The new ‘EcoDynamics+’ mild-hybrid powertrains matches a 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine to a 48-volt battery and starter-generator.
The system works when the car accelerates, as the generator provides electric power to reduce the engine’s workload and emissions. During braking it recuperates energy from the crankshaft to recharge the battery.
It’s available with a choice of two power outputs, 99bhp or 118bhp, with the torque output on the more powerful version 16 per cent higher than that of the current non-hybrid 1.0-litre option.
Elsewhere in the range the petrol engines have been revised to improve efficiency – including the 99bhp 1.0-litre T-GDI and a revised version of the 83bhp 1.2-litre engine we’ve seen in other Kia models.
Inside, the cabin gets a larger eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system, featuring Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and the digital display in between the dials has also been upgraded too. The Stonic will also feature UVO Connect ‘Phase II’ telematics including ‘Last Mile Navigation’, meaning customers can continue navigating to their destination even after they’ve parked their car.
Interior styling changes include a new colour and wheel option, as well as the addition of upgraded safety features such as adaptive cruise control and lane following assist.
It will be available to order later in the year, with prices and full specifications announced closer to launch. Expect a slight increase over the current model’s £18,060 starting price.