Kia is fashionably late to the B-SUV party, but now it’s ready to make up for lost time with the cheerful Stonic slated to go on sale in the coming weeks in Europe. With 1.1 million small crossovers sold last year and a projected +2M by the end of the decade, it goes without saying Kia has high expectations from its brand new model.
Closely related to the Rio supermini from where it has inherited most of the interior cabin, the Stonic features a distinctive exterior design to separate itself from the hatchback. A multitude of single- or two-tone finishes will be available as Kia says the Stonic represents the brand’s most customizable car to date. To give you an example, there will be no less than 20 two-tone combos on the outside and a choice of five colors for the roof on the Euro-spec model.
Speaking of Europe, the Stonic’s steering and suspension has been tweaked to better suit Europeans and they will be given the opportunity to pick from a wide array of engines. These will include the entry-level 1.25- and 1.4-liter naturally aspirated mills and the pick of the range, a turbocharged 1.0-liter delivering 120 horsepower. In addition, Kia will sell its city-oriented crossover with a 1.6-liter diesel unit.
Like many of its rivals, the Stonic will be available exclusively with a front-wheel-drive layout, but that won’t matter a great deal since people shopping in this segment rarely care about AWD. For those in need of extra grip, crossovers like the Opel Mokka X, Ford EcoSport, and the Suzuki Vitara are better options.
It may not be that big on the outside, but the space inside the cabin has been maximized and you’ll be able to enjoy segment-leading shoulder room. Generous legroom and headroom are also being promised, along with a 352-liter trunk featuring an adjustable floor.
One question remains: Will the Stonic eat into sales of the Soul? There's also the matter of the Venga minivan, which will reportedly be axed as people are now buying small crossovers rather than MPVs.
Gallery: 2018 Kia Stonic
Kia Stonic: an eye-catching and confident compact crossover
- An important conquest model for Kia in a fast-growing segment
- Eye-catching, confident, SUV-inspired design
- Combines agile handling and a sporty ride for an exciting drive
- Powered by a range of gasoline and diesel engines, including 1.0-litre T-GDI
- Cabin combines style, technology and customisation options
- Smart packaging for a spacious, versatile cabin
- Strong, lightweight body with new driver-assistive technologies
- On sale in Europe during Q3 2017