Kia launches its new small SUV, the Stonic. With this model, the Korean brand intends to compete with the Renault Captur and other Citroën C3 Aircross, with an offer rich in equipment at a constraint price.
and one more! After 2 years, Nissan, Renault, Peugeot, Honda, Opel and, in the meantime, Hyundai, Volkswagen, Seat and Citroën, will launch its first small SUV, Stonic. Like its (many) competitors , it targets a rather urban clientele, which must rejuvenate the average age of buyers and especially make them want to put some money in a car. An equation that the Stonic can solve, thanks to a very effective price-performance ratio.
But why … the Kia Stonic?
The Stonic has “real potential in terms of sales volume and image,” says Ivan Batard, director of segment B vehicles at Kia Motors Europe. The small SUV must thus answer a double problem for the Korean brand.
First of all, Kia was missing a competitor of the Renault Captur and Peugeot 2008. However, as we repeat it to length of articles this year, these real-fake 4×4 a little bigger than a Clio carton. In Europe this year, 1.14 million small SUVs have already sold since January (in a market of about 15 million cars last year), and is expected to double by the end of the decade. Kia wants its share of the cake, especially in the main countries following small SUV: Italy, Great Britain and France. In the Hexagon, the leaders of the sector are called the Captur or the 2008 (more than 55% of market share in France to both).
Having a small SUV in its range also serves to convey any communication on its brand image. “Trendy”, “fun”, “personalization”, the terms are not lacking in the marketing departments to explain how younger customers will buy these vehicles.
With 58 years of average age, buyers are however not partridges of the year … That does not matter, a small SUV has become a must. “Our customers judge us mainly on the quality of the product in this segment,” explains Frédéric Chouraqui, Product Manager Kia France. As with the rest of its range, it is on this point that Kia could well make the difference. The Stonic has been designed with a high value for money.
Driving the Kia Stonic
The Stonic is more of a “small” SUV, with 4.14 meters in length, the size of a Captur. The new T-Roc Volkswagen likely future bestseller , blithely exceeds his 4.22 meters, as the new Opel Crossland X . The Stonic picks up the “Tiger Nose” grille, the distinctive sign of Kia. Its center of gravity remains rather low. A C3 Aircross thus appears higher on leg. Overall, the Stonic evokes a more compact elevated.
In the unusual design elements, Kia offers a two-tone body, including a green, red or copper roof. The Stonic is distinguished however by a rear pillar and a roof belt that retains the color of the bodywork.
The tone of the roof can be found in the cockpit, with colored inserts on the dashboard, center console and steering wheel stitching.
Once installed at the wheel, the driver has everything at hand. The touchscreen combines all functions, from comfort to navigation. Its installation of series from the first finish is a big plus. Another tip: the aids to driving. It is thus easy to disengage the button of the system of monitoring of the blind spots, in the caps of the morning, and to restore it only on motorway.
The steering is quite accurate, and the Stonic is very balanced, a feature Kia attributes to its stability management system (VSM). The lack of a four-wheel drive system made it possible to contain the weight, so to make the small SUV manageable Only flat: the seats, which really remind those of a small car in terms of comfort, while they appear premium plus on board.
The plus thing: the Kia Stonic price
Even if Kia defends, the stuff more and more on this small SUV remains its price, competitive considering the equipment on each finish. The Stonic is available from 16,990 euros, the highest finishes peak at 22,490 euros for the petrol engine 120 horsepower, and 23,990 euros for the diesel 110 horsepower. For 22,490 euros, the Premium finish includes advanced driver assistance systems, heated seats, navigation system with 7 years of mapping update, as well as Android Auto and Apple Carplay compatibility.
Kia Stonic HP : 120
This is the horsepower of the three-cylinder engine 1 liter of our trial version. At times quite noisy, this engine proves to be especially pleasant, sufficiently coupled for the small stonic (172Nm, diesel level!), And powerful enough to be very comfortable on road as on highway. The counterpart of the turbo is called the conso. Announced to 5 liters of average, our Stonic 120 horses makes rather of the 7.5 liters to the 100.
Our trial version: Kia Stonic Premium equipped with the 120-horsepower T-GDI 1-liter engine and a 6-speed manual gearbox.