GT-Line S 1.0 T-GDi 48v DCT7
SUVs come in many
shapes and colours but if you want
to stand out you would do well to
spend your money on one of Kias
Stonic models, ideally one with the
attention-grabbing two-tone Storm
Grey and Zest Yellow paintwork...
OF COURSE YOU WOULD NEVER buy a car just because of its funky looks,
although in the Stonic's case you might be tempted… Fortunately there's much
more than modish looks to Kia's compact SUV, starting with the price
at between £18,450 and £23,500, the Stonic is yet another good to drive yet
very affordable Kia.
And as more and more cars joust for room on our crowded roads, Kia's socially
acceptable-sized SUV looks more appealing than ever. Not only do these compact
crossovers deliver the longed-for commanding driving positions of their biggest
brothers but it's easy to understand their appeal just look at
one: eye-catchingly sharp-suited, especially so when decked out in one of the
two-tone finishes on offer.
test car's snazzy grey-and-yellow paintwork certainly attracted plenty of interest.
Check out the pictures and you'll see it's all very tasteful, with bright yellow
picking out the A-pillars, roof, tailgate spoiler, and the three air intakes
below one of the brand's seriously slimmed-down 'tiger-nose' grilles. Neat black
body mouldings link the lower doors with the lined wheelarches, themselves wrapped
around smart 'Y-spoke' two-tone alloy wheels. A sculpted bonnet, silver skid-plates
nose and tail, and a sweeping C-panel complete the 'designer' treatment.
an eye on the
deadline for all-electric
and nothing but all-
electric cars (assuming
any UK government
actually has the grit to
enforce this diktat),
the Stonics 118bhp
powerplant a three-
cylinder 998cc T-GDi turboed petrol engine
incorporates some 48V
When it comes to
transmissions, its either
a six-speed manual
or a seven-speed twin-
With an eye on the approaching 2030 deadline for all-electric and nothing but
all-electric cars (assuming any UK government actually has the grit to enforce
this diktat), the Stonic's 118bhp powerplant incorporates some 48V mild-hybrid
tech. The alternative is a straight petrol 99bhp. Both make good use of Kia's
three-cylinder 998cc T-GDi turboed petrol engine. When it comes to choosing
the transmission it's either a six-speed manual 'box or a seven-speed twin-clutch
This past week we've been putting the more powerful 118bhp unit through its
paces. This version brings a useful 148lb ft of torque to the party which enables
a top speed of 115mph, 0-60mph acceleration in 10.4 seconds, and an official
combined consumption figure of 49.6mpg. Driven normally, our real-world average
came out at an impressive 53.7mpg, although long runs saw us get pretty close
to its 'touring' fuel consumption of 58.9mpg. And that was without using the
Eco Drive Mode setting = for the record, there's also a Normal and Sport (very
perky!) plus a manual mode for DIY shifting via the selector lever.
of things mechanical, the three-cylinder engine is a zippy little thing = flex
your right foot and you'll find it's always willing to spurt ahead, while the
Stonic's compact dimensions and fine 'jacked up' visibility let you nip in and
out of gaps in the traffic. The seven speed autobox is a well-tooled fit with
the engine and whips though the ratios to match your right foot's demands, with
power delivered to the front wheels. Out on the motorway the three-pot is equally
enthusiastic and makes light work of motorway speeds.
in the cabin where, despite a pocket-sized footprint compared to 5-metre-plus
'XL' SUVs, the Stonic's 4.1-metre long bodyshell provides all the room you really
need. In fact, when it comes to inner space the Stonic's airy interior offers
much more than you might be expecting.
driver and front passenger enjoy a fist of headroom and can move about freely
without feeling they need to watch their elbows or knees; and even taller drivers
don't go short of legroom and get a comfy left-foot rest for relaxed two-pedal
question that a
major reason for buying
any SUV is the
position. And thats
exactly what you get
in the Stonic.
The supportive seats
have ample adjustability
and generous height
setting that perfect
driving position a quick
job, and provides a
wide-ranging view down
Thanks to its SUV stance,
placing the Stonic
accurately is a walk in
seats with two-tone upholstery (black cloth and faux leather with upscale light
grey piping, embossing, and stitching) are definitely a step-up, and their bolstering
is effective without being trackday hard. Underscoring the sporty look is some
distinctive carbon-look trim on the dash and a flat-bottomed multi-function
three-spoke steering wheel with perforated leather work areas.
large free-standing 8-inch infotainment touchscreen occupies the centre-dash.
Set high, it's exactly where it should be in the driver's peripheral vision.
The switchgear is logically laid out and bravo!
the automatic AirCon is worked by proper knobs and buttons set in a panel below
the touchscreen. Ahead of the driver the instrument pod contains two dials,
with foolproof black-on-white markings, separated by a multi-mode information
display that shows all the essential data including a digital road speed readout
as well as the posted speed limit (also displayed on the active 3D mapping).
The trad-style pull-up handbrake will also please many.
question that a major reason for buying any SUV is the commanding driving position.
And that's exactly what you get in the Stonic. The supportive seats have ample
adjustability and generous height adjustment, making setting that perfect driving
position a quick job and provides a wide-ranging view down the bonnet. Thanks
to its SUV stance, placing the Stonic accurately is a walk in the park. And,
thanks to a decent-sized rear screen, knowing what's coming up behind you is
equally clear. Parking is easy-peasy, made easier by front and rear parking
sensors and a reversing camera system.
For a 'compact' model the Stonic sure does provide plenty of in-cabin storage
for your personal 'stuff': bottle-holding door bins, dual-use cupholders, storage
under the front central armrest, a deep open tray ahead of the selector lever
and a shelf for your mobile, an illuminated glovebox, and a drop-down case for
your shades. The Stonic is also well specced when it comes to its comms. The
touchscreen comes with smartphone mirroring: Apple and Android are fitted (both
with voice control), so you can music stream or use any of your phone's apps.
Connected Services deliver TomTom Live and the 8-inch screen's infotainment
and foolproof SatNav come with crisp, clear graphics, useful shortcut buttons,
and quick-acting and intuitive menus (usefully you can also pinpoint where you've
parked your car via your phone). You also get a six-speaker audio system with
DAB radio, USB and AUX ports and Bluetooth with music streaming. The intuitive
and easy to use comms are boosted by voice control for Navigation, Phone, and
Media functions and combined with all the other positive cabin features create
a calm and relaxing driving environment that's exactly what you need on today's
Stonic is a relaxing
to travel in, with bumps
soaked up smoothly
despite the ride being
settled passengers and
keeping the driver
Pootling around country
roads in the jacked-up
Stonic is surprisingly
tranquil wherever youre
sitting. And it feels
equally laid-back in town
where the ride-friendly
rubber helps counter any
Kia are well-known for their unstinting kit levels: in addition to the sporty
seats, comprehensive comms, and parking camera already mentioned, you also get
keyless entry and locking on both front doors plus keyless engine Start, three-stage
heated front seats and steering wheel, four electric windows (the driver's with
auto up/down op), auto-dimming rearview mirror, heated and on-demand powerfolding
door mirrors, Smart cruise control with Intelligent Speed Limit Assist, privacy
glass, auto lights and wipes, height-adjustable front seatbelts, drive-off automatic
door locking, aluminium pedals, and a set of 17-inch alloy wheels.
are Bi-function Projection items with static cornering lights, daytime running
lights are LED as are the front fogs and tail lights, plus there's a full suite
of airbags. Driver assistance includes Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (City/Pedestrian/Cyclist-aware
with autonomous emergency braking), Lane Keeping Assist, Driver Attention Warning,
and automatic headlight dip/main beam switching. You also get Blind Spot Collision
Warning and Blind Spot Collision Avoidance (Rear), Emergency Stop Signalling,
Torque Vectoring, Straight Line Stability and Cornering Brake Control, Electronic
Stability Control and Vehicle Stability Management systems, hill-start assist
and tyre pressure monitoring.
The Stonic's rear passengers sit higher than front row users and enjoy well-canted
backrests and ample legroom even when seated behind a six-footer; if three must
travel in the back they can without being squeezed (the welcome lack of a transmission
tunnel ensures comfy feet too). Privacy glass from the B-pillars back takes
the sting out of the sunlight but the tinting doesn't hamper the decent views
out through the long, deep side windows. Naturally there's a USB charging point,
a pocket on the front passenger's seatback, bottle-holding door pockets, and
Isofix child seat fixtures.
Stonic is a relaxing to travel in, with bumps soaked up smoothly despite the
ride being agreeably firm a good compromise between settled passengers
and keeping the driver engaged. Pootling around country roads in the 'jacked-up'
Stonic is surprisingly tranquil wherever you're sitting. And it feels equally
laid-back in town where the ride-friendly 205/55-profile Continental rubber
helps counter any higgledy-piggledy blacktop.
SUV the Stonics 352-
litres will swallow the
monthly family shop and
even awkward everyday
cargo such as a folded
For those with gear to
stow the 60:40-split rear
seats can be folded to
open up a 1,155-litre
loadbay with a seamless
and perfectly level floor.
You can, of course,
use the roof rails which
arent there just for
show, and towing is on
the menu too:
a braked 900kg...
All Stonics are front-wheel-drive; no problem there's more than
enough grip to dismiss any need for full-blown four-wheel drive. It's easy and
relaxing to drive, whether you're in the city or wild in the country. It's agreeably
agile and when you're pressing on through back lane twists and turns the rack
and pinion steering is as quick as the Stonic's nose is keen.
Also good is the reassuring stopping power, as too is the Torque Vectoring which
brakes an inner wheel if the car is in danger of running wide in corners, bringing
it back onto the driver's desired line. You don't need to drive far to get that
this trustworthy compact SUV is as chuckable as you need it to be = although
for most owners the need for speed is unlikely to be a high priority.
Which brings us, finally, to the boot. Accessed via a high-lifting tailgate,
the load-cover is a no-hassle, lift-up parcel shelf. For a supermini-sized SUV
the Stonic's 352 litres will swallow the monthly family shop and even awkward
everyday cargo such as a folded baby buggy. For those with gear to stow the
60:40-split rear seats can be folded to open up a 1,155-litre loadbay with a
seamless and perfectly level floor. You can, of course, use the roof rails which
aren't there just for show, and towing is on the menu too: a braked 900kg. The
boot also offers plenty of bag hooks, tether points, and useful net pockets.
Likeable, a smart-looker, and a cinch to drive: 50+mpg with the best features
of an SUV but without the bulk and heavier fuel consumption. Seriously, what's
not to like? And although it's not the most pressing reason to choose a Stonic,
the peace of mind that comes with its industry-leading seven-year warranty will,
for would-be owners locked-in to a budget, be a major factor when making that
final call between brands. ~ MotorBar
Kia Stonic GT-Line S 1.0 T-GDi 48v DCT7
Maximum speed: 115mph | 0-60mph: 10.4 seconds | Test Average: 53.7mpg
Power: 118bhp | Torque: 148lb ft | CO2: 129g/km