Yes, I know, it’s another crossover. But let’s give this – the Kia Stonic – its chance to make itself known. One of the latest cars to come from the South Korean manufacturer, the Stonic is here to offer the chunky, off-roader-style looks so popular with consumers at the model, but at a lower price. How does it fair? Let’s have a look.
The Kia Stonic certainly manages to stand out from the crowd well. There’s Kia’s trademark ‘tiger nose’ grille to be found at the front, while the chrome accents and large alloy wheels make it appear far more premium than you’d expect.
There’s a range of engines available for the Stonic, going from a 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol, right up to a 1.6-litre diesel. There is a 1.4-litre naturally-aspirated petrol available too, but it’s one we’d not recommend – it simply can’t offer the flexibility of the turbocharged units. An automatic gearbox is available, as is a six-speed manual – like the one fitted in our test car today.
Now in most crossovers you expect to sit a little higher up, and that’s the reason why so many people have been drawn towards them. So it’s actually quite refreshing to get into the Stonic and find that you sit a little bit lower than you might expect. What does that mean? Well it feels a little bit sportier than its rivals, and this is backed by steering which has a good amount of weight to it, and a throttle response which is actually quite good for a small capacity engine.
Now speaking of that engine it is a 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol, and Kia claims that you’ll be able to hit 60mph in under 10 seconds.
One good thing about the Stonic is that it has excellent visibility. The forward pillars aren’t too thick so you’ve got a good view ahead of you, and likewise the rear screen is really large so reversing is a bit of a doddle.
When it comes to refinement, the Stonic does well. There’s not too much road noise, and there’s not too much tyre noise generated either. The ride is a little pitter pattery, but that’s to be expected of a car at this price point. Really, we don’t have too much to complain about.
The interior of the Stonic puts many other manufacturer offerings to shame. The ergonomics are spot-on; everything feels within easy reach, including the simple-to-use infotainment system. The plastics may be grey and relatively uninspiring, but you just cannot fault the way it’s all put together – particularly when you consider the Stonic’s £16,450 starting price.
Boot space in the Stonic is decent enough at 352 litres with the rear seats in place, which can be extended to 1,155 litres by folding those seats down. It’s a reasonable amount of space, but less than you’ll find in rivals.