Kia Stonic First Drive Review

Caroline drives the Stonic 1.4-litre

2017 Kia Stonic ireland review
The 2017 Kia Stonic

The Kia Stonic is Kia’s new B-segment compact crossover and will arrive in Irish showrooms from October 27th, priced from €18,599. I’ve been driving the new Kia Stonic at the Irish launch in Barberstown Castle.

Styling

The Kia Stonic is based on the Kia Rio supermini but is sporting a whole new ‘outdoorsy’ look. It’s got a raised ride height and cladding and is a compact but smart presence, likely to look equally at home in the city or in the country.

Interior

The interior has more character than the interior of the Kia Rio supermini: there is a greater mix of materials and colours that lift the cabin a bit more. Hard plastics prevail but that’s common in this segment and it doesn’t look too cheap. A 7” touchscreen with Bluetooth comes as standard and is easy to use.

Practicality

In terms of space, it’s not much bigger than the Rio but the increased headroom makes it feel more spacious. In the back, it will be tight for a tall driver and a tall passenger, but the flat transmission tunnel is a welcome addition for middle passengers. The boot is a respectable 352 litres with a false floor giving a flat loading area.

2017 Kia Stonic ireland review
The interior of the new Kia Stonic

Engines

The new Kia Stonic is available in Ireland with a choice of three petrol engines and one diesel engine: a 1.2-litre petrol (84hp), a 1.4-litre petrol (100hp), a new 1.0-litre turbo petrol (120hp) and a 1.6-litre diesel (110hp).

At the launch I drove the Kia Stonic 1.4-litre petrol with 100hp. It needs to be revved hard to pick up speed but feels nippy enough and should be plenty for urban driving. CO2 emissions for this model are 125g so motor tax will be €270 and fuel economy is a claimed 5.5l/km.

On the road

On the road the new Kia Stonic is light and easy to drive. It feels agile and holds the road well through bends. There is some road noise and a little bit of firmness in the suspension catches it out over rough surfaces. A full review will follow in 2018 when I have the car for a longer road test.

Equipment

The new Kia Stonic is available in four grades: K1, K2, K3 and K4. The K1 entry level spec includes a skid plate front and rear, Bluetooth, 7 inch touchscreen, 15 inch alloys, front armrest, spare wheel, privacy glass, speed limiter and cruise control. K2 includes 17 inch alloys, roof rails, auto lights, DRL LEDs, electrically heated and folding wing mirrors, and manual air con. K3 includes ADAS safety equipment, LED rear lights, chrome belt line, two tone leather, heated front seats, Sat Nav, DAB radio and rear view camera. The top of the range K4 model includes Smart Key, metal pedals, blind spot detector, and dual auto air con.

All K3 and K4 models come with the option of two tone roof and interior trim personalisation.

Pricing

Petrol

Stonic K1 model 1.2 €18,599

Stonic K2 model available in 1.4 €21,099

Stonic K3 model available in 1.4 €22,599

Stonic K4 model with 1.0TDGi €24,599

Diesel

Stonic K2 1.6 D €23,099

Stonic K3 1.6 D €24,599

2017 Kia Stonic ireland review
The Kia Stonic is on sale in Ireland at the end of the month priced from €18,599

Rivals

The Kia Stonic will face competition from established names like the Peugeot 2008, Nissan Juke and Renault Captur and newcomers like the Hyundai Kona and SEAT Arona.

Verdict

The new Kia Stonic commands about a €3000 price premium over the similarly sized Kia Rio supermini but B-segment crossovers are hugely popular and in this segment image counts. The Kia Stonic has the SUV ‘image du jour’ and is well specced. Engines vary from the more breathless naturally aspirated units to a punchy turbo unit so it depends on budget. In a busy segment, the Kia Stonic will be up against it but Kia has a good track record of selling SUVs.

Caroline Kidd