Michael Cole, chief operating officer of Kia Motors Europe, said: “The Kia Stonic will be one of the most compelling new cars in this rapidly expanding class, backed by Kia’s unique warranty, and the brand’s reputation for reliability, quality and contemporary design”.
Due on sale in Europe during Q3 2017, the Stonic will enter a hotly contested sector that accounts for around 7% of the European new auto sales market and is predicted by Kia to become one of its best-selling cars.
The Stonic still has visual character, though: so-called “floating” roofs are all the rage these days, and creating one of these involves visually separating the roof from the car’s body using gloss-black materials on the rearmost pillar. The vehicle fits in well with Kia’s other SUVs, the larger Sorento and Sportage.
The engine includes a 145bhp 2.0-litre and a 173bhp 1.6-litre turbo. Apart from the two engine options, The Investor also reports that Kia is planning to launch an electric version of the Stonic next year.
This means 1.0-litre three-cylinder, 1.25-litre and 1.4-litre four-cylinder petrol engines, and a 1.4-litre diesel for higher-end cars, and specs ranging from entry-level 1 to range-topping 3 and GT-Line cars.
The Stonic won’t win any prizes for a revolutionary dashboard layout, but it looks sensible, comfortable and modern enough in there.
Kia will also offer a number of colour packs, with many buyers expected to specify their Stonic’s interior trim colour to match its roof. A range of safety systems is available with the Stonic, including autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian recognition and forward collision alert.
Despite being relatively compact, the Stonic is able to offer a 352-litre boot with a two-step floor, giving owners plenty of practicality. There’s no word on pricing yet, but we expect it to cost from around £14,000.