It shouldnít come as too much of a surprise that like most car manufacturers Kia has bolstered its SUV line-up by adding a smaller model.
Itís a model that sits below the larger Kia Sportage and Kia Sorento. In true Kia style itís been inventive with its name Ė the Stonic. They say that Stonic is a mixture of speedy and tonic and we donít mean the kind that you mix with gin! If you donít know itís actually the first and last notes in the musical scale. This apparently means that this car is agile and a fresh edition to the SUV stable. So, does Kiaís new SUV have what it takes to steal sales from its mainstream rivals? In this small article weíre going to find out.
The car weíre reviewing for this article is equipped with the 1.0 litre petrol engine and we have to say it really is the pick of the bunch. Itís fitted with a turbocharger, which makes it a lot faster than the larger 1.4 litre petrol and is just as good at lowdown revs as the 1.6 diesel. This makes it just as good around town as it is on the motorway and itís better on acceleration than some of its rivals which includes cars such as the Renault Captur and the Suzuki Vitara. The Stonic handles really well and although the steering isnít the most communicative it does respond quite will to steering inputs and there seems to be plenty of grip through the corners. The only downside is that the Stonic isnít quite as comfortable as the SEAT Arona or Captur. You may find that the ride is fairly hard over uneven surfaces and in addition to this all Stonics suffer from wind and road noise when travelling at motorway speeds. Also, if you get the engines into quite high revs then they do get a bit vocal and not in a particularly good way. Unusually for an SUV the seats are quite low down so if itís a lofty driving position youíre after then you may prefer one of its rivals. That said, to get comfortable thereís plenty of adjustment in the seat and the steering wheel adjusts for both rake and reach. Visibility is excellent mainly thanks to the deep windows. However, our only concern here is that the far most pillar is quite thick. Saying that you do get parking sensors as standard to help with parking. In terms of material quality, it does feel very well put together though you donít need to search too far to find some hard scratchy plastics. Perched high up on the dashbard of every Stonic is a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system which includes a DAB radio, Bluetooth connectivity and smartphone mirroring. If you go the a First Edition trim then youíll also get a built in sat-nav. The system has clear icons and is pretty easy to use though it can be a bit slow to respond at times. The Stonic is based on Kiaís small hatchback the Kia Rio - just like the Renault Captur is based on the Renault Clio and the SEAT Arona is based on the SEAT Ibiza. Thereís enough room for a couple of tall passengers upfront and thankfully this car is wide enough so that youíre not really rubbing elbows with your passengers. Storage is pretty good, youíll find a deep central pocket, two cup holders, fairly large door bins and a decent size glovebox.
Step into the rear seats and youíll find even taller passengers wonít complain about the headroom. However, if youíre sitting behind somebody who is around 6ft then you might find that legroom is a little compromised. If you need to sit three passengers across the back seats then they might find it a little on the squishy side however, this isnít unusual in this class of car. In terms of storage and practicality at the back youíll find map pockets at the back of the front seats and thereís a small pocket in the doorbin though itís not really big enough for a standard bottle of water.
Unfortunately, thereís not much to get excited about with the boot space. Itís smaller than both the Nissan Juke and the Citroen C3 Aircross. It also doesnít come with the versatility of a sliding rear bench like you can spec with the Citroen. It does however have split folding rear seats for those occasional trips to the tip.
Again, the car weíre looking at for the purpose of this article is the 1.0 litre turbocharged petrol engine version and itís easily our favourite. The fact that it managed 41 miles to the gallon (mpg) in our testing only adds to its appeal. Ok, thereís no bargain basement entry level Stonic version available but you can keep costs down by picking the cheapest 2 trim level. You wonít feel too short-changed either because it comes with automatic lights and wipers, cruise control, air conditioning and rear parking sensors. If we had to suggest one thing then it would be to splash out a little bit more cash and go for the ADAP safety pack. This is because it gets you automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning and high beam assist of the lights.
If youíre looking for a small SUV thatís a little left-field of the mainstream choices then the Stonic is certainly a good place to start. If youíre thinking about looking at used Kia Stonic cars for sale then check out what we have available on DesperateSeller.co.uk!