Compact SUVs aren’t just on almost everyone’s buying list in India alone, they are popular elsewhere, too. Which is why it’s unsurprising that following the unveil of the Hyundai Kona, Kia’s Stonic is ready, too. Headed to Europe, the compact crossover SUV will go on sale later this year.
Based on the same platform as the Hyundai i20, the Kia Stonic’s driver appeal is likely to be enhanced by the European-tuned steering and suspension setup. Engine options for the vehicle include a 1-litre turbocharged petrol, a 1.25- or 1.4-litre naturally aspirated petrol, and a 1.6-litre diesel. All of these will get a manual transmission, while there are a plenty of driver aids including ESC (Electronic Stability Control) and VSM (Vehicle Stability Management), and optional autonomous braking, blindspot detection, lane departure warning, etc.
There’s no denying that both Hyundai and Kia make good-looking cars, and the Stonic stays true to that. To further make it more appealing, Kia will offer the Stonic in 20 different two-tone combinations for the European market.
On the inside, Kia mentions that with smart packaging there has been an optimal use of available space. Apart from the usual list of features (Apple CarPlay-ready infotainment system, heated seats, cruise control, keyless entry, etc.), the vehicle boasts class-leading (Kia’s words, not ours) shoulder-, head-, and legroom. The boot can gulp up to 352 litres of luggage, too.
The company also emphasises that the B-SUV segment is bound to grow to a level that by 2020, one in ten new cars in Europe will belong to the said segment. Currently responsible for 1.1 million sales, by 2020, that number is likely to cross two million, adds the official statement.
And so is the case in India, too. The compact and sub-compact SUV segments have not just hampered the sales of saloons, with a growing range, they continue to garner sales like no other segment. The segment leaders in both segments (that is the Hyundai Creta and the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza) account for about 20k units every month.
So when Kia comes to the market in 2019 and if it decides to bring the Stonic along, the market is likely to welcome the SUV with open arms. The fact that it comes in dual-tone paint job ensures that half of the prospective buyers are looking at it already.