Kia Motors has just revealed the highly anticipated Sonet which will occupy the sub-4 metre compact SUV space in the market. The Sonet will be the third offering from the South Korean automotive company in India after Seltos and Carnival.
The Sonet was first showcased as a concept at the AutoExpo 2020 held earlier this year at Greater Noida. After a number of teasers and rendered images, Kia has finally shared the official images of the upcoming compact SUV. If not for the Covid-19 pandemic, the latest offering from Kia should have been in the market by now.
Just as we expected, the Sonet 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. He further claims that the overall design of the Sonet has been inspired by a baby elephant which is small yet powerful.
At the exterior, the Sonet is surely set to make new benchmarks in design as far as subcompact SUVs are concerned. The car gets what Kia terms as ‘Crown Jewel’ LED headlights with LED DRLs which are integrated with side turn indicators. Other highlights here include ‘Turbo’ shaped front skid plates. At the front is the Kia signature Tiger Nose grille, with a knurled and chrome-finished lower edge, and multi-segmented 3D inserts, with the GT Line variant getting red highlights.
The sharply cut bumper houses fog lights in what were intakes on the concept and the large air intake area below has a hexagonal mesh and an aggressive silver-finished garnish. Topping off the front is the bonnet, with a muscular-looking power bulge. Much like the Seltos, Sonet will also be offered in both GT Line as well as Tech Line. The GT Line seeks to give the car a more sporty visual appeal – on the outside as well as in the cabin, and gets red colour accents on the large and imposing front grille, a red stripe on the side and continuing highlights over at the rear.
Unlike the front, the sides are simpler, with more curvaceous doors devoid of any sharp design. Another interesting element retained from the concept is the blacked-out treatment applied to the top and lower edge of the C pillar, and the inset quarter glass that makes the pillar look nice and sharply swept back. The 16-inch alloys, too, are very similar to the concept.
The rear of the Sonet gets smart-looking tail lights which are connected with a reflector garnish. This lends the car a wider visual profile, able complemented with a sporty dual muffler design and diffuser fin rear skid plate. On the whole, the Sonet will manage to please a large number of consumers through its design.
If you think the design is the strongest point of the Sonet, then you must get a sneak peek inside the cabin and you will realise it is something different altogether. 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.
A large 10.25-inch HD screen adorns the dashboard of the Sonet and it – much like Seltos – gets UVO connectivity options. Apart from the usual AV duties, it puts out live traffic information and will get Over-The-Air (OTA) map updates. A wireless smartphone charger with cooling function has also been incorporated. Another notable feature addition is the Air purifier with Virus protect technology.
Kia has matched the Venue on equipment and then added on some more too like, for example, a 7-speaker Bose sound system and ventilated front seats for both driver and front passenger. 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 do their job on the Hyundai Venue. Engine options should include a 1.2-litre 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. The interesting addition though is a six-speed automatic for the diesel engine, which is a first for the segment.
The Sonet’s ride and handling has been fine-tuned by Kia engineers at the brand’s Namyang R&D headquarters in Korea and at the brand’s Development Center at Anantapur, in Andhra Pradesh. Sonet prototypes have been driven and tested for over 1,00,000 kilometres on Indian roads, and across a variety of conditions.
From the images, it does look as if the Sonet is well prepared to take on its rivals in the segment 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.
- Largest and best-in-class 10.25-inch (26.03 cm) HD touchscreen with navigation and live traffic
- Smart Pure Air Purifier with virus protection
- BOSE Premium seven-speaker audio with sub-woofer
- Ventilated driver and front-passenger seats
- LED Sound Mood Lighting
- Remote engine start for automatic and manual transmission via UVO Connect and Smart Key
- Over-the-air (OTA) map updates
- Multi-drive & traction modes and grip control for automatic models
- Wireless smartphone charger with cooling function
- Six airbags
- 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)
- Front and rear parking sensors
- Projector fog lamps
- Highline tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS)
- Auto headlamps
- ISOFIX child-seat anchoring points