The funny thing about space is that the lack of it can make an individual seriously uncomfortable but there’s no limit to how much is enough. But there must be a sweet spot which must be achieved and for anyone who understands anything about packaging, knows how difficult it is to eke out the maximum volume from a structure where the dimensions are predefined.
In the case of sub 4-metre SUVs or compact SUVs as they are fondly known, for them to qualify for tax benefits, the law requires such vehicles to adhere to a stipulated length which cannot exceed 4 metres. The result is a densely-packed vehicle where all four wheels are stretched to the extreme end of each corner and everything in between must be accommodated to liberate as much cabin space as possible. Mind you, in addition to all this, the vehicle must also look good. Phew! When it comes to compact SUVs, the Kia Sonet has emerged as a brilliant little thing where it scores way higher than its competitors in some vital areas, and one of them is cabin space.
We’ll come to the actual cabin in a bit. But before we tell you more, here’s the highlight. At 392-litres, the Kia Sonet offers the most amount of luggage space among all compact SUVs on sale in India. It’s nearly 50-litres more than the second-best vehicle in terms of boot space in the same segment. In addition to this, the rear seat backrest inside the Sonet tumbles down to accommodate extra luggage for those airport runs and if you remove the parcel tray, more vertical space inside the boot opens up.
Although we don’t advise doing so, there’s that rearview monitor to see what’s behind at all times if you do so. For a vehicle which tugs at the owner’s adventurous side, this is a huge plus. Also, for all practical purposes and for what we said at the beginning of this article, more space is always good.
In addition to the boot space, there’s a lot of space to keep your everyday things like an umbrella holder in the front door pads, a glovebox which offers more than 7 litres of storage space, bottle holders in all four door pads, storage space under the rear AC vent, cup holders for all four passengers, storage space under the front armrest, and a sunglass holder under the sunroof control panel. In addition to all this, there’s a cooled wireless cellphone charger in addition to more storage space near the charging sockets in the centre console.
The front seats inside the Sonet are ventilated and offer ample support for occupants of most sizes. The padding is ideal and will keep occupants comfortable even during long journeys. For rear-seat passengers, there’s 20mm more legroom in comparison to the Venue, which shares quite a lot of running gear with the Sonet.
Given the size constraints within which designers have to come up with a car which also excels in the space department, the engineers at Kia Motors have done a commendable job and to really understand what you’ve just read, you’ve got to go check out the Kia Sonet at a dealership near you.