 bhp) / 6300 rpm

Torque

:

144 Nm / 4500 rpm

Transmission

:

CVT (A)

Acceleration (0-100 km/h)

:

11sec

Top Speed

:

170km/h

Fuel consumption

:

15.6km/L

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