At the beginning of this year, the Kia Sonet already debuted in conceptual form at the Delhi Auto Expo . Less than six months later, Kia considers it the greatest time to present the production version of the compact SUV . This is happening again in the Indian capital, because the Sonet will drive around in that country for most of its career. The compact South Korean was developed in India and will also be built there.
With the Sonet, Kia wants to respond to the growing demand for compact SUVs in countries such as India. Naturally, a young audience was in mind when developing the car. The nearly four-meter long Sonet has many well-known Kia lines, such as with the ‘tiger-nose’ grille, and is equipped with a bumper all around for the real cross-over look. The headlights are standard filled with LED lights. At the back, the light bar continues in one piece, according to the trend, over the entire width, although the middle section does not burn along. With the optional GT-Line version, the Sonet is a bit tougher on its wheels and gets extra sporty details such as red accents in the body.
Inside, a 10.25-inch screen, the largest compared to its local rivals, according to Kia, steals the show. This forms an optical whole with the cluster behind the steering wheel. Large upright grilles mark the center console. The GT line also uses red accents on the inside and gives the dashboard a slightly more luxurious appearance.
In terms of engine, the Sonet buyer is presented with three options. On the petrol level, there is a choice of a turbo-free 1.2-liter four-cylinder or a 1.0 T-GDi. Lovers of diesel engines can get started with a 1.5 CRDi. Numerous options are available for the transmission: from a manual five or six speed gearbox to a six-speed automatic or seven-speed DCT. The new robotized six-speed iMT gearbox is also available in the Sonet.
The days when cars from countries like India are sent onto the streets without any form of safety equipment are behind us as far as Kia is concerned. The Sonet will have six airbags, ABS, ESC, ISOFIX and other features such as parking sensors and automatically switchable lighting.
The Kia Sonet will be with the Indian dealer within two months. At a later stage, Kia will also release the car in other markets. The chance is very small that the Sonet will also end up in showrooms here.