Car Review: The Kia Stonic is a distinctive crossover

Car Review: The Kia Stonic is a distinctive crossover

What you’re looking at here is a small, high-riding SUV — the kind of body style that is now attracting motorists who used to drive sleek little hatchbacks.

The Stonic is based on a version of the Rio hatchback platform, but adds more aggressive styling, more beefy wheels and an extra ride height for a touch of SUV flavour.

The latest update left the interior and exterior design largely unchanged, but there is now a greater choice of body colors and wheel designs, including eye-catching two-tone options.

With no diesel option, engine choice is quite straightforward, with two 1.0-litre petrol engines mated to a manual or automatic gearbox.

SOUTH WEST FARMS: Kia Stonic on test in Yorkshire

The more powerful engine – tested here – benefits from mild hybrid technology, resulting in improved performance, emissions and economy.

In this 1.0-litre T-GDi 48v version, hybrid assistance is appreciated at low revs, resulting in responsive acceleration.

It packs 118bhp, and is slightly quicker to 60mph than its conventional 99bhp counterpart, with a time of 10.4 seconds.

It feels like a decently sized engine, with the balance between performance and economy confirmed by fuel economy figures of over 50 mpg on the combined range. All versions also feature Kia’s ISG engine stop/start system to save fuel.

The Stonic handles well, providing reasonably sharp turn-in and good grip in corners. Body roll and lean are well contained.

In terms of appearance, the Stonic has sharp, straight lines and a smooth surface. The main ‘tiger nose’ grille, flanked by contemporary smart headlights, adds an attractive look to the face of the car.

SOUTH WEST FARMS: Kia Stonic on test in Yorkshire

Black trim extending around the wheel arches, along the sills, the lower part of the doors and the tailgate emphasizes the car’s versatile appearance, and is complemented by silver skid plates at the front and rear.

Inside, you’ll find a comfortable and well-designed interior, with a large 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment and navigation system in the middle of things.

Leg and headroom are good front and rear, while the boot offers 352 litres.

The Stonic is offered in a range of four models based on ‘2’, ‘GT-Line’, ‘3’ and ‘GT-Line S’ trim levels. All versions offer extensive connectivity, including Android Auto and Apple CarPlay links via pre-downloaded smartphone apps, while advanced electronic driver assistance systems such as forward collision avoidance assist, lane departure warning and automatic headlight control.

There are plenty of creature comforts to be found, including heated seats and a steering wheel as standard on the 3 and GT-Line S models.

SOUTH WEST FARMS: Kia Stonic on test in Yorkshire

Despite the crossover-inspired look, there’s no all-wheel drive option available, with Kia stating that the requirement now is for small cars with the look and higher seating position of an SUV, but without the weight, cost and fuel consumption penalties. All-wheel drive.

At £24,770 on the road, the ‘GT-Line S’ version of the Stonic seemed good value.

Inside information

Kia Stonic “GT-Line S”

Engine: 998 cc 3 cylinder T-GDi 48 volt
Price: £24,770 on the road
0-60 mph (10.4 sec
Top speed: 115 mph
Economy: 129g/km and 50.4mpg combined
Maximum power (hp/rpm): 118 @ 6,000
Maximum torque (Nm/rpm): 172 @ 1,500-4,000

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