- Plenty of safety features
- Stylish looks
- Decent levels of practicality
- Pleasant to drive
There are some great surprises in store with the Kia Stonic.
Based on the Rio hatchback, the Stonic has a longer body and stands slightly higher on the road with added ground clearance over the supermini stablemate. Driven here is the 2 spec, which boasts a very generous amount of standard equipment.
The Kia Stonic comes in eight versions: 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 6-speed manual transmission.
Other versions get the new 48-volt mild hybrid 1.0-litre T-GDi engine that produces 118bhp, with a 6-speed manual as standard.
The Kia Smartstream petrol engine is of modest size, but it's packed with innovations which allow the car’s computer brain to select the optimum combustion cycle bearing in mind the driver’s selection of eco, sport or normal modes.
he Stonic 2 is an excellent city runabout or short commuter car with long-legged potential, thanks to the overdrive ratios on the top three gears, and without any frugal driving it returned over 50mpg, which is more than the WLTP figures suggest it should have done.
It could keep up with town traffic and with some careful consideration when overtaking it had respectable acceleration for passing slower vehicles.
The Stonic’s gear change was direct but long throw, and the clutch had surprisingly long travel to its bite point. The brakes were very good at precisely slowing the car as desired, while the steering felt a bit dull but delivered a good turning circle without any vibration at speed or much kick-back over bad surfaces.
Noise levels were generally low, a little more noticeable on bad surfaces and when the engine extended, but wind and most mechanical sources were kept out of the cabin.
With its modest engine size and power, you weren't really going to challenge the Kia’s chassis, and it proved very safe and sure-footed for a small front-wheel drive car. Tight turns could encourage it to run wide if attempted with attitude, but it instantly responded to easing off the throttle or unwinding the steering.
Technology and Design
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. The 2 is also equipped with the latest safety features to give drivers extra piece of mind while driving.
A body coloured rear spoiler with high-mounted brake light, roof rails and body coloured exterior door handles complete the exterior look.
Oddments spaces were generous throughout, and you could hook up USB ports on the central tray with its small compartment box and matched with huge door bins front and back. Access to the small rear boot was easy with a low loading floor and a good shape to fit in a modest amount of shopping unless you folded down the individual rear seats.
Access for passengers and driver was reasonable and once inside the seats were nicely shaped but on the small side to give support to larger occupants. Adjustment was adequate but not generous in front and those behind found legroom was short, and it was a squeeze for three.
As a package, the Kia Stonic in entry-level 2 spec was very capable within its limits, offering a refined driving experience and a striking design both inside and out.
It’s what you don’t see which makes the Stonic really stand out from the crowd, including the advanced sensory monitoring and hi-tech equipment, all designed to keep the occupants safe and comfortable throughout their journey.