Kia has confirmed that it will add a new even smaller member to its Australian SUV family with a three-variant Stonic line-up arriving in early December this year, ready to do battle in the compact market.
While Europe and other global regions have been enjoying the cheeky model’s presence since its launch in 2017, Australia has been missing out despite strong demand in the segment, but the freshly facelifted 2021 model heralds its foray.
A sporty GT Line will form the flagship of the Stonic family powered by the same 74kW/172Nm turbocharged three-cylinder petrol bolted to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission – the same configuration found in the Rio GT Line.
A brace of S and Sport variants will be positioned under the GT Line powered by a 1.4-litre non-turbo petrol four-cylinder that will be available bolted to a six-speed automatic or manual.
It shares the same power output as the GT Line but can’t match its torque with a maximum of 133Nm.
Again, the sub GT Line variants align with the Rio small hatchback equivalents.
Measuring just longer than 4.1 metres and less than 1.8 metres wide, the Stonic is the new baby of the Kia SUV range, slotting in under the Seltos, which measures about 4.4 metres in length and an even 1.8m wide.
It’s also shorter with a 1.5m height vs the Seltos’ 1.6m.
Kia Australia is keeping its hybrid powder dry for and will not be charging the Stonic with the task of introducing electrification for the brand.
Like the next-gen Sportage, other global regions will be getting hybrid options of the Stonic, but they are not destined for Australia.
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Pricing is not yet confirmed, but expect the GT Line halo to start at about the $25,000 mark, while the range is likely to kick off from under $20,000.
Customers opting for the most premium GT Line Stonic will get a decent amount of equipment included in the deal. like a sportier interior highlighted by a leather D-shaped steering wheel, sports seats with a combination of synthetic leather and cloth highlighted by contrasting piping, and carbon fibre-look trims.
It’s a similar story on the outside with 17-inch alloy wheels, a more aggressive body kit featuring larger vents in the front bumper, LED fog lights and three unique vents along the lower edge of the grille that can be colour coordinated to the roof and A-pillars.
At the tail end, the GT Line also gets a unique rear bumper that continues the more purposeful stance and houses big-bore exhaust finishers with an angular design.
The facelifted Stonic has a resculpted headlight design that features LED technology for the range-topper.
Technology levels inside have also been enhanced for all variants with an 8.0-inch central touchscreen that offers access to Android Auto and Apple Carplay as well as multi-device Bluetooth connectivity.
GT Lines get a second 4.2-inch digital screen nestled between the analogue gauges to offer the driver extra vehicle information.
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Navigation is available optionally although Kia Australia is yet to confirm which, if any, variants will get the feature as standard.
Kia’s Phase II UVO Connect applications are also included for some variants or optionally but, once again, the carmaker has not yet confirmed if the extra features, that can include live traffic and weather information, will be supported in Australia.
The funky two-tone paint options are expected to be offered to customers of all variants, offering a wide range of customisation options.