New Stonic

MEDIA INFORMATION


PRESS PACK

New Kia Stonic press pack - October 2020

THE KIA STONIC ON (JUST OVER) A PAGE                                                 

General

  • New 'EcoDynamics+' petrol mild-hybrid powertrain
  • 'Clutch-by-wire' intelligent manual or seven-speed dual-clutch transmission
  • New 'Smartstream' innovations for all engines to boost efficiency
  • More scope for customisation with new paint colours for body and roof
  • Stonic now offers new 'Phase II' UVO Connect telematics features
  • Larger 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system
  • Brand new GT-Line, Connect and GT-Line S line-up joins ‘2’ specification
  • Based on Rio supermini
  • Designed in Europe with input from main design centre at Namyang in Korea
  • Originally intended as a Europe-only car but now also sold in Korea
  • Five-seat front-wheel-drive car available in eight versions
  • Built at Sohari in South Korea
  • Mild hybrid ‘Eco-Dynamics+’ 1.0 T-GDi powertrain with 118bhp
  • Three-cylinder 1.0 T-GDi turbocharged direct injection engine with 99bhp
  • All versions have Kia's ISG engine stop/start system to save fuel
  • Six-speed manual gearbox standard, with 7-speed DCT automatic transmission available on all versions

Body

  • Same wheelbase as Rio but with longer rear overhang, increasing overall length to 4,140mm.
  • 35mm wider and 70mm taller to give SUV stance and raised seating position, 42mm greater ground clearance than Rio
  • Slim, narrow, high-mounted 'tiger-nose' grille in black gloss and satin chrome beneath stepped bonnet 
  • 16- or 17-inch alloy wheels
  • Appearance defined by sharp, straight lines and smooth surfacing
  • Front fog lights pushed outwards to emphasise width and stability
  • Bold C-pillars curve downwards and rearwards into exaggerated beltline
  • Two-tone colour combinations for ‘Connect’ and ‘GT-Line S’ models

Interior

  • Sculpted, horizontal, ergonomic fascia designed around 8-inch display screens
  • Straight lines emphasise width of cabin and space for occupants
  • Class-leading shoulder room in B-SUV segment with generous head- and legroom
  • 352-litre boot, with dual-floor for ‘GT-Line’ models and above
  • Black cloth, black cloth with grey faux leather upholstery or black cloth and faux leather upholstery, depending on model
  • Centre console storage box and cupholders, overhead sunglasses holder and bottle holders in every door
  • Smart Key engine start/stop button on ‘Connect’ and ‘GT-Line S’ model
  • Aluminium pedals on ‘GT-Line’ and ‘GT-Line S’ versions

Technology and safety

  • Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist with city, pedestrian and cyclist detection and Lane Keeping Assist System with Driver Attention Warning and High Beam Assist standard on all models
  • Heated seats and steering wheel standard on ‘GT-Line S’ model
  • New high-tech driver assistance and safety features include Smart Cruise Control, Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist with cyclist detection and Intelligent Speed Limit Assist
  • Rear parking sensors fitted to all models, with reversing camera standard on all models ‘GT-Line’ and above
  • Torque Vectoring, Straight Line Stability and Cornering Brake Control standard on all models
  • Blind Spot Collision Warning (BCW) featured on ‘GT-Line S’ model
  • Display screens linked to Android Auto™ and Apple CarPlay™ in all models, with satellite navigation and Kia Connected Services via TomTom™ on all models ‘GT-Line’ and above

          INTRODUCTION

  • New ‘EcoDynamics+’ petrol mild-hybrid powertrain
  • ‘Clutch-by-wire’ intelligent manual or seven-speed dual-clutch transmission
  • New ‘Smartstream’ innovations for all engines to boost efficiency
  • Refreshed model range, with ‘2’, ‘GT-Line’, ‘Connect’ and ‘GT-Line S’ editions
  • New colour combinations for ‘Connect’ and ‘GT-Line S’ models
  • Stonic now offers new ‘Phase II’ UVO Connect telematics
  • Larger 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system
  • New high-tech driver assistance and safety features include Smart Cruise Control, Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist with cyclist detection and Intelligent Speed Limit Assist
  • Kia's entry into the B-segment SUV market
  • Based on the Rio supermini and built alongside it in South Korea
  • Powered by high-efficiency, high-technology petrol engines
  • Agile and comfortable, with suspension and steering tuned in Europe

Kia Motors has introduced significant upgrades to the Kia Stonic compact crossover, strengthening the car’s position in the European B-SUV segment.

The upgraded Stonic now offers drivers a range of efficient new ‘Smartstream’ powertrains, with innovations that enhance efficiency. Among these, the Stonic now offers Kia’s new petrol 48V mild-hybrid ‘EcoDynamics+’ powertrain and is also equipped with the company’s new ‘clutch-by-wire’ intelligent Manual Transmission.

The interior and exterior design of the Stonic remain largely unchanged, however owners have even greater of choice than before, with new body and roof colours and colour schemes, and new wheel designs. Inside, there is a new, larger 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment and navigation system with Kia’s new ‘Phase II’ UVO Connect telematics features. Safety and driver support are further enhanced with the adoption of a range of new high-tech advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS).

Introduced to the European market at the end of 2017, the Stonic has since become Kia’s fifth best-selling model annually (following the Sportage, Picanto, Ceed model family and Niro). Since its launch, and up until the end of 2019, more than 16,000 examples of the Stonic have been sold in the UK.

Stonic is based on the platform of the Rio supermini and is powered by high-efficiency, high-technology ‘Smartstream’ petrol powertrains. It was designed in Europe at the company's Frankfurt studios, with input from the main design centre at Namyang in Korea. Originally intended as a car solely for Europe, it is also now sold in Korea, such was the reception it got when shown there.   

In the UK there is a four-model line-up based on ‘2’, ‘GT-Line’, ‘Connect’ and ‘GT-Line S’ trim levels. All versions offer an extensive package of connectivity features, including links to Android Auto™ and Apple CarPlay™ via pre-downloaded smartphone apps, while advanced electronic driver assistance systems such as Forward Collision Avoidance Assist, Lane Departure Warning and Automatic Headlight control.      

A Kia for a changing market

It brings a distinctive B-SUV look to the multi-award-winning styling which is evident in every model from Kia. Key signature design elements such as the 'tiger-nose' main front grille, the distinctive C-pillar and the straight lines and smooth surfaces ensure that Stonic is instantly recognisable as a Kia.

Stonic and Rio share the same 2,580mm wheelbase, but Stonic is 70mm taller to give it a clear crossover stance, and it is wider with a longer rear overhang to maximise passenger and luggage space. Stonic is not only one of the smartest-looking Kias to date, but also one of the smartest in terms of packaging.

The ‘Connect’ and ‘GT-Line S’ versions standout even more thanks to two-tone paintwork. The roof, wing mirror casings and rear spoiler are picked out in either black, or yellow, depending on the main body colour.

The interior has been designed around the displays for the connectivity technologies. There is a new 8-inch display with DAB radio and MP3 compatibility, and on ‘GT-Line’ and higher grades, this is upgraded to an 8-inch touchscreen navigation system with Kia Connected Services featuring TomTom Live™. Android Auto™ and Apple CarPlay™ smartphone integration is fitted to every model.

The horizontal theme evident in the exterior styling is repeated in the cabin, emphasising width and space while separating the upper information and lower control areas. The number of buttons and switches has been kept to a minimum to give a neater look and greater functionality.

B-SUVs are the 'new cool', attracting buyers from the supermini, small MPV and three-door compact hatchback sectors. But Stonic will not simply cannibalise sales from other Kia models. Rather, it will attract customers from other brands to continue Kia's inexorable upwards momentum.

Stonic is sold in the UK in eight versions based on two engines and four trim lines. All versions are front-wheel drive.

New ‘GT-Line’ and ‘GT-Line S’ crown updated Stonic line-up

The Stonic range for 2020 has been reprofiled, with the line-up kicking off with ‘2’ specification, before moving up to an eye-catching new ‘GT-Line’ specification, followed by a two-tone ‘Connect’ edition, and ‘GT-Line S’ flagship.

The exciting new ‘GT-Line’ and ‘GT-Line S’ models deliver a strong and sporty design, with ‘GT-Line’ front grille, LED headlights and daytime running lights, together with more dynamic front and rear bumpers that integrate a front skid plate and LED fog lamps. ‘GT-Line’ models feature a black rear spoiler with integrated high-mounted brake light, while the ‘GT-Line S’ versions features a rear spoiler painted in body colour. Unique 17-inch alloy wheels and a ‘GT-Line’ emblem on the rear tailgate completes the exterior makeover. ‘GT-Line’ versions are available in six paint finishes, while the two-tone ‘GT-Line S’ editions are offered in five hues, with a choice of black, red or yellow roof, depending upon the colour chosen.

The sporty ambience is enhanced by a leather D-cut steering wheel with ‘GT-Line’ motif emblazoned upon it and a carbon look crash pad. The black cloth and faux leather seats are embossed with the ‘GT-Line’ logo and feature stitching and piping. The new 8-inch multimedia and navigation system dominates the cabin, and a 4.2-inch colour supervision display is nestled within the instrument cluster.

Safety performance is placed very high on the agenda, with ‘GT-Line’ and ‘GT-Line S’ models featuring Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA) with pedestrian and cyclist detection, Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS), Driver Attention Warning (DAW), Manual Speed Limit Assist (MSLA) and High Beam Assist (HBA), with ‘GT-Line S’ versions additionally featuring Blind Spot Collision Warning (BCW) and Intelligent Speed Limit Assist (ISLA), with DCT editions also boasting Blind Spot Collision Avoidance for the rear of the car. Other advanced technology features include rear parking sensors and a reversing camera system, with ‘GT-Line S’ models also featuring front parking sensors.

Other equipment highlights include rear privacy glass, electrically folding door mirrors, automatic air conditioning, an 8-inch touchscreen navigation system with the very latest UVO Connect Phase II telematics software. Android AutoTM and Apple CarPlayTM are both standard equipment.

‘GT-Line’ and ‘GT-Line S’ editions boast the latest engine technology and comes exclusively powered by the 1.0-litre T-GDi petrol engine featuring brand new 48-volt mild hybrid technology. The 118bhp powerplant is mated to either a six-speed manual or seven-speed dual clutch automatic transmission and develops 172Nm of torque.

        DESIGN AND PACKAGING

Stonic is a car created to meet the changing demands of the European market, where conventional three-door hatchbacks and small MPVs are falling out of favour. The requirement now is for small cars with the looks and higher seating position of an SUV, but without the weight, cost, and fuel consumption penalties of all-wheel drive.

Kia was quick to recognise the business case for a B-SUV, even though as originally planned it was to be sold only in Europe. That decision made Europe the logical place to design the car, but Korea the best place to build it, as it would share production facilities with the Rio on which it is based.

While Kia's California design studios were busy creating the latest Rio in collaboration with the main design centre at Namyang in Korea, Stonic was entrusted to the European design team at Frankfurt, with help from Namyang.

A dynamic small urban crossover with a Kia twist outside

Stonic adds a uniquely Kia twist to the newest and fastest-growing market sector in Europe, bringing what have become the brand's distinctive design features and hallmarks to the B-SUV class.

There is the familiar 'tiger-nose' grille, which in Stonic gets a wide but narrow interpretation. It is mounted beneath a beautifully sculpted stepped bonnet and above a wide lower air intake running almost the full width of the car. The main grille is in high-gloss black and satin chrome. Sharp, functional lines blend with softer, sculpted surfaces all over the car, and there is a stylised C-pillar – another key Kia identifier – but here it is narrower than in some other models and flows effortlessly from the roofline into the voluminous beltline running above the expansive rear wheel arches and around the tailgate.

A black garnish running around the wheel arches and along the sills and the lower portion of the doors and tailgate emphasises Stonic's SUV stance, proportions, and strength, and is complemented by silver skid plates front and rear. ‘GT-Line’ grades and above have chrome side window trim. There are bold bi-function projection static bending headlights with LED daytime running lights on the Stonic ‘2’ and ‘Connect’, with LED bi-function projection headlights on all other versions. , LED rear combination light units feature on ‘GT-Line’ versions and above. Projection front fog lights, neatly integrated roof rails and a rear spoiler are standard, and all versions but the Stonic ‘2’ have privacy glass on the rear side windows and tailgate. All versions in the UK have alloy wheels, with 16-inch available on the ‘2’ and larger 17-inch wheels on all other editions. The overall effect is of sportiness and dynamism with practicality – exactly what a crossover should be.

The Stonic ‘Connect’ and ‘GT-Line S’ offers a greater range of colour combinations than any previous Kia. The roof, rear spoiler and door mirror housings can be in black or yellow, depending on main body colour.         

Spacious, practical and stylish interior

Stonic and Rio share an identical 2,580mm wheelbase, but Stonic is 70mm taller and 35mm wider. Meanwhile the rear overhang has been extended by 70mm to maximise passenger and luggage space and add to Stonic's appearance of SUV robustness.  Stonic is not only one of the smartest-looking Kias to date, but also one of the smartest in terms of packaging.

The increase in overall height has been put to good use to raise ground clearance by 42mm compared with Rio, giving the command-post view out and the enhanced feeling of safety which buyers cite as two of the main reasons for choosing an SUV.

Stonic has the best shoulder room of any car in the B-SUV class, as well as generous head- and legroom front and rear, while the extended rear overhang allows for a boot of 352 litres with the 60:40 rear seats upright, and 1,155 litres with them folded. This is 27 litres more than in the Rio. Stonic ‘GT-Line’ versions and above have a dual-height luggage floor to enhance versatility.

The dashboard has been designed around the displays for the car's connectivity technologies.  There is an 8-inch display in all versions with a DAB radio and MP3 compatibility. Android Auto™ and Apple CarPlay™ smartphone connectivity is fitted to every model. This is upgraded to a 8.0-inch touchscreen satellite navigation system featuring Kia Connected Services with TomTom™ and a reversing camera with dynamic guidelines on Stonic ‘GT-Line’ models and above.

The horizontal theme evident in the exterior styling is repeated in the cabin, emphasising width and space while separating the upper information and lower control areas. The number of buttons and switches has been kept to a minimum to give a neater look and greater functionality.

The central display screen is at the same height as the main instrument cluster, making it easier for the driver to absorb information quickly with the minimum of distractions. A 4.2-inch colour supervision cluster within the main instruments is standard.

 ‘2’ grade models have black cloth upholstery, with black cloth and grey faux leather upholstery with grey accents giving the Stonic ‘Connect’ a plush feel to the cabin, along with satin chrome finish interior door handles and a D-shaped steering wheel with perforated leather trim. ‘GT-Line’ and ‘GT-Line S’ versions have a ‘GT-Line’ interior featuring black cloth and faux leather upholstery.

Quality – perceived and actual – is evident in the fit and finish and the choice of materials. A leather-trimmed steering wheel and gearshifter are standard, and there are silver or satin chrome interior door handles. ‘Connect’ and ‘GT-Line S’ versions have a Smart Key with engine start/stop button and ‘GT-Line’ and ‘GT-Line S’ editions feature sporty aluminium pedals.

The extensive interior storage areas include a centre console box and cupholders, bottle holders in every door, an illuminated glovebox, an overhead sunglasses case and a front passenger seat-back pocket.

          DYNAMICS

Stonic is based on the platform and running gear of the Rio supermini and has an identical 2,580mm wheelbase, but has been tuned to take into account its greater ground clearance (up by 42mm), higher centre of gravity and increased weight, and to give it slightly more sporty driving characteristics. The suspension features independent MacPherson struts at the front and a torsion beam axle at the rear. Stonic's responsive steering is aided considerably by a stiff body shell which is composed of 51 per cent lightweight high-strength steels.

Spring and damper settings take advantage of the stiff body, which allows the suspension to do its work without having to compensate for flexing of the car's structure. The rear dampers are almost vertical, while those at the front benefit from pre-loaded linear valve technology, delivering more consistent handling and suspension response over broken surfaces.

Pre-loaded linear valve technology introduces a completely new piston design which not only increases driving comfort but also ensures excellent isolation of vibrations in the vehicle body. Rapid opening and closing processes in the valve ensure outstanding wheel damping, which adds to safety by improving handling precision. In addition, innovative piston geometries further optimise the damper's noise emissions.

The gearbox for the motor-driven power steering (MDPS) is mounted as far forwards as possible, improving feel for the driver, while the number of teeth on the steering's serration column shaft enhances off-centre feel while contributing towards an improvement in noise, vibration and harshness. This all results in faster steering responses with greater feedback and increased driver confidence.

The column mounted MDPS requires just 2.52 turns between the extremes of lock for a tight turning circle of 5.2 metres. Ventilated front disc brakes and solid rear discs are fitted across the range and supported by anti-lock (ABS), electronic brake force distribution (EBD) and a Brake Assist system (BAS). Collectively, these allow Stonic to be steered and braked at the same time without risk of going out of control, ensure that most braking effort goes to the wheels which are best able to take advantage of it, and automatically deliver maximum stopping power in emergency braking, regardless of the pressure applied to the pedal by the driver.

Alloy wheels of 16- or -17 inches in diameter are standard, with either 195/55/R16 or 205/55/R17 tyres. ‘2’ models feature the smaller size wheels, while all other editions have larger 17-inch items. All models have a tyre mobility kit in place of a spare wheel alongside a tyre pressure monitoring system.   

          ENGINES

The upgraded Kia Stonic will offer the brand’s new petrol mild-hybrid electric vehicle (MHEV) ‘EcoDynamics+’ powertrain. Pairing a new ‘Smartstream’ 1.0-litre T-GDi (Turbocharged Gasoline Direct injection) engine with a 48-volt MHEV system, the EcoDynamics+ powertrain delivers greater efficiency by seamlessly deploying and recuperating electric power. A compact 48-volt lithium-ion polymer battery supplements the engine’s torque output with electric power and extends engine ‘off time’ with a new Mild-Hybrid Starter-Generator (MHSG) unit.

The MHSG is connected by belt to the engine’s crankshaft, and switches seamlessly between ‘motor’ and ‘generator’ modes. In ‘motor’ mode, under acceleration, the MHSG provides electric power assistance to reduce engine load and emissions. As the car decelerates, the MHSG has the ability under certain conditions to switch to ‘generator’ mode, recuperating energy from the crankshaft to recharge the battery.

The new Smartstream engine replaces the Stonic’s earlier ‘Kappa’-generation 1.0-litre T-GDi powertrain and is equipped with Continuously Variable Valve Duration (CVVD) technology. CVVD enables the engine to switch seamlessly between different combustion cycles depending on load, maximising efficiency in all driving situations. The Smartstream engine produces the same power as the previous Kappa engine – 118bhp – but enables a 16 per cent higher peak torque output of 200Nm on the seven-speed Dual-Clutch Transmission (7DCT). A Drive Mode Select system allows drivers of each version customise their drive with ‘Eco’, ‘Sport’ and ‘Normal’ modes is available on iMT and 7DCT versions.

EcoDynamics+ models are also available with Kia’s new intelligent Manual Transmission (iMT). The ‘clutch-by-wire’ system contributes to the MHEV system’s greater fuel efficiency and lower CO2 emissions, while retaining the driver engagement of a conventional manual transmission. Instead of a mechanical linkage, the iMT’s clutch is actuated electronically. It integrates seamlessly with the MHSG to switch off the engine earlier than Kia’s Idle Stop & Go start-stop system when coasting to a halt.

Both transmissions, iMT and 7DCT, enable periods of engine-off ‘sailing’ to improve fuel efficiency. This operates at speeds of up to 77mph, and the engine reactivates when the driver pushes the accelerator, brake or clutch pedals.

New Smartstream petrol powertrains

The upgraded Kia Stonic also features major revisions to its existing range of petrol engine options, maximising efficiency, lowering CO2 emissions, and improving driveability. As well as EcoDynamics+ models, the line-up features a non-hybrid Smartstream petrol engine – the new  1.0-litre 99bhp T-GDi engine.

Model

Power bhp

Torque

Nm

0-60 sec

Max speed mph

Comb. mpg

CO2 g/km

'2' 1.0 T-GDi 99bhp 6-speed manual ISG

99

172

10.7

115

49.6

129

'2' 1.0 T-GDi 99bhp 7-speed DCT ISG

99

172

11.7

108

49.6

130

‘GT Line’ 1.0 T-GDi 118bhp 48V 6-speed manual ISG

118

172

10.4

115

TBC

TBC

‘GT Line’ 1.0 T-GDi 118bhp 48V 7-speed DCT ISG

118

200

10.4

115

TBC

TBC

‘Connect’ 1.0 T-GDi 118bhp 48V 6-speed manual ISG

118

172

10.4

115

51.4

125

‘Connect’ 1.0 T-GDi 118bhp 48V 7-speed DCT ISG

118

200

10.4

115

49.6

129

‘GT Line S’ 1.0 T-GDi 118bhp 48V 6-speed manual ISG

118

172

10.4

115

TBC

TBC

‘GT Line S’ 1.0 T-GDi 118bhp 48V 7-speed DCT ISG

118

200

10.4

115

TBC

TBC

          TECHNOLOGY

UVO Connected Services are accessed through a new 8-inch touchscreen navigation system that comes as standard on grades ‘GT-Line’ models and above. The latest Stonic features an upgraded touchscreen satellite navigation system with DAB radio, and is one of the first Kia models in Europe to offer the brand’s innovative ‘Phase II’ UVO Connect telematics system, enhancing vehicle connectivity and control, and taking the stress out of journeys.

The upgraded Stonic is equipped with a larger 8.0-inch touchscreen display on all models. The new system also features Bluetooth® multi-connection, enabling users to connect up to two mobile devices at the same time – one for hands-free phone and multimedia use; the other for media use only. Its advanced split-screen functionality lets users control or monitor different vehicle features at the same time, customising the screen with a series of different widgets. The system offers wireless Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™ on all models, negating the need for many owners to connect their smartphone via a cable.

A DAB radio is standard on all models and paired to a new 8-inch colour touchscreen display. A reversing camera, with dynamic guidelines is standard from grade ‘GT-Line’ and above, while rear parking sensors are standard equipment on every version of the Stonic.

UVO Connect’s Phase II features provide customers with several new benefits, such as more accurate journey times, ‘last-mile’ navigation assistance, and a range of features to enhance connectivity and usability. These can be accessed through an enhanced UVO smartphone app or via vehicles’ on-board infotainment systems.

One of the most useful Phase II features to be offered in UVO Connect-equipped vehicles is ‘Online Navigation’. This service draws on cloud-based real-time and historical traffic data to predict traffic levels more accurately, giving customers a more accurate picture of journey times and estimated time of arrival. This differs from traffic prediction tools found in conventional navigation systems, which only rely on in-car route planning and real-time traffic information to estimate journey times.

Kia’s new ‘Last Mile Navigation’ feature will help customers continue navigating to their final destination, even after they have parked up and left their car behind. This offers Kia customers the ideal solution for navigation in towns and cities where car parking are often some distance away from shops, cafés and restaurants.

Once the vehicle’s ignition has been turned off, this new feature sends a push notification to the UVO app on the user’s smartphone if their destination is between 200 metres and 2 kilometres away. The app lets users seamlessly access Google Maps navigation to complete their journey on foot. Alternatively, users can engage an augmented reality function, ‘AR Guidance’, which opens the smartphone’s camera and blends the image with AR turn-by-turn directional arrows.

Customers can also use a new ‘User Profile Transfer’ feature on the UVO app. This enables them to check and change their vehicle settings directly from their smartphone, including navigation, radio and Bluetooth preferences, at a time and place convenient for them. When the ignition is turned on, customers are automatically greeted with their preferred settings, saving time and making each journey more enjoyable.

It also lets Kia owners back-up their in-vehicle UVO preferences via the cloud and transfer settings from one vehicle to the next. This system will benefit customers who regularly switch between different UVO Connect-equipped Kia cars, for instance, fleet drivers who use pool cars, or families with more than one UVO Connect-equipped Kia in their household.

          SAFETY

Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA) with city, pedestrian and cyclist detection forms part of Kia's Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS). It also offers a Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS) with Driver Attention Warning (DAW) and High Beam Assist (HBA). They are standard equipment on every version of the new Stonic. And, in an increasingly connected world, Stonic ‘GT-Line’ models and above offers the full Kia Connected Services package powered by TomTom™. Android Auto™ and Apple CarPlay™ smartphone integration is standard on all models.

Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA) with city, pedestrian and cyclist detection takes data from radar and a camera to detect sudden and potentially dangerous braking by a vehicle ahead, and activates the brakes. At speeds between 5mph and 50mph it will come to a complete stop, avoiding many potential collisions and minimising the consequences of others. It is also able to detect pedestrians who wander into its path and apply the brakes in the same way. Visual and audible alerts warn the driver of imminent danger so that manual intervention is possible before the car starts to brake automatically.  

The Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS) also relies on a camera which in this case recognises the lane markings on roads and senses when the car is about to deviate from its intended course when the indicators have not been activated. Again, the driver is warned visually via a symbol on the instrument display and audibly to correct the car's trajectory.

Stonic ‘GT-Line S’ models feature Blind Spot Collision Warning (BSCW), a system that features radar and cameras that recognise if the driver is about to change lanes into the path of another vehicle approaching from behind in an adjoining lane and warns the driver.

The ultra-stiff body shell has beneficial effects beyond handling and comfort. It provides a greater barrier against injury in the event of an accident. Structural additions include a partitioned inner assembly of the front strut mount, strengthened connections in the C-pillar cross-member and the application of structural adhesives on major chassis components. Advanced high-strength steels reinforce all major chassis parts, and there are multiple load paths to dissipate crash energy in the front of the car.

Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and Vehicle Stability Management (VSM), which work together to stabilise the car on slippery road surfaces or when simultaneously cornering and braking, are joined by Straight Line Stability, which senses any difference in applied brake pressure between the right and left of the car and intervenes to keep it straight. Stonic also features Cornering Brake Control, which delivers asymmetrical brake pressure when braking in tight curves to counter loss of traction, and 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.  All versions have Hill-start Assist to prevent the car from rolling backwards when setting off on steep inclines.

There are six airbags with pre-tensioners and load limiters to brace occupants in their seats in extreme braking or if an accident is about to happen, and to help prevent injury to chests. A visual and audible seat belt reminder warning is fitted, and there are ISOFIX child-seat mounting points.     

          SPECIFICATION HIGHLIGHTS

The Kia Stonic is available in eight versions based on two engines and four trim grades –‘2’, ‘GT-Line’, ‘Connect’ and ‘GT-Line S’. The ‘2’ grade is offered with the 1.0-litre T-GDi engine developing 99bhp and there’s a choice of six-speed manual or seven-speed Dual-Clutch Transmission (7DCT). All other versions are powered by the brand new 48-volt mild hybrid 1.0-litre T-GDi engine that produces 118bhp, witheither a six-speed manual or seven-speed Dual-Clutch automatic Transmission (7DCT).

Standard equipment on the Stonic ‘2’ includes 16-inch alloy wheels, body coloured door mirrors with a matt black lower housing, a high gloss black and satin radiator grille, black and body coloured door bumpers with silver kick plates front and rear, and black side sill, door garnish and wheel arch trims. A body coloured rear spoiler with high-mounted brake light, roof rails and body coloured exterior door handles complete the exterior look.

The door mirrors are electrically adjustable, heated and folding with LED indicator lights, there’s bi-function projection headlights with static bending, automatic headlight control, LED daytime running lights and front fog lights, in addition to a rear fog light, rear combination lights, speed-variable aeroblade type front wipers and tinted glass.

Inside, there’s black cloth upholstery, a leather trimmed steering wheel and gearshift, interior door handles with a silver finish, all-round electric windows with driver’s auto up and down functionality, air conditioning, cruise control with speed limiter and remote central door locking with foldaway key.

The rear seats split and fold in a 60:40 arrangement, the driver’s seat has height adjustment and there’s a light, parcel shelf and net hooks in the luggage area. A front 12-volt power socket is provided, along with front and centre cabin lights, meanwhile there’s front and rear door map pockets with bottle holder, a front passenger seat back pocket and centre armrest storage box.

The infotainment system is arguably one of the most important parts of any car and the Stonic features a new 8-inch touchscreen with DAB radio and six speakers. Android AutoTM, Apple CarPlayTM and Bluetooth® with music streaming are all included as standard, along with voice control and steering wheel controls. Charging devices is made easier by the provision of a USB sockets both front and rear. A 4.2-inch supervision colour cluster display is provided, along with a trip computer and rear parking sensors make reversing in tight spaces easier.

Safety is incredibly important in any car and the Stonic is packed with the latest Advanced Driving Assistance Systems (ADAS). Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA) with city, pedestrian and cyclist detection is included as standard on all Stonics, along with Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS), Driver Attention Warning (DAW) and High Beam Assist (HBA). Hill-Start Assist Control (HAC) feature along with six airbags, Electronic Stability Control (SC) and Vehicle Stability Management (VSM), Anti-Lock Brakes (ABS) with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist System (BAS). A Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) alerts you to any problems with the tyres, an alarm system offers protection and a Drive Mode Select system is included on all DCT automatic versions. Finally, ISOFIX child safety seat top tethers and anchor fixings are provided for the outer rear seats.

Move up to sporty ‘GT-Line’ trim and there’s 17-inch ‘GT-Line’ designed alloy wheels, electric folding gloss black mirrors with matt black lower housing, chrome trim for the side windows, solar windscreen glass and rear privacy glass for the rear windows and tailgate. There’s LED bi-function projection headlights, LED front fog lights and rear combination lights and a black rear spoiler with high-mounted brake light.

The inside of the Stonic ‘GT-Line’ features black cloth and faux leather upholstery, a black high gloss centre fascia and a D-cut perforated leather trimmed steering wheel, together with a satin chrome finish to the interior door handles. Automatic air conditioning and an automatic defog system are included as standard and there’s aluminium pedals to add a sporty touch. Move to the boot and there’s a handy dual height luggage area floor. A new 8-inch touchscreen navigation system with telematic is included with Kia Connected Services featuring TomTomTM Live. A reversing camera is displayed on the new touchscreen and a shark fin antenna delivers a high-tech appearance.

The new ‘Connect’ trim uses ‘2’ specification as its basis, with the addition of two-tone paint with contrasting roof. It features 17-inch alloy wheels, has roof coloured electrically folding door mirrors with matt black lower housing, chrome trim for the side windows, rear privacy glass, LED rear combination lights and a roof-coloured rear spoiler with high-mounted brake light.

There are also rain-sensing windscreen wipers, black and grey cloth and faux leather upholstery with grey accents, a high gloss black centre fascia, D-cut perforated leather trimmed steering wheel and a satin chrome finish to the interior door handles. Automatic air conditioning and automatic defog system is standard equipment, too, along with an auto-dimming rear view mirror and smart key with engine start/stop button. A dual height luggage area floor is provided for extra versatility and an 8-inch touchscreen navigation system with telematics and Kia Connected Services featuring TomTomTM Live. A shark fin rear antenna is included, and the reversing camera displays the image behind the vehicle on the central touchscreen.

At the top of the range, the ‘GT-Line S’ is the sportiest of line-up and takes its equipment from the ‘GT-Line’ model. In addition, there’s two-tone paint with contrasting roof colour and a roof-coloured rear spoiler with high-mounted brake light. A passenger side height adjuster is provided as standard, along with heated front seats and steering wheel and a rear luggage net.

Front parking sensors, Blind Spot Collision Warning (BCW) and Intelligent Speed Limit Assist (ISLA) are fitted to ‘GT-Line S’ models, with Smart Cruise Control and Blind Spot Rear Collision Avoidance are fitted as standard on DCT automatic models.

          WARRANTY AND AFTER-CARE

Kia set a new benchmark in 2007 when it launched the cee'd with an industry-best seven-year/100,000-mile warranty. That demonstration of faith in the quality and reliability of Kia products was subsequently extended to every model.

A major benefit is that it is transferable to subsequent owners at no charge, as long as the seven-year time limit has not been reached and the mileage is below 100,000.

The mechanical warranty is supported by a 12-year anti-perforation warranty and a five-year paint warranty.

Servicing is required every 10,000 miles or once a year, whichever comes soonest. The Stonic is available with Kia’s ‘Kia Care’ service plans, which have been developed to provide customers with a wide range of service plan options for any Kia model within the first seven years of the vehicle’s life – matching its industry-leading seven-year warranty.

The service plans include a comprehensive range of options including the original, traditional, first, third and fifth services and those in between, but in addition a customer can now purchase services up to and including the seventh service which matches the full length of the warranty. The plans are available for all Kia owners and can be purchased at any point of ownership for cars up to five years old.

The Kia Promise was introduced to give customers the best ownership experience by giving them access to seven key benefits. The Kia Promise is activated after purchase and is done by simply registering on the online portal, MyKia. Along with the industry leading seven-year/100,000 mile warranty, other benefits of the Kia Promise include complimentary seven day insurance and £250 Insurance Excess Return for one year; easy to use Click & Collect on Genuine Kia accessories; convenient online service booking; Family-Like Care and Accident AfterCare. Every new Kia also comes with complimentary Roadside Assistance for 12 months. When a customer registers on MyKia, Kia Roadside Assistance Plus, the highest level of cover provided by the RAC, can be unlocked, which includes onward travel and European cover.

        FIVE MINUTES WITH PAUL PHILPOTT

 Burning questions that you would love to ask our President and CEO

Q. How important is the Stonic in the UK?

            The market for SUVs is increasing year-on-year, and the Stonic is our compact offering in the segment. Launched during 2017, it has accelerated to become our fifth best seller, behind Sportage, Picanto, Ceed and Niro. During 2019, more than 8,000 examples were sold in the UK.

 

Q. How challenging has 2020 been?

When the Coronavirus hit in March, it had a devastating effect on the sale of new and used cars, particularly as it is traditionally the biggest month of the year thanks to the registration plate change. As a result, the UK market was down by 44.4 per cent in March compared to 2019, although Kia fared somewhat better, with new car registrations lower by 29 per cent.

With car showrooms closed throughout the mandated lockdown period and only allowed to reopen from June, our retailers have been playing catch up ever since. I am extremely proud of the dealer network we have, and as a result of their hard work, we have had a record-breaking August, with an all-time high of 4,179 new car deliveries. That’s the highest number of cars delivered during an August month, ever. Kia’s sales were up by 21 per cent compared to August 2019 and it is a strong comeback following the COVID-19 lockdown.

But we can’t rest on our laurels, and it is expected that the rest of the year will prove to be tough, with uncertainty in the jobs market and an end to the Government’s support schemes for businesses. We enter this period with one of the strongest model ranges ever, with the new Sorento set to wow customers with its premium cabin and excellent road manners. Joining the Sorento in showrooms this autumn are refreshed versions of Kia’s small car ranges, the Picanto, Rio and Stonic. They all feature brand new ‘SmartStream’ engines and mild hybrid electric vehicle (MHEV) technology features for the first time in the Rio and Stonic ranges. In addition, Kia’s phase II UVO Connect infotainment system is being rolled out right the way across the model line-up.

Looking at other challenges of 2020, even before the pandemic hit it was already going to be a hugely challenging year for UK businesses, with uncertainty surrounding Brexit and the UK’s split from Europe. With a significant number of our most popular cars built within the European Union – Ceed family and Sportage – it has been necessary to plan for the worst scenario possible as we edge towards 2021.

And if those challenges weren’t enough, tougher emissions regulations also came into force in 2020, with new, even more stringent standards that means that every car maker must achieve a CO2 average of 95g/km across their product range. Failure to do so will mean significant fines, and so the primacy focus of Kia Motors is to achieve the fleet CO2 average of 95g/km, across the line-up. This may become even tougher in 2021 when the UK is separate and is no longer part of the European figures.

 

Q. Which vehicles are striking a chord with UK buyers currently?

For many people, the Coronavirus lockdown was a time to reflect on their lives, with many aspects of daily routine examined. The sale of alternatively fuelled vehicles has accelerated over the past few months, and in particular the Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) segment has risen from 1.4 per cent at the turn of the year to 4.7 per cent in August. While those are still small figures, it shows there is a growing appetite for zero and ultra-low emission cars.

And that’s an area that Kia is investing strongly in and I’m proud to say that our Niro SUV was the most popular alternatively fuelled vehicle in August 2020, outselling the second placed car by almost two-to-one. 1,417 examples of the pure electric, hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicle were delivered to UK customers. In the past we have faced significant supply restrictions of e-Niro, but this is now improving, and our customers have been happy to wait.

During 2020, we are aiming for three in every ten cars we sell to be electrified in some way. With both the pure electric e-Niro and Soul EV, we are ahead of the curve in offering customers a choice of electric solutions to solve their mobility issues. For those that prefer a plug-in hybrid vehicle, we now have three, thanks to the recently refreshed Niro and the newly introduced Ceed Sportswagon and all-new XCeed. The Sorento PHEV will make that four when it arrives early next year. The top selling Sportage is fitted with mild hybrid technology on all of the diesel variants and this technology will soon be available on the Ceed, Ceed Sportswagon and XCeed, too.

There is also a continued trend for customers to migrate away from traditional sectors towards SUVs, and we’re in a perfect position to deliver on the changing demand, with six key products in the Kia portfolio – Stonic, Soul EV, Niro, XCeed, Sportage and Sorento.

 

Q. What elements of the Stonic make you proud to be leading Kia Motors UK?

            The Stonic sits in a segment that continues to grow, with family buyers, in particular, seeking a roomier vehicle in a compact footprint. Stonic offers personalisation options to make it stand out on the road, and buyers tell us that they like the generous equipment levels, affordable running costs, exceptional warranty and roomy cabin.

        FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

            We've anticipated what you're likely to ask us

Q. Which engines are the best sellers in the Stonic line-up?

Most buyers opted for the 1.0 T-GDi engine in 2019, and that’s because it’s available in every trim level, while just under seven per cent of customers chose the highly efficient 1.6-litre CRDi powerplant. With the diesel engine no longer available, we expect buyers to migrate to the mild hybrid drivetrain.

 

Q. What trim level is the most popular?

            It’s the grade ‘3’ that was the biggest seller in 2019, with over 30 per cent of customers choosing it. Interestingly, more than 40 per cent of customers chose a high end version of the Stonic during 2019, including grade ‘4’, ‘First Edition’, ‘Maxx’ and ‘Mixx’ editions.

 

Q. Why isn’t there a four-wheel-drive Stonic?

Demand for four-wheel-drive in the compact SUV class is low, and so the Stonic isn’t available with a system that adds extra weight and reduces efficiency. Our decision not to offer four-wheel-drive has seemingly been vindicated by some rivals deleting the option from their compact SUVs.

 

Q. Are there any plans for a more powerful Stonic GT?

The most powerful engine in the Stonic, the 1.0 T-GDi, accounts for around two thirds of all sales, and that powerplant is deemed sufficient for the needs of Stonic buyers. We constantly evaluate opportunities, but the market for a higher powered Stonic would be too small to justify the investment costs.

Ends

For further information on Kia please visit www.kiapressoffice.com or contact:

Stephen Kitson
Director of Corporate Communications

E: skitson@kia.co.uk   
T: 01932 832 075 M: 07795 011 936

Daniel Sayles
Head of Press and PR

E: dsayles@kia.co.uk
T: 01932 832 073 M: 07747 149 149

Sara Robinson     
Public Relations Manager (Brand & Dealer PR)

E: srobinson@kia.co.uk
T: 01932 832 072 M: 07919 482 332

Moyosola Fujamade
Senior Press Officer (events)

E: mfujamade@kia.co.uk  
T: 01932 832 069 M: 07471 216 343

Lauren Martin
Press Officer (press fleet)

E: lmartin@kia.co.uk
T: 01932 832 071 M: 07557 268 252

Will Rees
Press Office Assistant

E: wrees@kia.co.uk   
T: 01932 832 079 M: 07795 011 475

Follow Kia on twitter @KiaUKPR

Follow Kia at www.facebook.com/kiamotorsuk

Watch Kia at www.youtube.com/kiamotorsuk

PRESS PACK

New Kia Stonic press pack - October 2020

THE KIA STONIC ON (JUST OVER) A PAGE                                                 

General

  • New 'EcoDynamics+' petrol mild-hybrid powertrain
  • 'Clutch-by-wire' intelligent manual or seven-speed dual-clutch transmission
  • New 'Smartstream' innovations for all engines to boost efficiency
  • More scope for customisation with new paint colours for body and roof
  • Stonic now offers new 'Phase II' UVO Connect telematics features
  • Larger 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system
  • Brand new GT-Line, Connect and GT-Line S line-up joins ‘2’ specification
  • Based on Rio supermini
  • Designed in Europe with input from main design centre at Namyang in Korea
  • Originally intended as a Europe-only car but now also sold in Korea
  • Five-seat front-wheel-drive car available in eight versions
  • Built at Sohari in South Korea
  • Mild hybrid ‘Eco-Dynamics+’ 1.0 T-GDi powertrain with 118bhp
  • Three-cylinder 1.0 T-GDi turbocharged direct injection engine with 99bhp
  • All versions have Kia's ISG engine stop/start system to save fuel
  • Six-speed manual gearbox standard, with 7-speed DCT automatic transmission available on all versions

Body

  • Same wheelbase as Rio but with longer rear overhang, increasing overall length to 4,140mm.
  • 35mm wider and 70mm taller to give SUV stance and raised seating position, 42mm greater ground clearance than Rio
  • Slim, narrow, high-mounted 'tiger-nose' grille in black gloss and satin chrome beneath stepped bonnet 
  • 16- or 17-inch alloy wheels
  • Appearance defined by sharp, straight lines and smooth surfacing
  • Front fog lights pushed outwards to emphasise width and stability
  • Bold C-pillars curve downwards and rearwards into exaggerated beltline
  • Two-tone colour combinations for ‘Connect’ and ‘GT-Line S’ models

Interior

  • Sculpted, horizontal, ergonomic fascia designed around 8-inch display screens
  • Straight lines emphasise width of cabin and space for occupants
  • Class-leading shoulder room in B-SUV segment with generous head- and legroom
  • 352-litre boot, with dual-floor for ‘GT-Line’ models and above
  • Black cloth, black cloth with grey faux leather upholstery or black cloth and faux leather upholstery, depending on model
  • Centre console storage box and cupholders, overhead sunglasses holder and bottle holders in every door
  • Smart Key engine start/stop button on ‘Connect’ and ‘GT-Line S’ model
  • Aluminium pedals on ‘GT-Line’ and ‘GT-Line S’ versions

Technology and safety

  • Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist with city, pedestrian and cyclist detection and Lane Keeping Assist System with Driver Attention Warning and High Beam Assist standard on all models
  • Heated seats and steering wheel standard on ‘GT-Line S’ model
  • New high-tech driver assistance and safety features include Smart Cruise Control, Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist with cyclist detection and Intelligent Speed Limit Assist
  • Rear parking sensors fitted to all models, with reversing camera standard on all models ‘GT-Line’ and above
  • Torque Vectoring, Straight Line Stability and Cornering Brake Control standard on all models
  • Blind Spot Collision Warning (BCW) featured on ‘GT-Line S’ model
  • Display screens linked to Android Auto™ and Apple CarPlay™ in all models, with satellite navigation and Kia Connected Services via TomTom™ on all models ‘GT-Line’ and above

          INTRODUCTION

  • New ‘EcoDynamics+’ petrol mild-hybrid powertrain
  • ‘Clutch-by-wire’ intelligent manual or seven-speed dual-clutch transmission
  • New ‘Smartstream’ innovations for all engines to boost efficiency
  • Refreshed model range, with ‘2’, ‘GT-Line’, ‘Connect’ and ‘GT-Line S’ editions
  • New colour combinations for ‘Connect’ and ‘GT-Line S’ models
  • Stonic now offers new ‘Phase II’ UVO Connect telematics
  • Larger 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system
  • New high-tech driver assistance and safety features include Smart Cruise Control, Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist with cyclist detection and Intelligent Speed Limit Assist
  • Kia's entry into the B-segment SUV market
  • Based on the Rio supermini and built alongside it in South Korea
  • Powered by high-efficiency, high-technology petrol engines
  • Agile and comfortable, with suspension and steering tuned in Europe

Kia Motors has introduced significant upgrades to the Kia Stonic compact crossover, strengthening the car’s position in the European B-SUV segment.

The upgraded Stonic now offers drivers a range of efficient new ‘Smartstream’ powertrains, with innovations that enhance efficiency. Among these, the Stonic now offers Kia’s new petrol 48V mild-hybrid ‘EcoDynamics+’ powertrain and is also equipped with the company’s new ‘clutch-by-wire’ intelligent Manual Transmission.

The interior and exterior design of the Stonic remain largely unchanged, however owners have even greater of choice than before, with new body and roof colours and colour schemes, and new wheel designs. Inside, there is a new, larger 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment and navigation system with Kia’s new ‘Phase II’ UVO Connect telematics features. Safety and driver support are further enhanced with the adoption of a range of new high-tech advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS).

Introduced to the European market at the end of 2017, the Stonic has since become Kia’s fifth best-selling model annually (following the Sportage, Picanto, Ceed model family and Niro). Since its launch, and up until the end of 2019, more than 16,000 examples of the Stonic have been sold in the UK.

Stonic is based on the platform of the Rio supermini and is powered by high-efficiency, high-technology ‘Smartstream’ petrol powertrains. It was designed in Europe at the company's Frankfurt studios, with input from the main design centre at Namyang in Korea. Originally intended as a car solely for Europe, it is also now sold in Korea, such was the reception it got when shown there.   

In the UK there is a four-model line-up based on ‘2’, ‘GT-Line’, ‘Connect’ and ‘GT-Line S’ trim levels. All versions offer an extensive package of connectivity features, including links to Android Auto™ and Apple CarPlay™ via pre-downloaded smartphone apps, while advanced electronic driver assistance systems such as Forward Collision Avoidance Assist, Lane Departure Warning and Automatic Headlight control.      

A Kia for a changing market

It brings a distinctive B-SUV look to the multi-award-winning styling which is evident in every model from Kia. Key signature design elements such as the 'tiger-nose' main front grille, the distinctive C-pillar and the straight lines and smooth surfaces ensure that Stonic is instantly recognisable as a Kia.

Stonic and Rio share the same 2,580mm wheelbase, but Stonic is 70mm taller to give it a clear crossover stance, and it is wider with a longer rear overhang to maximise passenger and luggage space. Stonic is not only one of the smartest-looking Kias to date, but also one of the smartest in terms of packaging.

The ‘Connect’ and ‘GT-Line S’ versions standout even more thanks to two-tone paintwork. The roof, wing mirror casings and rear spoiler are picked out in either black, or yellow, depending on the main body colour.

The interior has been designed around the displays for the connectivity technologies. There is a new 8-inch display with DAB radio and MP3 compatibility, and on ‘GT-Line’ and higher grades, this is upgraded to an 8-inch touchscreen navigation system with Kia Connected Services featuring TomTom Live™. Android Auto™ and Apple CarPlay™ smartphone integration is fitted to every model.

The horizontal theme evident in the exterior styling is repeated in the cabin, emphasising width and space while separating the upper information and lower control areas. The number of buttons and switches has been kept to a minimum to give a neater look and greater functionality.

B-SUVs are the 'new cool', attracting buyers from the supermini, small MPV and three-door compact hatchback sectors. But Stonic will not simply cannibalise sales from other Kia models. Rather, it will attract customers from other brands to continue Kia's inexorable upwards momentum.

Stonic is sold in the UK in eight versions based on two engines and four trim lines. All versions are front-wheel drive.

New ‘GT-Line’ and ‘GT-Line S’ crown updated Stonic line-up

The Stonic range for 2020 has been reprofiled, with the line-up kicking off with ‘2’ specification, before moving up to an eye-catching new ‘GT-Line’ specification, followed by a two-tone ‘Connect’ edition, and ‘GT-Line S’ flagship.

The exciting new ‘GT-Line’ and ‘GT-Line S’ models deliver a strong and sporty design, with ‘GT-Line’ front grille, LED headlights and daytime running lights, together with more dynamic front and rear bumpers that integrate a front skid plate and LED fog lamps. ‘GT-Line’ models feature a black rear spoiler with integrated high-mounted brake light, while the ‘GT-Line S’ versions features a rear spoiler painted in body colour. Unique 17-inch alloy wheels and a ‘GT-Line’ emblem on the rear tailgate completes the exterior makeover. ‘GT-Line’ versions are available in six paint finishes, while the two-tone ‘GT-Line S’ editions are offered in five hues, with a choice of black, red or yellow roof, depending upon the colour chosen.

The sporty ambience is enhanced by a leather D-cut steering wheel with ‘GT-Line’ motif emblazoned upon it and a carbon look crash pad. The black cloth and faux leather seats are embossed with the ‘GT-Line’ logo and feature stitching and piping. The new 8-inch multimedia and navigation system dominates the cabin, and a 4.2-inch colour supervision display is nestled within the instrument cluster.

Safety performance is placed very high on the agenda, with ‘GT-Line’ and ‘GT-Line S’ models featuring Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA) with pedestrian and cyclist detection, Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS), Driver Attention Warning (DAW), Manual Speed Limit Assist (MSLA) and High Beam Assist (HBA), with ‘GT-Line S’ versions additionally featuring Blind Spot Collision Warning (BCW) and Intelligent Speed Limit Assist (ISLA), with DCT editions also boasting Blind Spot Collision Avoidance for the rear of the car. Other advanced technology features include rear parking sensors and a reversing camera system, with ‘GT-Line S’ models also featuring front parking sensors.

Other equipment highlights include rear privacy glass, electrically folding door mirrors, automatic air conditioning, an 8-inch touchscreen navigation system with the very latest UVO Connect Phase II telematics software. Android AutoTM and Apple CarPlayTM are both standard equipment.

‘GT-Line’ and ‘GT-Line S’ editions boast the latest engine technology and comes exclusively powered by the 1.0-litre T-GDi petrol engine featuring brand new 48-volt mild hybrid technology. The 118bhp powerplant is mated to either a six-speed manual or seven-speed dual clutch automatic transmission and develops 172Nm of torque.

        DESIGN AND PACKAGING

Stonic is a car created to meet the changing demands of the European market, where conventional three-door hatchbacks and small MPVs are falling out of favour. The requirement now is for small cars with the looks and higher seating position of an SUV, but without the weight, cost, and fuel consumption penalties of all-wheel drive.

Kia was quick to recognise the business case for a B-SUV, even though as originally planned it was to be sold only in Europe. That decision made Europe the logical place to design the car, but Korea the best place to build it, as it would share production facilities with the Rio on which it is based.

While Kia's California design studios were busy creating the latest Rio in collaboration with the main design centre at Namyang in Korea, Stonic was entrusted to the European design team at Frankfurt, with help from Namyang.

A dynamic small urban crossover with a Kia twist outside

Stonic adds a uniquely Kia twist to the newest and fastest-growing market sector in Europe, bringing what have become the brand's distinctive design features and hallmarks to the B-SUV class.

There is the familiar 'tiger-nose' grille, which in Stonic gets a wide but narrow interpretation. It is mounted beneath a beautifully sculpted stepped bonnet and above a wide lower air intake running almost the full width of the car. The main grille is in high-gloss black and satin chrome. Sharp, functional lines blend with softer, sculpted surfaces all over the car, and there is a stylised C-pillar – another key Kia identifier – but here it is narrower than in some other models and flows effortlessly from the roofline into the voluminous beltline running above the expansive rear wheel arches and around the tailgate.

A black garnish running around the wheel arches and along the sills and the lower portion of the doors and tailgate emphasises Stonic's SUV stance, proportions, and strength, and is complemented by silver skid plates front and rear. ‘GT-Line’ grades and above have chrome side window trim. There are bold bi-function projection static bending headlights with LED daytime running lights on the Stonic ‘2’ and ‘Connect’, with LED bi-function projection headlights on all other versions. , LED rear combination light units feature on ‘GT-Line’ versions and above. Projection front fog lights, neatly integrated roof rails and a rear spoiler are standard, and all versions but the Stonic ‘2’ have privacy glass on the rear side windows and tailgate. All versions in the UK have alloy wheels, with 16-inch available on the ‘2’ and larger 17-inch wheels on all other editions. The overall effect is of sportiness and dynamism with practicality – exactly what a crossover should be.

The Stonic ‘Connect’ and ‘GT-Line S’ offers a greater range of colour combinations than any previous Kia. The roof, rear spoiler and door mirror housings can be in black or yellow, depending on main body colour.         

Spacious, practical and stylish interior

Stonic and Rio share an identical 2,580mm wheelbase, but Stonic is 70mm taller and 35mm wider. Meanwhile the rear overhang has been extended by 70mm to maximise passenger and luggage space and add to Stonic's appearance of SUV robustness.  Stonic is not only one of the smartest-looking Kias to date, but also one of the smartest in terms of packaging.

The increase in overall height has been put to good use to raise ground clearance by 42mm compared with Rio, giving the command-post view out and the enhanced feeling of safety which buyers cite as two of the main reasons for choosing an SUV.

Stonic has the best shoulder room of any car in the B-SUV class, as well as generous head- and legroom front and rear, while the extended rear overhang allows for a boot of 352 litres with the 60:40 rear seats upright, and 1,155 litres with them folded. This is 27 litres more than in the Rio. Stonic ‘GT-Line’ versions and above have a dual-height luggage floor to enhance versatility.

The dashboard has been designed around the displays for the car's connectivity technologies.  There is an 8-inch display in all versions with a DAB radio and MP3 compatibility. Android Auto™ and Apple CarPlay™ smartphone connectivity is fitted to every model. This is upgraded to a 8.0-inch touchscreen satellite navigation system featuring Kia Connected Services with TomTom™ and a reversing camera with dynamic guidelines on Stonic ‘GT-Line’ models and above.

The horizontal theme evident in the exterior styling is repeated in the cabin, emphasising width and space while separating the upper information and lower control areas. The number of buttons and switches has been kept to a minimum to give a neater look and greater functionality.

The central display screen is at the same height as the main instrument cluster, making it easier for the driver to absorb information quickly with the minimum of distractions. A 4.2-inch colour supervision cluster within the main instruments is standard.

 ‘2’ grade models have black cloth upholstery, with black cloth and grey faux leather upholstery with grey accents giving the Stonic ‘Connect’ a plush feel to the cabin, along with satin chrome finish interior door handles and a D-shaped steering wheel with perforated leather trim. ‘GT-Line’ and ‘GT-Line S’ versions have a ‘GT-Line’ interior featuring black cloth and faux leather upholstery.

Quality – perceived and actual – is evident in the fit and finish and the choice of materials. A leather-trimmed steering wheel and gearshifter are standard, and there are silver or satin chrome interior door handles. ‘Connect’ and ‘GT-Line S’ versions have a Smart Key with engine start/stop button and ‘GT-Line’ and ‘GT-Line S’ editions feature sporty aluminium pedals.

The extensive interior storage areas include a centre console box and cupholders, bottle holders in every door, an illuminated glovebox, an overhead sunglasses case and a front passenger seat-back pocket.

          DYNAMICS

Stonic is based on the platform and running gear of the Rio supermini and has an identical 2,580mm wheelbase, but has been tuned to take into account its greater ground clearance (up by 42mm), higher centre of gravity and increased weight, and to give it slightly more sporty driving characteristics. The suspension features independent MacPherson struts at the front and a torsion beam axle at the rear. Stonic's responsive steering is aided considerably by a stiff body shell which is composed of 51 per cent lightweight high-strength steels.

Spring and damper settings take advantage of the stiff body, which allows the suspension to do its work without having to compensate for flexing of the car's structure. The rear dampers are almost vertical, while those at the front benefit from pre-loaded linear valve technology, delivering more consistent handling and suspension response over broken surfaces.

Pre-loaded linear valve technology introduces a completely new piston design which not only increases driving comfort but also ensures excellent isolation of vibrations in the vehicle body. Rapid opening and closing processes in the valve ensure outstanding wheel damping, which adds to safety by improving handling precision. In addition, innovative piston geometries further optimise the damper's noise emissions.

The gearbox for the motor-driven power steering (MDPS) is mounted as far forwards as possible, improving feel for the driver, while the number of teeth on the steering's serration column shaft enhances off-centre feel while contributing towards an improvement in noise, vibration and harshness. This all results in faster steering responses with greater feedback and increased driver confidence.

The column mounted MDPS requires just 2.52 turns between the extremes of lock for a tight turning circle of 5.2 metres. Ventilated front disc brakes and solid rear discs are fitted across the range and supported by anti-lock (ABS), electronic brake force distribution (EBD) and a Brake Assist system (BAS). Collectively, these allow Stonic to be steered and braked at the same time without risk of going out of control, ensure that most braking effort goes to the wheels which are best able to take advantage of it, and automatically deliver maximum stopping power in emergency braking, regardless of the pressure applied to the pedal by the driver.

Alloy wheels of 16- or -17 inches in diameter are standard, with either 195/55/R16 or 205/55/R17 tyres. ‘2’ models feature the smaller size wheels, while all other editions have larger 17-inch items. All models have a tyre mobility kit in place of a spare wheel alongside a tyre pressure monitoring system.   

          ENGINES

The upgraded Kia Stonic will offer the brand’s new petrol mild-hybrid electric vehicle (MHEV) ‘EcoDynamics+’ powertrain. Pairing a new ‘Smartstream’ 1.0-litre T-GDi (Turbocharged Gasoline Direct injection) engine with a 48-volt MHEV system, the EcoDynamics+ powertrain delivers greater efficiency by seamlessly deploying and recuperating electric power. A compact 48-volt lithium-ion polymer battery supplements the engine’s torque output with electric power and extends engine ‘off time’ with a new Mild-Hybrid Starter-Generator (MHSG) unit.

The MHSG is connected by belt to the engine’s crankshaft, and switches seamlessly between ‘motor’ and ‘generator’ modes. In ‘motor’ mode, under acceleration, the MHSG provides electric power assistance to reduce engine load and emissions. As the car decelerates, the MHSG has the ability under certain conditions to switch to ‘generator’ mode, recuperating energy from the crankshaft to recharge the battery.

The new Smartstream engine replaces the Stonic’s earlier ‘Kappa’-generation 1.0-litre T-GDi powertrain and is equipped with Continuously Variable Valve Duration (CVVD) technology. CVVD enables the engine to switch seamlessly between different combustion cycles depending on load, maximising efficiency in all driving situations. The Smartstream engine produces the same power as the previous Kappa engine – 118bhp – but enables a 16 per cent higher peak torque output of 200Nm on the seven-speed Dual-Clutch Transmission (7DCT). A Drive Mode Select system allows drivers of each version customise their drive with ‘Eco’, ‘Sport’ and ‘Normal’ modes is available on iMT and 7DCT versions.

EcoDynamics+ models are also available with Kia’s new intelligent Manual Transmission (iMT). The ‘clutch-by-wire’ system contributes to the MHEV system’s greater fuel efficiency and lower CO2 emissions, while retaining the driver engagement of a conventional manual transmission. Instead of a mechanical linkage, the iMT’s clutch is actuated electronically. It integrates seamlessly with the MHSG to switch off the engine earlier than Kia’s Idle Stop & Go start-stop system when coasting to a halt.

Both transmissions, iMT and 7DCT, enable periods of engine-off ‘sailing’ to improve fuel efficiency. This operates at speeds of up to 77mph, and the engine reactivates when the driver pushes the accelerator, brake or clutch pedals.

New Smartstream petrol powertrains

The upgraded Kia Stonic also features major revisions to its existing range of petrol engine options, maximising efficiency, lowering CO2 emissions, and improving driveability. As well as EcoDynamics+ models, the line-up features a non-hybrid Smartstream petrol engine – the new  1.0-litre 99bhp T-GDi engine.

Model

Power bhp

Torque

Nm

0-60 sec

Max speed mph

Comb. mpg

CO2 g/km

'2' 1.0 T-GDi 99bhp 6-speed manual ISG

99

172

10.7

115

49.6

129

'2' 1.0 T-GDi 99bhp 7-speed DCT ISG

99

172

11.7

108

49.6

130

‘GT Line’ 1.0 T-GDi 118bhp 48V 6-speed manual ISG

118

172

10.4

115

TBC

TBC

‘GT Line’ 1.0 T-GDi 118bhp 48V 7-speed DCT ISG

118

200

10.4

115

TBC

TBC

‘Connect’ 1.0 T-GDi 118bhp 48V 6-speed manual ISG

118

172

10.4

115

51.4

125

‘Connect’ 1.0 T-GDi 118bhp 48V 7-speed DCT ISG

118

200

10.4

115

49.6

129

‘GT Line S’ 1.0 T-GDi 118bhp 48V 6-speed manual ISG

118

172

10.4

115

TBC

TBC

‘GT Line S’ 1.0 T-GDi 118bhp 48V 7-speed DCT ISG

118

200

10.4

115

TBC

TBC

          TECHNOLOGY

UVO Connected Services are accessed through a new 8-inch touchscreen navigation system that comes as standard on grades ‘GT-Line’ models and above. The latest Stonic features an upgraded touchscreen satellite navigation system with DAB radio, and is one of the first Kia models in Europe to offer the brand’s innovative ‘Phase II’ UVO Connect telematics system, enhancing vehicle connectivity and control, and taking the stress out of journeys.

The upgraded Stonic is equipped with a larger 8.0-inch touchscreen display on all models. The new system also features Bluetooth® multi-connection, enabling users to connect up to two mobile devices at the same time – one for hands-free phone and multimedia use; the other for media use only. Its advanced split-screen functionality lets users control or monitor different vehicle features at the same time, customising the screen with a series of different widgets. The system offers wireless Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™ on all models, negating the need for many owners to connect their smartphone via a cable.

A DAB radio is standard on all models and paired to a new 8-inch colour touchscreen display. A reversing camera, with dynamic guidelines is standard from grade ‘GT-Line’ and above, while rear parking sensors are standard equipment on every version of the Stonic.

UVO Connect’s Phase II features provide customers with several new benefits, such as more accurate journey times, ‘last-mile’ navigation assistance, and a range of features to enhance connectivity and usability. These can be accessed through an enhanced UVO smartphone app or via vehicles’ on-board infotainment systems.

One of the most useful Phase II features to be offered in UVO Connect-equipped vehicles is ‘Online Navigation’. This service draws on cloud-based real-time and historical traffic data to predict traffic levels more accurately, giving customers a more accurate picture of journey times and estimated time of arrival. This differs from traffic prediction tools found in conventional navigation systems, which only rely on in-car route planning and real-time traffic information to estimate journey times.

Kia’s new ‘Last Mile Navigation’ feature will help customers continue navigating to their final destination, even after they have parked up and left their car behind. This offers Kia customers the ideal solution for navigation in towns and cities where car parking are often some distance away from shops, cafés and restaurants.

Once the vehicle’s ignition has been turned off, this new feature sends a push notification to the UVO app on the user’s smartphone if their destination is between 200 metres and 2 kilometres away. The app lets users seamlessly access Google Maps navigation to complete their journey on foot. Alternatively, users can engage an augmented reality function, ‘AR Guidance’, which opens the smartphone’s camera and blends the image with AR turn-by-turn directional arrows.

Customers can also use a new ‘User Profile Transfer’ feature on the UVO app. This enables them to check and change their vehicle settings directly from their smartphone, including navigation, radio and Bluetooth preferences, at a time and place convenient for them. When the ignition is turned on, customers are automatically greeted with their preferred settings, saving time and making each journey more enjoyable.

It also lets Kia owners back-up their in-vehicle UVO preferences via the cloud and transfer settings from one vehicle to the next. This system will benefit customers who regularly switch between different UVO Connect-equipped Kia cars, for instance, fleet drivers who use pool cars, or families with more than one UVO Connect-equipped Kia in their household.

          SAFETY

Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA) with city, pedestrian and cyclist detection forms part of Kia's Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS). It also offers a Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS) with Driver Attention Warning (DAW) and High Beam Assist (HBA). They are standard equipment on every version of the new Stonic. And, in an increasingly connected world, Stonic ‘GT-Line’ models and above offers the full Kia Connected Services package powered by TomTom™. Android Auto™ and Apple CarPlay™ smartphone integration is standard on all models.

Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA) with city, pedestrian and cyclist detection takes data from radar and a camera to detect sudden and potentially dangerous braking by a vehicle ahead, and activates the brakes. At speeds between 5mph and 50mph it will come to a complete stop, avoiding many potential collisions and minimising the consequences of others. It is also able to detect pedestrians who wander into its path and apply the brakes in the same way. Visual and audible alerts warn the driver of imminent danger so that manual intervention is possible before the car starts to brake automatically.  

The Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS) also relies on a camera which in this case recognises the lane markings on roads and senses when the car is about to deviate from its intended course when the indicators have not been activated. Again, the driver is warned visually via a symbol on the instrument display and audibly to correct the car's trajectory.

Stonic ‘GT-Line S’ models feature Blind Spot Collision Warning (BSCW), a system that features radar and cameras that recognise if the driver is about to change lanes into the path of another vehicle approaching from behind in an adjoining lane and warns the driver.

The ultra-stiff body shell has beneficial effects beyond handling and comfort. It provides a greater barrier against injury in the event of an accident. Structural additions include a partitioned inner assembly of the front strut mount, strengthened connections in the C-pillar cross-member and the application of structural adhesives on major chassis components. Advanced high-strength steels reinforce all major chassis parts, and there are multiple load paths to dissipate crash energy in the front of the car.

Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and Vehicle Stability Management (VSM), which work together to stabilise the car on slippery road surfaces or when simultaneously cornering and braking, are joined by Straight Line Stability, which senses any difference in applied brake pressure between the right and left of the car and intervenes to keep it straight. Stonic also features Cornering Brake Control, which delivers asymmetrical brake pressure when braking in tight curves to counter loss of traction, and 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.  All versions have Hill-start Assist to prevent the car from rolling backwards when setting off on steep inclines.

There are six airbags with pre-tensioners and load limiters to brace occupants in their seats in extreme braking or if an accident is about to happen, and to help prevent injury to chests. A visual and audible seat belt reminder warning is fitted, and there are ISOFIX child-seat mounting points.     

          SPECIFICATION HIGHLIGHTS

The Kia Stonic is available in eight versions based on two engines and four trim grades –‘2’, ‘GT-Line’, ‘Connect’ and ‘GT-Line S’. The ‘2’ grade is offered with the 1.0-litre T-GDi engine developing 99bhp and there’s a choice of six-speed manual or seven-speed Dual-Clutch Transmission (7DCT). All other versions are powered by the brand new 48-volt mild hybrid 1.0-litre T-GDi engine that produces 118bhp, witheither a six-speed manual or seven-speed Dual-Clutch automatic Transmission (7DCT).

Standard equipment on the Stonic ‘2’ includes 16-inch alloy wheels, body coloured door mirrors with a matt black lower housing, a high gloss black and satin radiator grille, black and body coloured door bumpers with silver kick plates front and rear, and black side sill, door garnish and wheel arch trims. A body coloured rear spoiler with high-mounted brake light, roof rails and body coloured exterior door handles complete the exterior look.

The door mirrors are electrically adjustable, heated and folding with LED indicator lights, there’s bi-function projection headlights with static bending, automatic headlight control, LED daytime running lights and front fog lights, in addition to a rear fog light, rear combination lights, speed-variable aeroblade type front wipers and tinted glass.

Inside, there’s black cloth upholstery, a leather trimmed steering wheel and gearshift, interior door handles with a silver finish, all-round electric windows with driver’s auto up and down functionality, air conditioning, cruise control with speed limiter and remote central door locking with foldaway key.

The rear seats split and fold in a 60:40 arrangement, the driver’s seat has height adjustment and there’s a light, parcel shelf and net hooks in the luggage area. A front 12-volt power socket is provided, along with front and centre cabin lights, meanwhile there’s front and rear door map pockets with bottle holder, a front passenger seat back pocket and centre armrest storage box.

The infotainment system is arguably one of the most important parts of any car and the Stonic features a new 8-inch touchscreen with DAB radio and six speakers. Android AutoTM, Apple CarPlayTM and Bluetooth® with music streaming are all included as standard, along with voice control and steering wheel controls. Charging devices is made easier by the provision of a USB sockets both front and rear. A 4.2-inch supervision colour cluster display is provided, along with a trip computer and rear parking sensors make reversing in tight spaces easier.

Safety is incredibly important in any car and the Stonic is packed with the latest Advanced Driving Assistance Systems (ADAS). Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA) with city, pedestrian and cyclist detection is included as standard on all Stonics, along with Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS), Driver Attention Warning (DAW) and High Beam Assist (HBA). Hill-Start Assist Control (HAC) feature along with six airbags, Electronic Stability Control (SC) and Vehicle Stability Management (VSM), Anti-Lock Brakes (ABS) with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist System (BAS). A Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) alerts you to any problems with the tyres, an alarm system offers protection and a Drive Mode Select system is included on all DCT automatic versions. Finally, ISOFIX child safety seat top tethers and anchor fixings are provided for the outer rear seats.

Move up to sporty ‘GT-Line’ trim and there’s 17-inch ‘GT-Line’ designed alloy wheels, electric folding gloss black mirrors with matt black lower housing, chrome trim for the side windows, solar windscreen glass and rear privacy glass for the rear windows and tailgate. There’s LED bi-function projection headlights, LED front fog lights and rear combination lights and a black rear spoiler with high-mounted brake light.

The inside of the Stonic ‘GT-Line’ features black cloth and faux leather upholstery, a black high gloss centre fascia and a D-cut perforated leather trimmed steering wheel, together with a satin chrome finish to the interior door handles. Automatic air conditioning and an automatic defog system are included as standard and there’s aluminium pedals to add a sporty touch. Move to the boot and there’s a handy dual height luggage area floor. A new 8-inch touchscreen navigation system with telematic is included with Kia Connected Services featuring TomTomTM Live. A reversing camera is displayed on the new touchscreen and a shark fin antenna delivers a high-tech appearance.

The new ‘Connect’ trim uses ‘2’ specification as its basis, with the addition of two-tone paint with contrasting roof. It features 17-inch alloy wheels, has roof coloured electrically folding door mirrors with matt black lower housing, chrome trim for the side windows, rear privacy glass, LED rear combination lights and a roof-coloured rear spoiler with high-mounted brake light.

There are also rain-sensing windscreen wipers, black and grey cloth and faux leather upholstery with grey accents, a high gloss black centre fascia, D-cut perforated leather trimmed steering wheel and a satin chrome finish to the interior door handles. Automatic air conditioning and automatic defog system is standard equipment, too, along with an auto-dimming rear view mirror and smart key with engine start/stop button. A dual height luggage area floor is provided for extra versatility and an 8-inch touchscreen navigation system with telematics and Kia Connected Services featuring TomTomTM Live. A shark fin rear antenna is included, and the reversing camera displays the image behind the vehicle on the central touchscreen.

At the top of the range, the ‘GT-Line S’ is the sportiest of line-up and takes its equipment from the ‘GT-Line’ model. In addition, there’s two-tone paint with contrasting roof colour and a roof-coloured rear spoiler with high-mounted brake light. A passenger side height adjuster is provided as standard, along with heated front seats and steering wheel and a rear luggage net.

Front parking sensors, Blind Spot Collision Warning (BCW) and Intelligent Speed Limit Assist (ISLA) are fitted to ‘GT-Line S’ models, with Smart Cruise Control and Blind Spot Rear Collision Avoidance are fitted as standard on DCT automatic models.

          WARRANTY AND AFTER-CARE

Kia set a new benchmark in 2007 when it launched the cee'd with an industry-best seven-year/100,000-mile warranty. That demonstration of faith in the quality and reliability of Kia products was subsequently extended to every model.

A major benefit is that it is transferable to subsequent owners at no charge, as long as the seven-year time limit has not been reached and the mileage is below 100,000.

The mechanical warranty is supported by a 12-year anti-perforation warranty and a five-year paint warranty.

Servicing is required every 10,000 miles or once a year, whichever comes soonest. The Stonic is available with Kia’s ‘Kia Care’ service plans, which have been developed to provide customers with a wide range of service plan options for any Kia model within the first seven years of the vehicle’s life – matching its industry-leading seven-year warranty.

The service plans include a comprehensive range of options including the original, traditional, first, third and fifth services and those in between, but in addition a customer can now purchase services up to and including the seventh service which matches the full length of the warranty. The plans are available for all Kia owners and can be purchased at any point of ownership for cars up to five years old.

The Kia Promise was introduced to give customers the best ownership experience by giving them access to seven key benefits. The Kia Promise is activated after purchase and is done by simply registering on the online portal, MyKia. Along with the industry leading seven-year/100,000 mile warranty, other benefits of the Kia Promise include complimentary seven day insurance and £250 Insurance Excess Return for one year; easy to use Click & Collect on Genuine Kia accessories; convenient online service booking; Family-Like Care and Accident AfterCare. Every new Kia also comes with complimentary Roadside Assistance for 12 months. When a customer registers on MyKia, Kia Roadside Assistance Plus, the highest level of cover provided by the RAC, can be unlocked, which includes onward travel and European cover.

        FIVE MINUTES WITH PAUL PHILPOTT

 Burning questions that you would love to ask our President and CEO

Q. How important is the Stonic in the UK?

            The market for SUVs is increasing year-on-year, and the Stonic is our compact offering in the segment. Launched during 2017, it has accelerated to become our fifth best seller, behind Sportage, Picanto, Ceed and Niro. During 2019, more than 8,000 examples were sold in the UK.

 

Q. How challenging has 2020 been?

When the Coronavirus hit in March, it had a devastating effect on the sale of new and used cars, particularly as it is traditionally the biggest month of the year thanks to the registration plate change. As a result, the UK market was down by 44.4 per cent in March compared to 2019, although Kia fared somewhat better, with new car registrations lower by 29 per cent.

With car showrooms closed throughout the mandated lockdown period and only allowed to reopen from June, our retailers have been playing catch up ever since. I am extremely proud of the dealer network we have, and as a result of their hard work, we have had a record-breaking August, with an all-time high of 4,179 new car deliveries. That’s the highest number of cars delivered during an August month, ever. Kia’s sales were up by 21 per cent compared to August 2019 and it is a strong comeback following the COVID-19 lockdown.

But we can’t rest on our laurels, and it is expected that the rest of the year will prove to be tough, with uncertainty in the jobs market and an end to the Government’s support schemes for businesses. We enter this period with one of the strongest model ranges ever, with the new Sorento set to wow customers with its premium cabin and excellent road manners. Joining the Sorento in showrooms this autumn are refreshed versions of Kia’s small car ranges, the Picanto, Rio and Stonic. They all feature brand new ‘SmartStream’ engines and mild hybrid electric vehicle (MHEV) technology features for the first time in the Rio and Stonic ranges. In addition, Kia’s phase II UVO Connect infotainment system is being rolled out right the way across the model line-up.

Looking at other challenges of 2020, even before the pandemic hit it was already going to be a hugely challenging year for UK businesses, with uncertainty surrounding Brexit and the UK’s split from Europe. With a significant number of our most popular cars built within the European Union – Ceed family and Sportage – it has been necessary to plan for the worst scenario possible as we edge towards 2021.

And if those challenges weren’t enough, tougher emissions regulations also came into force in 2020, with new, even more stringent standards that means that every car maker must achieve a CO2 average of 95g/km across their product range. Failure to do so will mean significant fines, and so the primacy focus of Kia Motors is to achieve the fleet CO2 average of 95g/km, across the line-up. This may become even tougher in 2021 when the UK is separate and is no longer part of the European figures.

 

Q. Which vehicles are striking a chord with UK buyers currently?

For many people, the Coronavirus lockdown was a time to reflect on their lives, with many aspects of daily routine examined. The sale of alternatively fuelled vehicles has accelerated over the past few months, and in particular the Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) segment has risen from 1.4 per cent at the turn of the year to 4.7 per cent in August. While those are still small figures, it shows there is a growing appetite for zero and ultra-low emission cars.

And that’s an area that Kia is investing strongly in and I’m proud to say that our Niro SUV was the most popular alternatively fuelled vehicle in August 2020, outselling the second placed car by almost two-to-one. 1,417 examples of the pure electric, hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicle were delivered to UK customers. In the past we have faced significant supply restrictions of e-Niro, but this is now improving, and our customers have been happy to wait.

During 2020, we are aiming for three in every ten cars we sell to be electrified in some way. With both the pure electric e-Niro and Soul EV, we are ahead of the curve in offering customers a choice of electric solutions to solve their mobility issues. For those that prefer a plug-in hybrid vehicle, we now have three, thanks to the recently refreshed Niro and the newly introduced Ceed Sportswagon and all-new XCeed. The Sorento PHEV will make that four when it arrives early next year. The top selling Sportage is fitted with mild hybrid technology on all of the diesel variants and this technology will soon be available on the Ceed, Ceed Sportswagon and XCeed, too.

There is also a continued trend for customers to migrate away from traditional sectors towards SUVs, and we’re in a perfect position to deliver on the changing demand, with six key products in the Kia portfolio – Stonic, Soul EV, Niro, XCeed, Sportage and Sorento.

 

Q. What elements of the Stonic make you proud to be leading Kia Motors UK?

            The Stonic sits in a segment that continues to grow, with family buyers, in particular, seeking a roomier vehicle in a compact footprint. Stonic offers personalisation options to make it stand out on the road, and buyers tell us that they like the generous equipment levels, affordable running costs, exceptional warranty and roomy cabin.

        FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

            We've anticipated what you're likely to ask us

Q. Which engines are the best sellers in the Stonic line-up?

Most buyers opted for the 1.0 T-GDi engine in 2019, and that’s because it’s available in every trim level, while just under seven per cent of customers chose the highly efficient 1.6-litre CRDi powerplant. With the diesel engine no longer available, we expect buyers to migrate to the mild hybrid drivetrain.

 

Q. What trim level is the most popular?

            It’s the grade ‘3’ that was the biggest seller in 2019, with over 30 per cent of customers choosing it. Interestingly, more than 40 per cent of customers chose a high end version of the Stonic during 2019, including grade ‘4’, ‘First Edition’, ‘Maxx’ and ‘Mixx’ editions.

 

Q. Why isn’t there a four-wheel-drive Stonic?

Demand for four-wheel-drive in the compact SUV class is low, and so the Stonic isn’t available with a system that adds extra weight and reduces efficiency. Our decision not to offer four-wheel-drive has seemingly been vindicated by some rivals deleting the option from their compact SUVs.

 

Q. Are there any plans for a more powerful Stonic GT?

The most powerful engine in the Stonic, the 1.0 T-GDi, accounts for around two thirds of all sales, and that powerplant is deemed sufficient for the needs of Stonic buyers. We constantly evaluate opportunities, but the market for a higher powered Stonic would be too small to justify the investment costs.

Ends

For further information on Kia please visit www.kiapressoffice.com or contact:

Stephen Kitson
Director of Corporate Communications

E: skitson@kia.co.uk   
T: 01932 832 075 M: 07795 011 936

Daniel Sayles
Head of Press and PR

E: dsayles@kia.co.uk
T: 01932 832 073 M: 07747 149 149

Sara Robinson     
Public Relations Manager (Brand & Dealer PR)

E: srobinson@kia.co.uk
T: 01932 832 072 M: 07919 482 332

Moyosola Fujamade
Senior Press Officer (events)

E: mfujamade@kia.co.uk  
T: 01932 832 069 M: 07471 216 343

Lauren Martin
Press Officer (press fleet)

E: lmartin@kia.co.uk
T: 01932 832 071 M: 07557 268 252

Will Rees
Press Office Assistant

E: wrees@kia.co.uk   
T: 01932 832 079 M: 07795 011 475

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