► New baby SUV makes its public debut
► Expected to be Kia’s second best-selling model
► On sale October 2017, prices TBC
The Kia Stonic has made its public debut at the Frankfurt motor show.
The new car, which is related to the Hyundai Kona and goes up against the Nissan Juke and Renault Captur, is the smallest crossover in Kia’s now four-strong line-up, sitting below alongside the hugely successful Sportage, family-friendly Sorento and hybrid Niro.
The Stonic majors on personalization, and Kia has made great play of this at Frankfurt, with line-up being displayed in a number of combinations. There are five colour choices for the roof and various colour packs for interior and exterior trim.
There’s also a distinctive new design feature in the form of a targa-style C-pillar that reaches up to the roof, while the car on the whole has a rufty-tufty look with black plastic cladding, roof bars and a raised ride height.
Tell us about the Kia Stonic’s design
The Stonic uses a version of the company’s now-familiar ‘tiger-nose’ grille, but the floating roof appears to be a gift to those who want to order it in a contrasting colour. Inside, it’s less exciting, but there are tons of colour choice packs for those who want to jazz it up.
Elsewhere the interior is lifted almost completely from the Rio supermini, meaning it’s familiar and user-friendly.
The Stonic comes with the class-norm safety and tech features in the area of infotainment system and driver-assistance packages, such as lane departure warning, autonomous emergency braking and blind spot monitoring.
It almost goes without saying that you can get it with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which keep connectivity up to date.
Anything special under the bonnet?
Not really – the familiar 1.0 T-GDI three-cylinder petrol is present and correct, as is the 1.6 CRDi diesel which will no doubt appease tax band-beholden company car drivers. The car’s European-tuned steering and suspension mean that it will be competitive with the best of the class opposition.
When asked about benchmarking, one Korean engineer said, ‘We don’t use rival cars to gauge how good ours are, but we are proud of how this one handles and rides.’
Given that ex-BMW M Sport man Albert Biermann has signed it off, it jolly well should do alright in this respect.
When can I have one?
The Stonic goes on sale in October 2017, though prices are still to be announced.
Click here for the Frankfurt motor show A-Z on CAR magazine