Segment-First Kia Sonet Diesel AT Leaves Lasting Mark Among Compact SUVs

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Kia Sonet is the only compact SUV in India offered with a six-speed torque converter automatic transmission in diesel engine

 Kia Motors launched the Sonet compact SUV a couple of months ago and within twelve says of its market debut, it became the most sold model in its highly competitive segment. No other compact SUV has achieved this feat within a matters of days and is largely down to its sporty exterior, a feature packed interior and a wide range of engine choices.

The Sonet followed the same ethos as the successfully running Seltos as it offers many segment-first features including a six-speed torque converter automatic transmission in diesel. Within two months, the Sonet crossed 50,000 booking mark and the numbers are only increasing. Around 40 per cent of the total reservations are said to be for the diesel variants.

The five-seater uses a 1.5-litre four-cylinder CRDi oil-burner, which is good enough to generate a maximum power output of 100 PS and 240 Nm. As standard, it is paired with a six-speed manual transmission. However, in the AT trim, the Sonet delivers performance numbers similar to the Sonet AT with 115 PS at 4,000 rpm and 250 Nm between 1,500 and 2,750 rpm.

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The convenience of a diesel AT is that it enables stress free driving characteristics as well as mileage. The powertrain has been well tuned as it has good refinement and it does not have be stressed too much due to its adequate power and torque rating. Moreover, the lack of vibration is highly appreciable as well. It is quiet and gives a smooth driving experience.

The 1.5-litre CRDi diesel AT also eases through the speeds with good progression while the gearshifts are also smooth. It must be noted that jerk-free demeanor is something you would definitely appreciate and is also quick with enough low-end performance to tackle traffic situations often encountered in cities. When you really want to push, the mid-range comes in handy with linear power delivery.

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When the throttled is floored though, the Sonet AT shows its immediacy. It quickly climbs to three-digit speeds and on the highway, the engine does not feel strained when those levels of speeds are maintained. There are different driving modes: Eco, Normal, and Sport and each has different characteristics. Pertaining to the driver’s requirements, they can be changed and easily the Sport offers more briskness.

The SUV is retailed in HTE, HTK, HTK+, HTX, HTX+, and GTX+ variants and is priced between Rs. 6.71 lakh and Rs. 12.89 lakh (ex-showroom). The automatic transmission-equipped HTK Plus variant in diesel costs Rs. 10.39 lakh (ex-showroom). The Sonet is also available with a 1.2-litre naturally-aspirated four-cylinder petrol and a 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbocharged petrol.

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The former produces a maximum power output of 83 PS and 114 Nm and the latter delivers 120 PS maximum power and 172 Nm. The gasoline unit is paired with a five-speed manual as standard while the smaller petrol motor is hooked with either a six-speed manual or a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.

The Sonet’s sales numbers have been consistent over the last two months and it will continue to be a top-seller in the compact SUV segment due to its high booking tally. The third production from Kia for India has boldly stepped into the B-SUV space and it has been well thought after, in terms of design, interior, features, connectivity and safety options.

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Moreover, Kia is offering three years or unlimited km standard warranty with the Sonet to make the buying choice attractive for customers and easy financial schemes can also be availed at the dealerships.