Kia is definitely making inroads in Pakistani auto industry
Kia is one of the most flourishing auto manufacturers in Pakistan right now. Almost all the vehicles that it launched were well received by the local populace. Its most recent success has been the Sorento SUV. Seeing how well the Pakistani market has welcomed SUVs, Kia Lucky Motors has decided to launch a more petite SUV, the first-gen Kia Stonic.
The subcompact SUV is expected to give tough time to Honda HR-V, the Nissan Juke, the Toyota C-HR, and the Corolla Cross, the Suzuki Vitara, and the Proton X50. The vehicle will be coming to Pakistan in two variants; the "2" and the "Connect". The automobile is expected to be released in the last quarter of 2021. Internationally the prices start from around 16,500 euros minimum (around 3-million in PKR).
Introducing the Kia Stonic
Kia has rightfully built a reputation for delivering decent SUVs and crossovers, but Kia Stonic is seen a bit differently. Its sister models, the Sorento and Sportage convey practicality and off-roading capability, Stonic is more geared towards aesthetics and style rather than being a pragmatist vehicle. Consequently, the vehicle gives off a sporty look even though it is not sporty at all. The automobile has a raised chassis but a front-wheel-drive only and comes in five-door style.
If this subcompact SUV achieves greater success in this market, it can be expected that other auto manufacturers will move in. If that happens, then Hyundai is in the best position to do so since its Kona shares almost the same features as the Stonic but gives off a more sporty look and features a broader range of engines, has a 4-wheel drive and there's even an electric model on offer.
in the same vein, Nissan Juke, which founded this subcompact category, is due to be replaced with rival automobiles such as Renault Captur, Peugeot 2008, Citroen C3 Aircross, SEAT Arona and Ford EcoSport. Suzuki Ignis is also another potential competition for the new vehicle. It all depends on the reception though.
Performance & Drive
Kia engineers have reengineered the Kia Rio's to accommodate the Stonic's higher centre of gravity. By doing this, they have created an automobile that exhibits more agility, is comparatively roll-free and its handling is composed and neat. Similarly, the steering wheel is very light, almost non-existent and the gear shifting is smooth, and light.
However, experts agree that Stonic's suspension is fidgety and does not quite rest on the road. Dampening over the bump is not so smooth and for the Pakistani market, this one trait is very important. There is not much roll and neither can drivers carry an ample amount of speed around the corners.
Kia Stonic provides users with a 1.0-litre three-cylinder engine and although it has a small size, it is one of the jauntiest in the lineup. The engines give off a decent 118bhp and produce power in a noiseless manner when moving but can be a bit ratty when on idle. The 0-60mph can be achieved in 9 seconds while the top speed is 185kph. The other engine on offer is the 1.4-litre four-cylinder petrol engine but it is an older model, gives off only 98 bhp, 133Nm torque and 0-60mph in 12.2 seconds so is quite sluggish too. The diesel 1.6 CRDi model contributes 108bhp and 260Nm, which is acceptable for a 0-60mph in 10.9 seconds
Kia Stonic Average (Kilometers per litre)
Very surprisingly, the average km/litre that the 1-litre turbo petrol automobile offers is 24 (converted from 56.5 miles per gallon). The entry-level 1.4-litre petrol comes in at around 22 km/litre (51.4mpg) while the diesel model provides drivers with an astounding 28-to-29 km/litre.
Design and Technology
This subcompact SUV model as a standalone vehicle may seem sporty, especially when compared with the Corolla or Civic but if another model from a competitor comes in (such as Hyundai Kona), the ostentatiousness of the car would considerably reduce. The crossover model from Kia has a "Tiger nose" grille and swept-back headlights. The bodywork is further brawny and husky. Black plastic sill guards and wheel arch trims, along with standard-fit roof rails offers an adventurous look.
The infotainment offered by Kia is the best in the market right now with a lot of usabilities and clear graphic resolution. The app icon layout is such that it works like a smartphone so it is very easy to use. Talking about smartphones, connectivity with hand-held devices is achieved through Android Auto and Apple CarPlay along with a TomTom live traffic for the built-in nav, a reversing camera, Bluetooth and a six-speaker stereo are completely covered in the price.
Practicality, Comfort and Boot Space
The subcompact Stonic lacks in one other area (along with the ride quality which we discussed was a bit off) and that is the driver seat height. Many people want SUVs because they offer a commanding position behind the wheel but Stonic's set height is set too low for comparable SUV models. But if you're buying the car to enjoy its sportier side, the death height couldn't be perfect.
Talking about the sabin storage, buyers will get big door pockets in the front, a couple of cup-holders and a seven-litre dashboard. There are standard storage units built into the armrest and console while there is a rear USB charging point and shopping hooks in the boot. The size of this vehicle is quite large compared to Kia Rio's due to larger overhangs and wider track. However, the legroom is adequate but not luxurious, owing to the wheelbase restrictions. The luggage space at the back is at 252 litres and if you fold the seats, you can easily get 1.155 litres.
Reliability and Safety
The basic model of Kia Stonic has been given a three-star score (out of five) by the Independent crash tester Euro NCAP, By adding the Safety Pack, the safety rating goes up by two points to a full five. The former rating has been given on the basis of features such as Autonomous Emergency Braking, Lane Departure Warning and auto high beam. Similarly, the vehicle comes with six airbags, ISOFIX rear seat mountings, stability control and hill-start assistance.
Depending on the Pakistani market, the warranty might be different from international rankings. However, as of now, internationally the warranty is 7-years and provides 100,000 miles of cover.