Ever since it marked its foray in the Indian market, Korean carmaker Kia has made a strong impression on car buyers. After an explosive start with the Seltos which went on to become a benchmark in its segment, they continued the streak with the Carnival.
Now Kia is making its foray into the compact SUV segment with the sub-4 metre SUV Sonet. Kia has at last unveiled the final production-spec model of the upcoming SUV after a number of teasers and rendered images on its official site.
The Sonet will be the third offering from Kia after Seltos and Carnival and will be locally manufactured in India at its Anantapur facility in Andhra Pradesh. Kia first showcased the concept version of the Sonet in Auto Expo 2020 and if we go by the teaser images revealed, it is set to carry over the same sharp design elements with subtle tweaks. As confirmed by Karim Habib, Senior Vice President & Head of Kia Global Design states that the Sonet’s design has been inspired by and designed with young Indians in mind. If not for the Covid-19 pandemic, the latest offering from Kia should have been in the market by now.
Habib further claims that the overall design of the Sonet has been inspired by a baby elephant which is small yet powerful. In terms of styling, Sonet follows the footprints of the Seltos and that becomes very prominent from the tiger-nose grille upfront. It will sport an upright stance and squared-out wheel arches as well as connected tail lamps. The distinctive LED headlamps reiterate the ‘Wild by Design’ theme which has inspired the Sonet, giving it a powerful appearance that truly stands out on the road. It projects an aggressive stance with a rugged appeal. Like we mentioned earlier, the Sonet will most probably stick to the concept’s design and that will certainly bring a breath of fresh air in the sub-compact SUV segment.
Designed to maximize driver and passenger comfort, the Sonet’s interior is modern, vibrant and offers a high sense of dynamism to drivers. Trimmed in high-quality materials, its dashboard provides owners with the car’s full range of user-friendly features, including a two-layer tray to store mobile devices and other items while driving. Taking center stage is its high-tech digital display and instrument cluster, featuring a first-in-segment 10.25-inch HD touchscreen and navigation system with UVO Connected technologies. Another notable feature addition is the Air purifier with Virus protect technology.
The Sonet will also offer drivers steering wheel-mounted controls, and the ability to select a different drive and traction modes. Air vents in the dashboard feature a metallic, diamond-knurled pattern, a chic and stylish design highlight. Other cabin features included are wireless charging, sunroof, ambient illumination, a flat-bottom steering wheel, large central AC vents separated by an array of buttons. As far as safety is concerned, the Sonet will feature an extensive list of active and passive safety equipment. It will come equipped with up to six airbags – offering a class-leading combination of front, side and curtain protection for occupants.
It will borrow the same power plants which are offered in the Hyundai Venue. Engine options should include a 1.2-litre Smartstream naturally aspirated petrol motor which churns out 82bhp/114Nm. There should also be a 1.0-litre turbo petrol mill on offer which churns out 118bhp/172Nm. The 1.5-litre diesel will also be part of the Sonet’s powertrain options and it churns out 99bhp/240Nm. Transmission duties are carried out by a wide range of options which include a 5-speed manual, a six-speed manual, a six-speed torque converter automatic, a 7-speed DCT as well as a 6-speed iMT (clutchless manual) like in the Venue.
Upon its launch, the Sonet will compete against the long list of rivals in the sub-4 metre SUV category like the Hyundai Venue, Tata Nexon, Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza and Ford EcoSport to name a few. This category is further set to intensify with the launch of the Sonet and the upcoming SUVs such as Nissan Magnite and Renault HBC(also known as Kiger). One can expect the Sonet to be priced aggressively to counter the stiff competition from the hotly contested compact SUV space.