The new Kia Stonic is yet another rival to the Nissan Juke. It goes on sale from October 23 – priced from £16,295, the firm has announced. The Kia Rio-derived small SUV is available to order now, in a five-strong model range headlined by a launch-special First Edition variant.
This sits above the mid-range ‘2’ grade: indeed, Kia says it’s not offering the Stonic in any entry-level trims as buyers prefer to spend extra to get more luxuries and standard equipment in this sector. Reflecting this, the First Edition features touchscreen sat nav, climate control, rear privacy glass, autonomous emergency braking, front heated seats and keyless entry.
No Stonic is exactly miserly with the equipment, though, with all featuring air con, 17-inch alloys, rear parking sensors, Bluetooth, automatic lights and LED running lights. Every model has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration, too.
For those who want to stand out, the First Edition comes with two-tone paint: depending on the body colour, the roof, door mirrors and rear spoiler are finished either in black, red, orange or lime green. There are matching colour accents inside, too.
The Stonic offers a choice of two petrol engines – 98bhp 1.4-litre or 118bhp 1.0-litre T-GDI turbo – plus a 108bhp 1.6-litre diesel. However, it doesn’t (currently) have an automatic variant, and there’s not going to be an all-wheel drive version, either. Small 4x4 SUVs comprise just 8 percent of the market in the UK: it’s simply not worthwhile launching one.
Not that the Stonic is going to be a slow-seller, adds the firm. Around 70,000 will be sold in Europe next year, predicts Kia, with the UK taking at least 7,000 of that total – and in time, Kia expects UK Stonic sales to grow to at least 10,000 a year.
It has form here to back up these predictions, too: its best-selling UK car is the larger Sportage, which annually sells more than 40,000 cars in Britain…