An all-new model from Kia – the Stonic joining the light SUV class.
Not surprisingly, during its sponsorship of the Australian Open Tennis Kia Australia launches some new models – this year the small Stonic SUV arrived completing a suite of four SUV’s from the Korean manufacturer. The Kia Stonic arrives in three models in a segment that’s dominated by Mazda’s excellent CX-3. Not surprisingly, the Stonic is a high riding version of Kia’s Rio hatch but with its own individual style and interior. Front wheel drive only it kicks off at $22,990 drive-away in manual for the base S model, $24,990 drive-away for the mid-spec manual Sport, both powered by a 1.4-litre four-cylinder engine, six-speed automatic adding $1,000 to both.
The flagship Stonic GT-line gets a 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbo engine mated to a seven-speed dual clutch automatic priced at $29,990 drive-away. Equipment levels are high across the range. The Stonic’s styling is more European than Korean, and its appeal improves depending on colour, my test car in grey tending to soften its overall appeal. I tested the top-line 1.0-litre three-cylinder model and with 33 per cent more torque to the two four-cylinder variants it proved a very nice driver, getting into the higher gears quickly. I would have preferred to drive one of the two 1.4-litre four cylinder more affordable Kia Stonic’s first up to best compare them to Hyundai’s 1.6-litre Venue and the 2.0-lltre Mazda 3 both of which offer more power and torque.
I’m David Berthon
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