Kia has added a sporty-looking new GT-Line model and mild-hybrid technology to its Stonic small SUV range as part of a subtle update. Priced from £20,745 the trim level is making its debut on the compact crossover, despite having long been a fixture for several other models in the Kia line-up.
Sitting just above the base-spec, £18,195 ‘2’ model in the Stonic range, the GT-Line cars will come with a bespoke front grille, LED headlights and sportier front and rear bumpers with LED fog lights. The cars are also marked out by a black spoiler, 17-inch alloy wheels and a GT-Line emblem on the tailgate.
Inside, the theme continues with a D-shaped leather-wrapped steering wheel with a GT-Line motif and a carbon-effect ‘crash pad’. The GT-Line logo also appears on the cloth-and-faux-leather seats, while a new eight-inch navigation system crowns the dashboard and a 4.2-inch colour display nestles in the instrument cluster. You get automatic climate control and privacy glass, too.
Standard equipment also includes a range of driver assistance systems, with rear parking sensors and a reversing camera joined by automatic emergency braking that can automatically apply the brakes if it detects an impending collision. Lane departure warning will also be included.
The GT-Line will be joined by a slightly better-equipped GT-Line S model, which tops the range by dint of its extra equipment. Priced from £22,245, these cars get a body-coloured spoiler and a choice of six paint finishes, as well as yellow or black paint on the roof, depending on the colour chosen.
GT-Line S models also get extra driver assistance tech, with front parking sensors and blind-spot monitoring to prevent accidents with vehicles hidden in the ‘blind spots’ over the driver’s shoulders.
Under the bonnet, both cars get the new mild-hybrid powertrain, which is based on a 1-litre turbocharged petrol engine producing 118 bhp. Although the mild-hybrid system does not increase the power or allow zero-emission electric motoring, it can harvest energy normally lost while braking or decelerating, then use it to help the engine out when it’s under load, reducing fuel consumption.
That engine is offered with a choice of six-speed manual or seven-speed automatic gearboxes, and features alongside another new engine. The entry-level 1-litre T-GDi engine is essentially the same as its mild-hybrid stablemate, but it goes without the mild-hybrid technology and offers slightly less power. Offered solely on the entry-level ‘2’ model, it comes with 99 bhp.
Alongside the new trim levels and the new engine, the Stonic also benefits from a new ‘intelligent’ manual gearbox. That transmission allows the engine to switch off earlier than it would with conventional stop-start technology, reducing the car’s thirst.
And the Stonic also gets Kia’s latest connected car technology, providing more smartphone integration and a range of clever features. For example, drivers can customise a profile through the Kia app, then the car will have those settings ready when the ignition is switched on. The UVO system will also now offer ‘Last Mile Navigation’, which shows the driver how to reach their destination once they have parked the car between 200 metres and two kilometres away.