Kia Stonic

The Kia Stonic enters the ever crowded small/compact SUV market aiming to pinch customers from the likes of the Nissan Juke and Citroen C3 Aircross. Based on a shared platform with the Kia Rio hatchback, the Stonic, according to the motoring press, is only an average performer, the consensus being that it is perfectly adequate in all areas. At least it has no obvious weakness. We were a little disappointed with the 352 litre boot and the lower than expected seating position, particularly as the new Seat Arona offers a 400 litre boot and a more upright seating arrangement and the prices are excellent too.

 

Three version of the Stonic are avaialble imaginatively titled ‘2’ ‘3’ and ‘4’. The Stonic 2 comes with 17-inch alloy wheels, a seven-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, air conditioning, all round electric windows, parking sensors, LED running lights and roof rails. The ‘3’ adds reversing camera, Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB), Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS), LED rear lights, auto wipers and cloth/leatherette seats, ‘4’ trim has heated front seats and steering wheel, engine start/stop button with keyless entry, Blind Spot Detection (BSD) with Rear Cross Traffic Alert.

 

You can choose from three engines – 1.0 and 1.4-litre petrols and a 1.6-litre diesel. The six speed 1.0-litre three-cylinder engine is by far and away the pick of the bunch. In spite of its small size, it’s the fastest of the range, covering the 0-60mph dash in 9.9 seconds and with a 115mph top speed as a six speed manual or 7 speed dual clutch automatic. It feels nippy around town and can zip in and out of openings in traffic. It also gets pretty close to its advertised fuel economy of 56.5mpg – expect around 45mpg in the real world. However, load it up with passengers and it soon starts to struggle especially on steep hills, the 108 bhp 1.6 diesel with its extra torque and claimed economy of 67.3 mpg is the option if you carry passengers regularly, travel longer distances or live at the top of a very steep hill.

Presently the Stonic is only avaialble with a manual gearbox, Automatic cars are to be launched autumn 2018.

 Autumn Best Buy – Kia Stonic 1.0 Petrol 118bhp  Manual  ‘2’  –  Nil Advance Payment (£61.06 wpms)

 Autumn Best Buy – Kia Stonic 1.0 Petrol 118bhp  Automatic  ‘3’  –  £599 Advance Payment (£65.04 wpms)