In a small SUV with a drive away price of under $30,000 you would be forgiven to expect not much more than the basics would be included. But the all-new Kia MY21 Stonic GT-Line begs to differ and offers owners great value for money, even after they drive out of the showroom.
For every car I review I record the kilometres I have travelled and the actual amount of fuel I put in the tank at the end of my week with a car. I then calculate my actual fuel usage and for the Stonic, even with its 1.0 litre, 3 cylinder petrol engine I was surprised by the result. My fuel use for the week averaged just 4.5L/100km, which is less than the official combined fuel consumption figure of 5.4L/100km. This is the least amount of petrol I have used for an internal combustion engine and is better than most of the hybrids I have driven as well.
Of course given that it is only a 1.0 litre engine there is not much power on offer, just 74kW and 172Nm of torque, so the ‘Sport’ drive mode isn’t going to light your world on fire. I spent the majority of my week in Normal drive mode and there is also Eco drive mode for even more frugal driving. The Stonic is front-wheel drive and the engine is paired with a DCT, so no annoying CVT, and the ride would be considered acceptable considering the price of the SUV.
Kia has has chosen wisely on the components in the Stonic which are manually operated, like the manually adjusted front seats, manual handbrake and single zone climate control. While the technology that consumers can’t live without like keyless entry, push button keyless start, automatic headlights, automatic wipers and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto are included.
The 8-inch central touchscreen infotainment system includes satellite navigation with 10 years traffic information and map updates. Media inputs include Bluetooth, USB, iPod, DAB/FM (reception can be patchy in outer suburbs), AM and Sounds of Nature, for when you need to chill-out while driving.
The cabin design is nice with premium seats offered in the GT-Line and faux-carbon across the dash. The GT-Line also has a sports steering wheel that looks good and is pleasant to hold, but like many other car manufacturers the voice control is designated by a masculine-looking silhouette on the steering wheel button and being it’s a Kia the voice control functionality only works when Apple Carplay/Android Auto are connected.
Storage is also plentiful in the cabin with a deep storage pocket located under the arm rest, two rigid cup holders in the centre console and a deep storage pocket at the front of the centre console with one USB port and one 12V outlet located in it. The drink bottle storage in the front doors is suitable for large bottles, but in the rear doors the cubby is only suitable for smaller drink bottles.
The rears seats have enough head and leg room for me to comfortably fit and there are two ISOFIX/three rear tether child seat restraint points. But due to the size of the Stonic there would only be room for two car seats to be fitted. There is no central fold down arm rest and no central air vents, but there is one USB port located centrally.
The boot has manual open and close with some power assistance so it can be lifted up with relevant ease. For closing I also noted that there were grip points on both the left and right hand side, which is unusual because most car companies have just one point on the right hand side and I did think this may be something that annoys left handed people? The boot is an adequate size for the weekly shop, but it does have a lip that you have to lift items over. There are four tie down points, two basic hooks, a light in the boot and a temporary spare tyre under the boot floor. If extra storage is required the rear seats do have 60/40 split folding functionality.
The Stonic is based on the Kia Rio platform and as such shares the Rio’s ANCAP safety rating of 5-stars (2017). All Stonic variants have driver and front passenger airbags, front side airbags, curtain airbags and front and rear side door impact beams.
The active safety features are the other impressive element of the Stonic’s package with all model variants getting Autonomous Emergency Brake with Forward Collision Warning System, Lane Keeping Assist and Lan Follow Assist, which work well and Driver Attention Alert+ with Lead Vehicle Departure Alert. You also get a standard rear view camera with rear parking sensors only.
The Stonic has standard cruise control and the thing which annoyed me the most was that nowhere was it indicated what speed I had set the cruise control at. So I would set the cruise control and just wait to see what speed I was going and adjust it if needed.
All new Kias come with a 7-Year Unlimited Kilometre Warranty and one year of complimentary Roadside Assist. Owners can renew their Roadside Assistance package yearly, for up to eight years, by simply returning their vehicle to an Authorised Kia Dealer for its annual scheduled services. Membership will remain valid for one year following your scheduled service, and will be renewed if an Authorised Kia Dealer completes the vehicle’s next scheduled serviced within one year. For the Stonic, service intervals are every year or 10,000km, whichever comes first, and the total service costs for the seven year period are capped at $3,299.
The Kia Stonic really is a super value small SUV that offers buyers a nice looking package with features packed where they are wanted. The all-new Kia MY21 Stonic GT-Line is $29,990 drive away and the only extra included on this example was premium paint at an additional $520. Visit your preferred Kia dealer to be blown away by the Stonic for yourself.
|Fuel efficient engine||Cruise control doesn’t indicate speed it is set at|
|Safety technology that comes standard||Patchy DAB reception away from built up areas|
|Pleasant cabin design||No central rear air vents|
Photographs by Driven Women Magazine.