Kia Stonic


Sep 06th, 2021

Kia Stonic

The light SUV segment is one of the most competitive in the automotive industry today. Even though they are pretty simple, manufacturers go to a lot of trouble making them right. Comfort, performance, technology – all these aspects need to be met and often require compromises. The main thing about these cars is to make them affordable, and only a true master in the business can make a good one with controlled resources.

The Kia Stonic represents the Korean manufacturer in this super-tough segment. It's been around for nearly five years, though the Australian version debuted a little bit later. It is the company's smallest crossover in the lineup, based on the Kia Rio, a well-known name among Australian drivers.

The First Generation of Kia Stonic (2020-present)

The Kia Stonic Australia debuted in 2020. However, the model dates from 2017, when versions for several international markets were introduced. The Australian version isn't much different and features the same overall design characteristics.

As we are talking about a small city SUV, it makes sense that the overall design is quite simple. This SUV rides on the GB platform, which was developed for small city cars. It is also used for models like Hyundai i20 and Kia Rio. The latter has most things in common with Stonic. Even the exterior design and proportions are very similar. In our eyes, the Stonic looks more like a hatchback with a slightly higher ground clearance than a real SUV.

Just like in Rio, the mechanical aspect of the car is simple, but not too much. For example, the suspension setup includes a typical McPherson strut at the front, while the rear end comes with a torsion beam. The latter may seem rudimentary to some, but such design can be found in rival models as well, even in many small family cars.

The overall dimensions are typical for the segment. The Stonic is 4,140 millimetres long, while the wheelbase goes up to 2,580mm, which is on par with segment rivals, such as Ford Puma or Mazda CX-3. We already mentioned that this SUV looks more like a hatchback, probably because the ground clearance is just 183mm. This means that you shouldn’t have high expectations from Stonic regarding off-road performance. After all, you can't even get an all-wheel-drive version of this small crossover.

For the same reason, the Stonic is quite maneuverable and doesn't deliver too much body roll at all. Moreover, steering is pretty good, and driving characteristics are similar to what you get from a typical hatchback. 

Kia Stonic Dimensions

  • Wheelbase: 2,580mm
  • Height: 1,520mm
  • Length: 4,140mm
  • Width: 1,760mm
  • Ground clearance: 183mm
  • Wheelbase: 2,580mm
  • Turning circle: 10.2m

Kia Stonic Engines and Performance

The Kia Stonic comes with two engines on offer for the Australian market - a 1.4-litre inline-four and 1.0-litre turbo inline-three.

Base models come equipped with a good-old 1.4-litre inline-four, and that's where Stonic shows its simplicity. This is a well-known engine from Hyundai/Kia, which has been in use for more than a decade. It features variable valve timing (VVT), but the overall design is quite simple, which makes Kia Stonic price for base models quite affordable.

The engine features a max output of 74kW and 133Nm, which means you shouldn’t expect too much regarding performance. On the other hand, you get a pretty good fuel economy as a compromise, which goes just around 6.7 litres per 100km.

If you are looking for something peppier, or something that can give you a little bit of driving excitement, there is a newer-generation 1.0-litre turbo engine with just three cylinders. Thanks to the forced induction, the max output is the same as in the base four-cylinder engine - 74kW. The main benefit comes in terms of the max torque, which goes all the way up to 174Nm. In practice, this means notably better driving dynamics despite the same power.

Another big difference is the transmission choice. The base engine comes standard with a 6-speed manual gearbox, while you can pay extra for a 6-speed automatic. On the other hand, the turbo inline-three comes in pair with a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission, bringing advantages regarding performance.

Kia Stonic 1.4 Engine Specs

  • Engine Capacity: 1,368cc
  • Number of cylinders: 4
  • Fuel Type: Regular Unleaded Petrol
  • Forced induction: -
  • Transmission: 6-speed manual, 6-speed automatic
  • Maximum torque: 133Nm
  • Maximum power: 74kW
  • Fuel tank capacity: 45L
  • Fuel consumption (claimed): 6.7L/100km

Kia Stonic 1.0 Engine Specs

  • Engine Capacity: 998cc
  • Number of cylinders: 3
  • Fuel Type: Regular Unleaded Petrol
  • Forced Induction: Turbocharger
  • Transmission: 7-speed dual-clutch
  • Maximum torque: 172Nm
  • Maximum power: 74kW
  • Fuel tank capacity: 45L
  • Fuel consumption (claimed): 5.4L/100km

Kia Stonic Grades

This small crossover is available in three grades on the Australian market – S, Sport and GT-Line.

The S grade is the most affordable version of the SUV, and you’d be happy to know that it's far from bare bones. You get a pretty decent list of standard equipment, starting from an 8-inch infotainment screen, wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, six speakers, Bt-connection, USB port, to name a few. More importantly, the list of standard safety features is pretty impressive and includes systems like forward-collision warning, rearview camera, lane-keeping assist, lane-following assist and driver attention alert.

Unfortunately, the base model is missing a few appearance features, so that the mid-range Sport grade might be a better choice. This is primarily because of 17-inch alloys, as the base Stonic S comes with 15-inch steel wheels only. Also, this grade expands the list of standard equipment with an upgraded steering wheel and shifter, additional USB port, navigation, and push-button start.

The range-topping GT-Line grade brings several exterior upgrades, such as bumpers, wheels, grille, and rear diffuser. Also, you get upgraded seats, automatic climate control, a sunroof, and full exterior LED lighting. Finally, this is the only Stonic you can get in a two-tone exterior finish.

Which Is Better, Kia Seltos or Stonic?

If you look at Kia Seltos and Kia Stonic reviews, the difference between the two models doesn’t seem that big in terms of dimensions. So, you may wonder if the Seltos is worth the extra money. In our humble opinion, it is a more serious vehicle, which justifies the price gap.

First of all, the Seltos rides on a technically more advanced platform, which in practice means better ride quality and way more capable engine options. For example, even the cheapest Seltos comes with a 2.0-litre engine with 110kW of max power. Furthermore, the bigger sibling features more superior interior quality and better sound insulation.

On the other hand, the Stonic is cheaper, and its simpler design has a couple of advantages, starting from lower maintenance costs. Smaller engines also mean better fuel economy, but only if you are not too heavy on the gas pedal.

Both models stand very well when it comes to safety, whether it’s about ANCAP ratings or standard safety features.

To summarise, you won't go wrong with any of these two. The Seltos is a better vehicle overall, but Stonic has a few advantages, especially if affordability is your top priority.

Do you own a Kia Stonic? Does it meet your expectations, or do you maybe want to sell it and get something more upscale? You can advertise your Kia Stonic for sale on our website and get more interested buyers. Advertise now!

By Nebojsa Grmusa