Days after Hyundai unveiled its new small SUV christened Hyundai Kona; Kia also released renderings of its upcoming compact crossover. The new crossover is set to go one on one with the Nissan Juke and Toyota’s C-HR among other models. Dubbed “Kia Stonic”, a name derived from the words ‘Speedy and ‘Tonic’ which are the extreme notes in a musical scale. The model will first debut in Europe later this year but Kia is yet to announce whether the model will be offered in the U.S. The 2018 Kia Stonic shares its platform with the Kia Rio and its close cousins Hyundai Veloster and Accent. I won’t be surprised if the Hyundai Kona also uses this platform. From the rendering and a couple of spy shots in our possession, we can see that the model’s exterior design was inspired by that of the Kia Sorento and Sportage SUVs.
2018 Kia Stonic Exterior
Kia is still keeping most of the information about the crossover as a secret. The rendering that the automaker released looks conceptual; it looks too sleek and sporty meaning most of the features will be toned down for the production model as revealed by the latest spy shots. The automaker during a press release claimed that the crossover will be attractive to look at as well as confident while still flaunting a true European elegance.
At the front, the Stonic looks to have adopted the same ‘tiger-nose’ grille as its bigger brothers. The grille is flanked by headlights that seem to be adopted from the Sorento. The model also features a sharp shoulder line. It also features a protruding front spoiler. However, the rear will be uniquely designed to give the Stonic its own unique identity with unique taillights. The model also features flared wheel arches as well as rear scuff plates that make it look sportier. To further make it stand out, the model will have a raised ride height as well as black roof bars.
The cabin is more mysterious as there are no spy shots as of this writing. The automaker, on the other hand, has released just a little information. The automaker has revealed that the cabin will feature smooth surfaces with straight lines as well as geometric forms.
The cabin will be well laid out to optimize space usage. There will be a “floating” Human-Machine Interface (HMI) that integrates Smartphone functions. I expect most of the features to be borrowed for the current lineup of models, mostly from the Kia Rio. Expect features such as an impressive infotainment system, ABS with pedestrian detection, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The model will also have a substantial cargo space while still leaving sufficient space for passengers.
Engine and performance
Kia is yet to release details of the 2018 Stonic’s power-trains. However, rumor has it that the model will borrow its drive-trains from the Sportage and Rio brothers. Most likely, the Stonic will use the Sportage’s 1.6 L, petrol engine which is offered in two flavors i.e. a turbocharged version that produces 174 hp and a naturally aspirated mill good for 130 hp. It is also likely to use the Sportage’s 1.7 L, diesel mill that churns out 113 hp and 207 lb-ft of torque. On the other hand, the Stonic may use Kia Rio’s array of small-displacement mills which include 1.1 L, and 1.4 L, diesel units whose power output range from 73 hp-88hp and 1.2 L, and 1.4 L, petrol engines whose power output ranges from 73 hp-98 hp.
I don’t think Kia will offer the Stonic with a 2.0 L, mill as the model is oriented towards providing a greater fuel economy rather than offering a greater level of performance. I expect Kia to offer both manual and automatic transmission systems.
Price and release date
Kia is yet to release pricing details of the 2018 Kia Stonic. The model will likely be competitively priced to undercut its rivals led by the Nissan Juke. The Juke has a starting price of $20,250. As such, I expect the Stonic to have a starting price of around $20,000 but it is not clear if the 2018 model will be offered in the U.S. market.