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The made-in-India-for-the-world Kia Sonet compact SUV has been launched at an introductory price of Rs 6.71 lakh and goes up to Rs 12.89 lakh; both prices are ex-showroom. It will take on the likes of the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza, the Ford EcoSport and the Hyundai Venue.

Kia Sonet global premier in India

After stealing the limelight at the Auto Expo 2020 with the Kia Sonet SUV concept, Kia Motors India have launched the Kia Sonet compact SUV. The Kia Sonet is the second car from the manufacturer to make its global premiere in India and is the brand’s third car model in India after the Seltos mid-size SUV and the Carnival premium MPV. The Kia Sonet is being produced right here in India for international markets as well, so, the quality levels are expected to be consistent.

Kia Sonet Design
The Kia Sonet is the Korean car brand’s smallest SUV, measuring less than four metres in length. This qualifies the compact SUV to claim the Excise Tax benefits that the government of India offers to small cars (sub-four-metre).

The Kia Sonet is based on the proven platform which is used on the Hyundai Venue. But the Kia engineers have done a remarkable job of differentiating it from Hyundai’s compact SUV. The Sonet looks a lot sportier and more robust with its boxy design. The front grille is said to be inspired by traditional Indian Chand Baori step-wells. In fact, the entire silhouette of the new Kia Sonet’s bold design takes a cue from baby elephants – compact, powerful and round. The headlamps and DRLs create a tiger eye-line-like visual while the signature front grille, as in most Kia models, is inspired by a tiger’s nose. We are also impressed with the design treatment on the rear of the car, especially the LED strip that connects the tail-lamps. The treatment of the C-pillar along with the dual-tone roof and silver roof-rails create an aggressive stance.

Class-Leading Feature
Kia Motors India have been outdoing competition by introducing best-in-class features. They did it when they first launched the Seltos and are set to repeat the phenomenon with the new Kia Sonet compact SUV. This includes a digital cluster for the driver, a 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system (borrowed from the Kia Seltos), which is the largest in the segment. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto will be part of the parcel, along with wireless phone charging dock, rear camera and parking sensors.

The Kia Sonet also brings premium features like ventilated seats and even a Bose audio system to the sub-four-metre SUV segment. These include LED sound mood lighting, remote engine start via UVO Connect and Smart Key, over-the-air (OTA) map updates, multi-drive and traction modes and even wireless smartphone charger with cooling function. Another highlight is the smart air-purifier which gets a special Virus Protect system, to ensure the purest air quality of the occupants. These fancy features will be the key attraction for younger car buyers.

Kia Sonet SUV cabin design
Safety Features
Apart from the promise of a strong chassis foundation, the Kia Sonet also gets six airbags, ABS (anti-lock braking system) with EBD (electronic brake force distribution), ESC (Electronic Stability Control), HAC (Hill-start Assist Control), VSM (Vehicle Stability Management) and BA (brake assist). For added convenience and safety of pedestrians and parked cars the Kia sports front and rear parking sensors. Other useful safety features include automatic headlamps, projector fog lamps, tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS) in Highline variant and ISOFIX child-seat anchoring points.

Engine Options
The Kia Sonet is being offered with three engine options. The two petrol engines will be a 1.2-litre, four-cylinder and a sporty 1.0-litre, three-cylinder, turbo-petrol; while diesel lovers get a 1.5-litre CRDi mill. There are a whole bunch of gearbox options to choose from including a five-speed manual for the entry-level 1.2-litre petrol, while the 1.0-litre turbo-petrol and 1.5-litre diesel will sport a six-speed manual and, for the first time in the segment, the oil-burner also gets a six-speed automatic option. The much-talked-about 1.0-litre turbo-petrol will be offered with three transmission options – a manual ‘box, dual-clutch auto or a convenient clutchless manual option (iMT).
(Also Read: Yaris-based Toyota Compact SUV Incoming)
Kia Sonet engine specs in India

Kia Sonet Ex-showroom Pricing

Smartstream G 1.2 HTE (5MT) – Rs 6.71 lakh

Smartstream G 1.2 HTK (5MT) – Rs 7.59 lakh

Smartstream G 1.2 HTK+ (5MT) – Rs 8.45 lakh

G 1.0 T-GDi HTK+ (6iMT) – Rs 9.49 lakh

G 1.0 T-GDi HTK+ (7DCT) – Rs 10.49 lakh

G 1.0 T-GDi HTX (6iMT) – 9.99 lakh

G 1.0 T-GDi HTX+ (6iMT) – Rs 11.65 lakh

G 1.0 T-GDi GTX+ (6iMT) – Rs 11.99 lakh

G 1.0 T-GDI GTX+ (7DCT) – Rs 12.89 lakh

D 1.5 CRDi WGT HTE (6MT) – Rs 8.05 lakh

D 1.5 CRDi WGT HTK (6MT) – Rs 8.99 lakh

D 1.5 CRDi WGT HTK+ (6MT) – Rs 9.49 lakh

D 1.5 CRDi WGT HTX (6MT) – Rs 9.99 lakh

D 1.5 CRDi WGT HTX+ (6MT) – Rs 11.65 lakh

D 1.5 CRDi WGT GTX+ (6MT) – Rs 11.99 lakh

D 1.5L CRDi VGT HTK+ (6AT) – Rs 10.39 lakh

D 1.5L CRDi VGT GTX+ (6AT) – Rs 12.89 lakh

The Kia Sonet aims for the top slot in the compact SUV segment. The main rivals in this class are the Ford EcoSport, Hyundai Venue, Maruti Vitara Brezza, Mahindra XUV300 and Tata Nexon.
Also Read: 2020 Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza Review 

2020 Kia Sonet First Drive

Story: Joshua Varghese


About the author: Sarmad Kadiri



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