An excellent package in terms of looks, comfort and styling, the Sonetticks all the right boxes and more and seems to be gunning for the top slot in the compact SUV segment
Kia Motors have had a golden run in India so far. Their very first model, the Seltos, launched last year was received very well and is still selling in huge numbers. Their second, the Carnival Premium MPV has also been well received and created its own segment of sorts. Now, Kia is looking to get into the busier compact SUV segment with theSonet.
Coming to the exterior styling details, the face gets the trademark KiaTiger nose grille in chrome while the inserts on it get black and red colored inlays. The flushed slim design headlamps come with unique crown jewel styling and integrated DRLs in them. Adding to the SUV character, it also gets a faux aluminum skid plate place right under the wide air dam.
The side profile is highlighted with blacked out roof, aluminum roof rails, chrome door handles, fiber cladding around the fenders and running board, the GT-Line gets red inserts on the running board cladding. The highlight design element on the side is the unique insert placed just besides the rear windshield that mates the sides to the tail gate finished in piano black.
Rear styling also includes trademark Kia heartbeat LED tail lamps neatly flushed in the body. You also get a body colored spoiler, electric sun roof and shark fin antenna.
Stepping inside, you are welcomed with an all black premium looking cabin area. The dash board comes with vertical styled ac vents and 10.25 inch infotainment touch-screen similar to that of the Seltos. You get Apple Carplay and Android auto connectivity, FM radio, bluetooth connectivity. The key highlight here is the unique Kia UVO connectivity feature with 57 features. The instrument cluster is a 4.2 inch digital screen that again is picked from the Seltos.
Climate control comes with inbuilt air purifier cum freshener and also India’s first virus and bacteria protection filter. The audio system is powered by Bose 7-speaker premium unit with a subwoofer. You also get mood and sound lighting on the package.
Front ventilated seats are wrapped in leather and offer very good comfort with good under thigh and lumber support. Rear seats come with two adjustable headrests and a foldable armrest. Rear passengers also get dedicated air con vents with air quality index display and a USB port. Seating here is comfortable for two with the third being a tight squeeze with excellent head room. The Sonet gets a boot capacity of 392 litres.
Engine – Transmission – Drive
The Sonet shares engine options with the Hyundai Venue -- 1.0litre 3-cylinder turbo petrol with 120Ps and 172 Nm, 1.2 L petrol with 83PS and 115 Nm and the 1.5L diesel with 250 PS and 115Nm on the auto and 100PS/240Nm on the diesel manual. Transmission options include 5-speed manual on 1.2L petrol, 6-speed iMT and 7-DCT on the 1.0 GDI petrol, 6-speed manual and 6-speed CVT automatic on the diesel engines.
The diesel auto is the first in class automatic oil burner model. The engine is highly refined and you do not hear any engine noise inside the cabin. The automatic transmission gets normal drive modes along with tiptronic shift.
We also drove the iMT version of the Sonet. The joys of driving a manual with the comfort of an automatic is the key USP of this transmission. The 1.0 Turbo petrol engine has only 3 cylinders but it behaves like a proper 4-cylinder engine offering excellent power supporting the iMT transmission. It is pure bliss running through the iMT shifts that engage precisely. We loved the iMT Venue and the iMTSonet too drives very well. Over taking is sheer joy thanks to the turbo boosting power.
The Sonet is an excellent package in terms of looks, comfort and styling. It ticks the right boxes and more in every department and seems to be gunning for the top slot in the segment. This can easily become the best in class compact SUV when launched in a few days. We expect the Sonet to be priced between Rs 8 Lakh to Rs 12 lakh.