9 February 2021 · New Models

All-New Stonic

Stonic Hero

Kia welcomes the Stonic

The Kia Stonic is part of the growing trend of hatchbacks with SUV styling themes. As is the case with most city SUVs, the Kia Stonic is based on a city hatch, in this case the Kia Rio. However, every body panel is new, and the interior is also unique.

A bit of extra body cladding, slightly taller suspension (it’s amazing what a set of heels, or in this case, extra ground clearance of 4.5cm will do), and some off-road touches have effectively transformed this hatch into an SUV.

That said, as is the case with most rivals, the Kia Stonic is only front-wheel-drive – not all-wheel-drive. There are three models in the 2021 Kia Stonic range. The base model S priced from $22,990 drive-away for a manual, and $23,990 for an auto. The mid-grade Sport priced from $24,990 for a manual and $25,990 for an auto. And the flagship GT-Line tested here, from $29,990 drive-away as an automatic only.

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It arrives here just as it has received a mid-life facelift. So it will likely carry this look for the next three to four years.

The two most affordable models, the Stonic S and Stonic Sport, are powered by a 1.4 litre four-cylinder engine (74kW/133Nm) matched to six-speed manual, or six-speed auto.

The Kia Stonic GT-Line tested here is powered by a turbocharged 1.0-litre three-cylinder engine (74kW/172Nm), matched to a seven-speed twin-clutch automatic.

All versions of the Kia Stonic can run on regular unleaded petrol. Some rivals insist on dearer, premium unleaded.

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All Kia Stonic models come with Apple Car Play and Android Auto, a digital speed display, autonomous emergency braking, lane-keeping assistance, a rear view camera and sensors, and dusk-sensing headlights.

The Sport model gains a sensor key with push button start, embedded navigation, 17-inch alloy wheels, and electric folding mirrors.

The flagship GT-Line tested in our preview drive gains a unique 17-inch alloy wheel design, LED headlights, sports seats, rear privacy glass, an auto dimming mirror, and the option of two tone paint or a sunroof.

Premium paint – which is every colour except solid white – is an extra $520.

Handy touches include a reminder to check you’ve not forgotten the kids in the back seat on exit, a visual warning in the dash when the car ahead of you in traffic drives off, and a driver attention alert.

For the technically minded, here’s how the Kia Stonic’s dimensions compare to the Kia Rio on which it’s based:

Dimensions Kia Stonic Kia Rio
Length 4140mm 4065mm
Width 1760mm 1725mm
Height 1520mm 1450mm
Wheelbase 2580mm 2580mm

According to the numbers, the Kia Stonic has a cargo hold of 352 litres with all seats in position and 1155 litres when the rear seat is folded. By comparison, the Kia Rio boot is 325 litres (seats up) and 980 litres (seats down). However, there’s a space-saver tyre under the boot floor, rather than a full-size spare.

Warranty is seven years and unlimited kilometres and service intervals are 12 months or 15,000km for non-turbo versions and 12 months or 10,000km for turbo versions. The turbo has slightly dearer capped price servicing costs than the non-turbo. As this article was published, the turbo Kia Stonic GT-Line annual service costs added up to $2126 over five years and $3297 over seven years (an average of $425 to $471 per service).

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