Kia Stonic SUV lock horns with Nissan Juke and Toyota C-HR in foreign markets; could arrive in India post brand’s launch
Back in July, Kia revealed sketches of the Stonic small crossover and created much anticipation before its premiere at the Frankfurt Motor Show. The car looks absolutely cool with its muscular stance. In the global market, it competes with rivals like Nissan Juke, Renault Captur and Toyota C-HR. Interestingly this could arrive in Indian market as well, after the brand’s launch here towards the end of this decade.
Popularity and demands for crossovers and SUVs in India are phenomenal. This is the reason behind the auto majors rolling out range of products in the segment. Kia could also try to get a good share in the segment with a product like Stonic that would be affordable, upmarket and stylish. It bears a very modern and global design that grabs attention at the very first glance and moreover it’s based on the Kia Rio and built on the same platform as the recently unveiled Hyundai Kona.
Speaking about the design, the Stonic crossover gets signature Kia radiator grille. There will be sharp and sleek headlamps with integrated LED Daytime Running Lights. The front grille would sport plenty of chrome garnishing and the front bumper gets a busy muscular look with large air intake and blackened fog lamp housing.
At the side profile, it gets muscular stance thanks to the large flared wheel arches, sporty alloy wheels and thick black cladding. Apart from that, there are turn indicator integrated ORVMs, blackened glass area, sporty roof rail and a sweeping roofline. Rear profile gets a roof spoiler and sleek wraparound taillights.
Interior carries several upmarket features and a sporty stylish design as well with smooth surface and straight lines. Compared to its Kona cousin, the Stonic has a matured design language in coherence with the brand’s rest of the model range. It is easy to make the Stonic unique as customers will get a choice of 20 different dual-tone colour combinations.
The Hyundai subsidiary offers vibrant paint options for the interior along with the dashboard giving space to a touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity as standard fitment. The European-spec Stonic gets specifically tuned suspension and steering geometry and it shows the brand’s consciousness for each market.
There are a slew of engine options available including 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 with lowest emission range comparatively in the range. Kia believes the Stonic can become one of its best-selling cars considering the demand for rapidly-expanding subcompact SUV segment.
The significant driver assistance technologies are Forward Collision Alert, Blind Spot Detection with Red Cross Traffic Alert, Lane Departure Warning, Autonomous Emergency Braking with pedestrian recognition, etc. On sale across Europe and Korea, Kia will expand its footprint worldwide.
According to Peter Schreyer, president and chief design officer, Hyundai Motor Group, the Stonic “fit(s) very well” in India. While the electric version of Kona is expected late next year, the Stonic may not be based on the same platform due to its premium nature. It could reportedly be based on a brand new cost-effective architecture Kia is developing specifically for emerging markets like India.
Kia is pumping in close to Rs. 7,000 crore for Indian project ahead of first product roll out by 2019. It has an aim of three lakh annual production from its Andhra Pradesh plant and is already meeting potential dealers in India through various roadshows. We believe the Stonic could become an ideal SUV for India going by the steep increase of buyers in the compact space. It could adopt engine options from the Elite i20 and might get a big crowd gathering if Kia decides to showcase it at the upcoming 2018 Delhi Auto Expo in February. Let us hope we get to see it there!
Kia Stonic SUV Images