Updated: Aug 11, 2020
New Delhi: Kia Motors Corporation has unveiled its latest smart urban Compact SUV, the Sonet. Disclosed to the world through a digital presentation, the company’s latest offering will be produced at its state-of-the-art production facility at Andhra Pradesh for global distribution.
Riding on the success of the Seltos SUV, the Sonet follows its legacy in terms of production in India and setting new benchmarks with first-in-class features in a crowded segment.
“With its aggressive and modern design language, fun-to-drive dynamics, and Kia’s latest high-tech features, the Sonet puts an exclamation point on our ambition to make Kia the brand of choice, especially among millennial and Gen Z consumers. The Sonet fills a need in the growing SUV market, in India and further afield, and will attract a wider number of consumers to the Kia brand”, said Ho Sung Song, President and CEO at Kia Motors Corporation at the global unveiling of the production ready model of the Sonet.
The Exterior: What is it looks like
The all-new Sonet incorporates Kia’s DNA of aggressive styling along with a premium and youthful appeal to create a strong road presence. Displaying a dynamic stance in a confident, compact body, inspired by modern styling trends, as well as traditional Indian heritage and culture, the Sonet’s exterior styling truly stands apart.
The front includes Kia’s signature ‘tiger-nose’ grille with its classy chrome and diamond knurling pattern.
Flanked by ‘heartbeat’ LED DRLs, shaped like the electric pulse of a heart and the stylish front skid plate beneath, the wild Sonet is conceptualized.
The Sonet features a unique design and structure of its C-pillar, matched with a wraparound rear-windscreen.
Highlights at the rear include a sporty dual muffler and diffuser, rear skid plate as well as the ‘heartbeat’ LED tail lamps with a unique reflector garnish.
The Sonet rides on sharp-looking 16-inch crystal -cut alloys that enhance its dynamic stance on the road.
The Sonet will be offered in a dual trim concept with the usual Tech Line, offering the segment first features, and a sporty GT Line, including an extra dash of sportiness, luxury, safety and attitude.
The Interior: What it feels like
The Sonet is designed around the driver, with a well laid-out, easy-to-use connected infotainment and cluster interface, and high-quality materials all around.
The sophisticated cabin follows a smooth, flowing dashboard, clutter-free center console that offers easy access to the Sonet’s first-in-segment features.
The interior space is not at par with the competition, especially at the rear with slightly compact seats, packed tightly.
The boot, however, offers decent space and practicality.
The cabin is perfectly focused around the driver, with the center console, touchscreen and the instrument panel in a sung, wrap-around feel.
The GT-Line models are finished with contrast red stitching on the steering wheel, seats and door armrest, while a D-cut steering wheel adds to its sporty appeal.
The all-new Sonet comes feature packed with segment-first features and equipment on the lines of the Seltos.
The Ventilated front seats are one-of-a-kind on the Kia Sonet.
The Sonet also houses the largest infotainment system in the segment. 10.25 inch of the dashboard have been converted into an HD panel for in-car entertainment and navigation.
The system also offers Kia’s intuitive and friendly UVO ‘connected car’ technology, similar to that in the Seltos. Under UVO, Kia offers a range of 57 features for owners offering convenience, remote control, navigation, safety, security and vehicle management.
A 4.2-inch instrument cluster displays important driver related information in vivid color and clarity, such as turn-by-turn navigation instructions, Highline Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) and drive mode and traction mode selection.
Another segment feature includes a BOSE premium seven-speaker audio system with a sub-woofer for the best audio experience.
The Sonet is also equipped with Kia’s Smart Pure Air Purifier with virus protection, to keep the cabin free of any impurities.
Special mood enhancers include LED Sound Mood Lighting with personalization.
The Sonet will be offered with multiple powertrain options for increased versatility. Customers can choose from a choice of two gasoline engines – a Smartstream 1.2-liter four-cylinder and powerful 1.0 T-GDi (turbocharged gasoline direct injection) – and an efficient 1.5-liter CRDi diesel engine, both available with a choice of transmissions. This includes five- and six-speed manuals, an intuitive seven-speed DCT six-speed automatic, and Kia’s revolutionary new six-speed Smartstream intelligent manual transmission (iMT).
The Smartstream iMT is a technological breakthrough from Kia to reduce driver fatigue and offer a smoother ride. This unique technology offers the conventional manual transmission control through a gear lever, but without a clutch pedal.
The Dynamics: Ride and Handling
Kia claims that the Sonet’s dynamics and suspension setup have been tuned by Kia engineers to match its sporty and youthful brand image, offering a great driving pleasure both in city and on the highways, as well as comfortable ride quality. Extensive R&D has been put to ensure the enjoyable experience behind the wheel of the Sonet for every customer with their own driving characteristics.
Kia has loaded the Sonet with passenger safety features with the likes of ABS (anti-lock braking system) with EBD (electronic brake force distribution), ESC (Electronic Stability Control), HAC (Hill-start Assist Control), VSM (Vehicle Stability Management) and BA (brake assist). The Sonet gets front and rear parking sensors as well as ISOFIX child-seat anchoring points, focussed at the younger segment of the target population. It also gets six airbags.
Kia Sonet is testament to Kia’s consumer insight-driven product innovation. Targeted towards the young generation, the Sonet is expected to be launched in India this festive season in an over-crowded compact SUV market with a competitive price.