Kia today enters Europe’s fastest-growing market sector, that for small (B-segment) SUVs, with Stonic, an exciting, sporty, confident and smart new model priced from 16,295 pounds.

Stonic is based on the latest Rio supermini and is powered by efficient petrol and diesel powertrains from Rio and the cee’d family. It was designed in Europe at the company’s Frankfurt studios, with input from the main design center at Namyang in Korea.

All versions offer an extensive package of connectivity features, including links to Android Auto and Apple CarPlay via pre-downloaded smartphone apps, while advanced electronic driver assistance systems such as autonomous emergency braking, lane departure warning and automatic switching between high and low headlight beams are available. All models have 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlight control, bi-function projection headlights with cornering lights and LED daytime running lights. Body-colored bumpers also come standard.

In dimensions, the Kia Stonic is slightly longer than Rio, at 4,140mm. It is also 70mm taller and rides 42mm higher from the ground to give it a clear SUV stance. While the two cars share some mechanical components, Stonic has a bespoke body and interior.

Key signature design elements such as the ‘tiger-nose’ main front grille, the distinctive C-pillar and the straight lines and smooth surfaces ensure that Stonic is instantly recognisable as a member of the modern Kia family.

The First Edition version stands out even more thanks to its two-tone paintwork. The roof, wing mirror casings and rear spoiler are picked out in either black, lime green, red or orange, depending on the choice of main body color, and there are color accents in the interior on the seats and around the lower center console and display screen areas.

 

The horizontal theme evident in the exterior styling is repeated in the cabin, emphasizing width and space while separating the upper information and lower control areas. The number of buttons and switches has been kept to a minimum to give a neater look and greater functionality. The First Edition follows the Rio in offering USB ports front and rear so that mobile devices can be charged from any seat. Main hihghlights include 7.0-inch display with a DAB radio and MP3 or 7.0-inch touchscreen navigation and infotainment system featuring Kia Connected Services (First Edition), 3.5-inch supervision cluster, Bluetooth with music streaming, door mirror casings and door handles, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, 60:40 split rear seats and a six-speaker audio system.

The First Edition adds a smart key entry system and engine start/stop button, stainless steel pedals, black cloth and grey faux leather upholstery with colour accents, automatic air conditioning, LED rear lights, privacy glass on the rear side windows and tailgate, heated front seats and D-shaped steering wheel, chrome window trim and interior door handles and a dual-height luggage floor.

All versions are generously equipped, with an extensive range of active safety features and up-to-the-minute connectivity in First Edition versions, for example; Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Vehicle Stability Management (VSM), Autonomous Emergency Braking, Lane Departure Warning. Both Lane Departure warning and Auto emergency braking are standard on the First Edition variant, as do the Blind Spot Detection with Rear Cross Traffic Alert.

Three efficient engines are available in Stonic, headed by Kia’s little jewel, the 1.0-liter T-GDi (Turbocharged Gasoline Direct-injection) unit delivering 118bhp. It lines up alongside a 1.4-liter multi-point injection (MPi) naturally aspirated 98bhp petrol engine and the 108bhp 1.6-liter CRDi turbodiesel from the cee’d range.

The Kia Stonic relies on a similar suspension system to Rio, with independent MacPherson struts at the front and a torsion beam axle at the rear.

The standard paint color is Sienna Brown, with a black roof on the First Edition. Clear White, Blaze Red, Graphite and Midnight Black are options, while First Edition versions can be ordered in Clear White, Blaze Red and Zest Yellow, all with a black roof; Midnight Black with a red roof; Graphite with a lime green roof; and Urban Grey and Satin Silver with an orange roof.