It's an all-new compact SUV.
Kia's SUVs are very popular, with models like the Telluride selling in greater and greater quantities. They're stylish, practical, relatively affordable, and come jam-packed with features. But what if you can't afford such a big SUV or you just don't want something like the Sportage? Well, Kia has a solution. A new model called the Sonet is coming, and it's promised to bring with it first-in-class features. It's made in India but will be exported worldwide. This follows the Seltos which is also produced there, but we knew the Sonet was coming for some time already and had a good look at what its styling might be like last month.
In a press release this week, Kia says that the new model offers "aggressive and modern design language, fun-to-drive dynamics, and Kia's latest high-tech features." With regards to the design aspect, the tiger-nose grille that is quickly becoming a distinguishing trait of Kia models is present, along with 'heartbeat' LED running lights. At the rear, a unique C-pillar is integrated with a wraparound rear window while the same LED design seen on the front DRLs is reinterpreted at the back.
Inside, the Sonet features the largest touchscreen infotainment display in its class at 10.25 inches. The system boasts navigation with live traffic updates and a Bose seven-speaker sound system. Both front seats are ventilated, while LED ambient lighting, remote start for both auto and manual variants, and wireless charging all bolster the Sonet's claims of being special.
Two gas engines and one diesel are offered on launch. The gas engines are a 1.2-liter four-cylinder and a 1.0-liter turbo, while the diesel is a 1.5-liter. Five transmission options are available, including both five- and six-speed manuals, a seven-speed dual-clutch, a six-speed auto, and Kia's intriguing new six-speed Smartstream intelligent manual transmission. This is the same unit that Hyundai recently announced, and it could be revolutionary. Deliveries to foreign markets including South Africa are expected to commence towards the end of this year. There's no confirmation but we highly doubt we'll be seeing this cute little Kia on American roads anytime soon.