The growing global popularity of crossover vehicles means automakers are developing models to fit every available slot in the market spectrum, the latest being the recently unveiled Kia Sonet that is destined for South African shores later this year.
Manufactured at Kia’s production facility at Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh, the Sonet is Kia’s all-new smart urban compact SUV and the brand’s latest made-in-India global product after the Seltos.
“Kia Motors continues to be recognised globally through products which offer exquisite design and world-class quality, along with ‘The Power to Surprise’. Everything about the all-new Sonet is uniquely Kia and is sure to delight both drivers and passengers,” says Ho Sung Song, President and CEO at Kia Motors Corporation. “With its aggressive and modern design language, fun-to-drive dynamics and Kia’s latest high-tech features, the Sonet puts an exclamation point on our ambition to make Kia the brand of choice, especially among millennial and Gen Z consumers. The Sonet fills a need in the growing SUV market, in India and further afield, and will attract a wider number of consumers to the Kia brand.”
The all-new Sonet showcases a range of styling attributes to make it stand apart, including a fresh interpretation of Kia’s signature ‘tiger-nose’ grille, flanked by ‘heart beat’ LED DRLs (daytime running lights), shaped like the electric pulse of a heart.
Its silhouette is enhanced by the design and structure of its C-pillar, matched with a wraparound rear-windscreen. The ‘heart beat’ LED tail lamps also adorn the rear.
Inside, the Sonet is designed around the driver, with a well laid-out, easy-to-use connected infotainment and cluster interface, and high quality materials all around. Despite compact exterior dimensions, the interior of the Sonet offers ample, ergonomic space for all passengers.
Engines and specifications for South Africa have not been confirmed but, the choices include two petrol engines – a Smartstream 1,2-litre four-cylinder and 1.0 T-GDi (turbo-charged gasoline direct injection) – and a 1,5-litre CRDi diesel engine.
Transmission options range through five and six-speed manuals, a seven-speed DCT, six-speed automatic and Kia’s new six-speed Smartstream intelligent manual transmission (iMT).
Trim options include the sporty GT-Line trim, which offers an extra dash of sportiness to the Sonet and highlight its dynamic presence on the road.
More than two thirds of the Sonet’s body is made up of high strength and advanced high strength steel, creating a lightweight yet robust structure. Among the Sonet’s key safety features are six crash bags, anti-lock braking with EBD (electronic brake force distribution), ESC (Electronic Stability Control), HAC (Hill-start Assist Control), VSM (Vehicle Stability Management) and BA (brake assist).
Also included are front and rear parking sensors, projector fog lamps, highline tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS), auto headlamps and ISOFIX child-seat anchoring points.
Full specifications and pricing will be announced closer to launch date.