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Kia Stonic | Video Review | CarsIreland.ie

Seven year warranty and competitive entry price might just be enough to give Kia Stonic the edge in crowded ‘Baby SUV’ segment

“Seven year warranty and competitive entry price might just be enough to give Kia Stonic the edge in crowded ‘Baby SUV’ segment”

  • Stylish good looks

  • Comfortable and refined on the road

  • Generously equipped

73%

Overall Rating

  • Not that much bigger than a Rio

  • Rivals have more bootspace

  • Standard interior is a little dull

Overall Rating

Overview

First, there was the SUV. The original ‘Sports Utility Vehicle’ was a car that was as capable as the name suggests, could take on any terrain and be fit for whatever purpose you could throw at it.

Then, there was the crossover. A car that looked like it could do all that, but most of the time, couldn’t. But it looked like it could, had a bit more space than your average hatchback, and that raised driving position stole the hearts of the nation. So much so, that there wasn’t really any going back. We’re now at the point where even a supermini driver wants that ‘bit of extra height’, and rugged look of an SUV. And so we enter into the third phase of SUV-ization with the age of the compact crossover.

Kia are the latest brand to enter the fast-growing B-SUV segment with their oddly-named Stonic crossover. Based on the Rio, the Stonic will offer more space, and a higher ride height than its supermini equivalent.

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Interior Gallery

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Space & Practicality

One area the extra space is not particularly evident is in the boot first. At 352 litres – it’s only 27 litres bigger than the Rio, or about one extra bag in the weekly shop. It’s also quite a bit shy of some of its competitors, including the similarly priced Seat Arona and Citroen C3 Aircross. However, in its favour is a handy split floor which you can use to adjust the height, and create a completely flat load area when you fold the rear seats down.

It does fare slightly better space wise in the back. There’s definitely more headroom and the large windows and raised position make it feel more airy and spacious than the back of a normal supermini. Legroom is about the same and just like most of the cars in this class – it’s better suited to three children rather than three adults as the middle seat is a bit on the narrow side.

Equipment and Safety

There will be four trim levels available simply labelled K1 to K4. It’s generously equipped from the ground up with standard features on the K1 including alloy wheels and privacy glass, a seven inch media display with Bluetooth phone connectivity, and cruise control.

Most buyers will choose to upgrade to the K2 model, which adds 17 inch wheels, roof rails, automatic lights and air-con, or to the K3 – which gets all of that plus heated leather seats and SatNav, as well as the impressive ADAS safety pack. This adds driver assisting safety features including forward collision avoidance assist, blind spot monitoring and lane departure warning.

At the top of the range is the K4 which comes paired exclusively with a one-litre 120ps turbo petrol engine, as well as metal pedals, a blind spot detector, dual zone automatic air-conditioning and a rain sensor.

Performance & Running Costs

The engine line up consists of a 1.6l diesel, and three petrols in the entry level 1.2l, the top of the range 1.0l turbo, and then the middle of the road 1.4l which Kia think will be the biggest seller here. At 100 PS, it offers a decent bit of power, and a claimed fuel economy of 5.5l per 100km. The turbo is a bit more efficient and punchier with its extra 20PS but we’re not convinced its worth the premium over the 1.4l, which suits the car just fine.

Like all compact crossovers, it’s not built for thrills, but instead is more about the comfortable A to B,  which in fairness its pretty good at. The suspension soaks up lumps and bumps without fuss, the steering, like the Rio is light and accurate, and the raised driving does make you feel a bit more in command on the road. The view is also better and one benefit of that higher ride height besides the fashion statement, is that it’s very easy to get in and out of.

Reliability & Residuals

There’s also a wide range of personalisation options to choose from including interior colour packs and contrasting roof designs, which when paired with the right colour can really make it pop. That is very important in this market because with so many other baby SUVs flooding the market, it’s already getting quite difficult to stand out. You might want to exercise a little caution here though if you plan to sell it on down the line.

One area where it certainly does stand out is warranty, and Kia offer one of the most impressive ones on the market at seven years. That and an attractively low starting price of €18,599 might just be enough to give it the edge for some.

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Details correct at time of publication
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2018-11-30T16:23:33+00:00

About the Author:

Sinéad is our resident car tester who has the unenviable (-ok, slightly enviable) task of reviewing all the latest new cars to hit the market. You can follow her on Twitter @smcani and on Instagram @whatshedrives