Automotive

City dwellers finally get a compact crossover from Kia

City dwellers finally get a co...
The new Kia Stonic borrows heavily from the Rio 
The new Kia Stonic borrows heavily from the Rio 
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The new Kia Stonic borrows heavily from the Rio 
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The new Kia Stonic borrows heavily from the Rio 
The rear end of the Stonic looks like a shrunken Sportage
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The rear end of the Stonic looks like a shrunken Sportage
The Stonic is front-drive only 
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The Stonic is front-drive only 
The design of the Stonic is based heavily on a concept from 2013
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The design of the Stonic is based heavily on a concept from 2013
Five different finishes are available for the roof 
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Five different finishes are available for the roof 
The interior of the Stonic is similar to that of the Rio
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The interior of the Stonic is similar to that of the Rio
The handsome Kia Stonic at launch 
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The handsome Kia Stonic at launch 
The contrast roof of the Stonic is becoming more common in compact cars
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The contrast roof of the Stonic is becoming more common in compact cars
The skid plate on the Stonic is purely stylistic 
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The skid plate on the Stonic is purely stylistic 
The nose on the Kia Stonic is very similar to that of the Rio 
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The nose on the Kia Stonic is very similar to that of the Rio 
The Stonic joins new crossovers from Hyundai and Citroen 
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The Stonic joins new crossovers from Hyundai and Citroen 
The Stonic is aimed squarely at European cities 
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The Stonic is aimed squarely at European cities 
The boot in the Stonic is spacious
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The boot in the Stonic is spacious
The cabin of the Stonic is almost identical to the Rio's interior 
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The cabin of the Stonic is almost identical to the Rio's interior 
Up front, the Stonic is like a slightly more comfortable Rio 
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Up front, the Stonic is like a slightly more comfortable Rio 
The Kia Stonic is aimed at urban buyers in European cities 
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The Kia Stonic is aimed at urban buyers in European cities 
The instruments in the Stonic are clear and easy to read 
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The instruments in the Stonic are clear and easy to read 
Up close with the Kia Stonic
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Up close with the Kia Stonic
The nose of the Kia Stonic is aggressive 
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The nose of the Kia Stonic is aggressive 
There are plenty of bright colors available for the Stonic 
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There are plenty of bright colors available for the Stonic 
The compact 1.0-liter petrol engine in the Kia Stonic 
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The compact 1.0-liter petrol engine in the Kia Stonic 
The touchscreen infotainment system in the Kia Stonic 
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The touchscreen infotainment system in the Kia Stonic 
View gallery - 22 images

It seems like a new compact crossover is launched every second day at the moment, with fresh high-riding hatches from Hyundai and Citroen launching just last week. Now they have company compliments of Kia, in the form of the sharply-styled Stonic.

As is becoming common in compact cars, choice is central to the appeal here. The car will be offered with five different finishes for the roof and a big range of exterior colors, many of which have been inspired by the Provo concept from 2013. Kia is getting good at turning concepts into production cars – the Stinger borrows heavily from the GT and GT4 Stinger, and the Track'ster became the facelifted Soul.

Given most manufacturers promise huge things but rarely deliver on their concepts, it's nice to see Kia following through. Beyond its concept flourishes, the Stonic is closely related to the Rio hatchback in looks, with a similar front grille and headlamp design. The rear end shares plenty with the bigger Sportage, although the compact proportions give it a sportier look.

The interior of the Stonic is similar to that of the Rio
The interior of the Stonic is similar to that of the Rio

The similarities with other Kia designs continue inside, where the Stonic is very similar to the Rio with which it shares a platform. Sure, there are a few extra flashes of color trim and unique seats to make the SUV feel special, but both cars share the same dashboard layout and infotainment system. Given it works well in the Rio, the decision makes sense, though the interior does look a bit plain when compared to the colorful exterior.

Power will come from a range of compact petrol and diesel engines, hooked up to manual gearboxes. A turbocharged 1.0-liter engine with 118 hp (88 kW) of power sits beside 1.25-liter and 1.4-liter naturally aspirated petrol options in the range, while diesel power comes from a 1.6-liter four-cylinder. The car will be front-wheel drive, regardless of what's under the hood.

As you'd expect of a modern city car, a range of active safety features will be optional. The usual suite of auto-emergency braking, forward-collision warning, blind-spot detection and lane-keeping assist all available as part of the Advanced Driver Assistance System pack. If you still manage to have an accident in spite of all this help, the Kia says the stiff bodyshell makes the Stonic a good performer in crash tests.

The Stonic will be on sale in Europe during Q3 this year. There's no word as yet on whether it will come to the USA.

Source: Kia

View gallery - 22 images
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