Kia’s been a shining gross sales star in recent times, however a metropolis SUV has been a obtrusive omission from its line-up. The brand new Stonic plugs the outlet.

Accessible from $22,990 drive-away, our household of testers sampled the range-topping GT-Line model at $29,990 on the highway.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

Iain: Teenagers and retirees don’t need vehicles lately. They demand SUVs. Low cost, little ones primarily.

Jules: After all. Metropolis SUVs are much more interesting than metropolis hatchbacks or sedans. Sustain, Granddad.

Iain: Hey, it’s their cash. The Kia Stonic’s a terrific instance. It’s primarily based on the Rio hatchback and shares its engine, gearbox and far of its gear. However prices hundreds extra.

Jules: Sure, but it surely appears to be like cooler than a daggy hatch. And it’s simpler to climb out and in from.

I ain: However a Stonic prices $3500 greater than the equal entry-level Rio, and our GT-Line is $5000 greater than the hatch different.

Jules: I’d pay the additional. The Stonic appears to be like superbly sporty. What are its rivals?

Iain: A Kia Rio for lots much less? Okay, sorry. The Hyundai Venue (from $20,690), Toyota Yaris Cross (from $26,990) and runaway phase chief Mazda CX-3 (from $22,890).

THE LIVING SPACE

Jules: The Stonic is sporty inside too, however feels cheaper than I used to be anticipating. I just like the flat-bottom steering wheel, steel pedals, pretend leather-based seat bolsters and carbon-style sprint trim.

I ain: There’s the same old very good Kia structure, good construct high quality, local weather management and sizeable 8-inch infotainment display screen, although the doorways are mighty slabs of onerous plastic.

Jules: It wants extra consolation. The sprint and door plastics are too scratchy.

THE COMMUTE

Jules: It feels sturdy on the freeway, however there’s a little bit of highway noise to tolerate.

Iain: Whereas the doorways have a strong clunk to them, the Stonic doesn’t suppress the sounds in addition to pricier, bigger Kias.

Jules: It’s not a fast automobile, however perky. It scoots round city properly.

Iain: Like many rivals it makes use of a turbocharged three-cylinder. Simply 74kW on supply, however its 172Nm of torque masses rapidly to supply some enjoyable.

Jules: If I’m grumbling, it may be a bit jerky when parking and at sluggish speeds.

Iain: It has a sporty twin-clutch auto gearbox. Good when up to the mark, however a bit hesitant when meandering city areas.

Jules: It cleverly retains itself between the highway’s white traces, steering itself when you stray, with some beepy telling off.

Iain: And name me spoiled, however I’ve grown to like radar cruise management. Not out there on the little Stonic.

SUNDAY RUN

Jules: Bowls membership or college sports activities fields I’d think about?

Iain: Hopefully just a few will take pleasure in some corners. Kia Australia units up its vehicles’ steering and dealing with for our roads and preferences. This GT-Line will get a sportier tune than different Stonics, and it’s a good stability of consolation and good cornering expertise.

Jules: The turbo engine likes to rev too.

Iain: I like its enjoyable, fairly raspy noise. The twin-clutch gearbox is sharp when driving enthusiastically too. It actually wants steering wheel paddles so as to add extra involvement.

THE FAMILY

Jules: Regardless of being a metropolis SUV, rear doorways are giant so the children can get in simply. No rear air vents although.

Iain: Rear seats are agency however give cheap head and leg room, although you wouldn’t need three adults throughout the again for lengthy.

Jules: The security equipment and 5 Star ANCAP score are good, however I don’t like lacking out on rear cross visitors alert and a blind spot monitor.

Iain: Maintain on. Our GT-Line Stonic doesn’t have a 5 Star score. Kia cheekily used the Rio’s 2017 security score for the 1.4-litre Stonic – deeming the vehicles so carefully associated – but it surely didn’t apply to our 1.0-litre turbo mannequin. I’d recommend no Stonic would get 5 Stars if crashed in 2021, because of stricter guidelines on lively and passive security gear.

Jules: Very cheeky. Positively, I like the rear occupant alert. It displays rear doorways opening and alerts to make sure no children are left behind.

Iain: Kudos for Kia’s seven-year guarantee and gasoline economic system of 5.4L/100km, which we virtually achieved. Providers aren’t low-cost, and are each 10,000km relatively than the 15,000km of many rivals.

THE VERDICT

Jules: I just like the Stonic’s model, beauty and easy-to-drive nature, however I need it to really feel extra particular. It’s in all probability a greater proposition at $22,990 for the entry-level ‘S’, because the $30,000 GT-Line has to compete with the Skoda Kamiq – a bigger and classier feeling metropolis SUV.

Iain: I see the attraction, however personally I’d hop in a Kia Rio GT-Line for $5000 much less. Or get an entry-level Kia Seltos with its bigger dimensions and smarter cabin. That mentioned, the Stonic’s a welcome addition to the town SUV phase, and Kia will promote loads.

KIA STONIC GT-LINE VITALS

Worth: $29,990 drive-away

Guarantee/servicing: 7 years/u’ltd km guarantee $2128 for five years/50,000km

Engine: 1.0-litre 3-cyl turbo-petrol, 74kW/172Nm

Security: Not examined, six airbags, auto emergency braking with pedestrian and bicycle owner detection, lane following help, lane maintain help, rear digicam with parking pointers, rear sensors, rear occupant alert

Thirst: 5.4L/100km

Spare: Area saver

Boot: 352L/1155L