Kia Stonic is the latest SUV addition to the brand’s global fleet and has endured popularity in several markets
Kia Motors will be launching its debut portfolio next year in India after having made its domestic premiere at the 2018 Auto Expo in February. The initial product lineup will comprise of India-specific compact SUV based on the SP Concept showcased at the same show, and following it up is a mass market focussed subcompact SUV taking on the likes of Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza, Tata Nexon, Ford EcoSport and Honda WR-V.
It is Kia’s take on the Hyundai Carlino Concept displayed at the previous edition of the Auto Expo and will have production model bearing its own name as the company plans a slew of SUV assault sticking by the latest market trends. The SP Concept based road-going compact SUV will eye the market share of its Hyundai Creta sibling.
Moreover, Kia’s global vehicle lineup appears to be tailor-made for markets like India as products like Stonic are expected to have a credible future. Kia was running roadshows to attract dealers and prospective buyers and the Stonic had also been part of the tour to boast its strong fleet of passenger vehicles.
Peter Schreyer, president and chief design officer, Hyundai Motor Group earlier said that the Stonic fits “very well” for India. It shares plenty of components with the India-bound Hyundai Kona, whose electric variant is tipped to arrive next year locally in limited numbers. The Stonic competes against Toyota C-HR and Nissan Juke in international markets.
Previous reports suggested a low-cost Kia platform that could underpin the Stonic for emerging markets like India. The Hyundai subsidiary is pumping in over Rs. 7,000 crore into its local operations and targetting annual production of three lakh units. The low-cost Kia Stonic could take the Jeep Compass head on as the American SUV enjoys consistent level of success since entering the market.
Alternatively, the Stonic’s architecture could bear premium products with different body styles in the near future as well. Having made global debut at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show, the Stonic adorns the signature Kia radiator grille, sharp headlamps with integrated LED Daytime Running Lights, a busy front bumper, large air intake and blackened fog lamp housing, flared wheel arches, sporty alloy wheels, sleek wraparound tail lamps, etc.
The premium interior features vibrant paint options along with a large touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, driver focussed cockpit and steering wheel, upmarket hardware and premium upholstery. It is offered in a wide range of engine options such as a 1.0-litre T-GDI turbo unit making 120 PS, naturally aspirated 1.25-litre and 1.4-litre petrol mills and a 1.6-litre diesel motor.
In global markets, it gets significant driver assistance technologies like Forward Collision Alert, Autonomous Emergency Braking with pedestrian recognition, Blind Spot Detection with Red Cross Traffic Alert, Lane Departure Warning, etc.