The latest launch from Kia Motors India is the company’s first compact SUV, Sonet. It has been one of the fastest-growing segments in an industry that has been performing under tremendous pressure. Although the Sonet seems to be late to the compact SUV party, it offers freshness to this highly competitive vehicle category. Its competition comes in the form of the successful Maruti Suzuki Brezza, along with Ford EcoSport, Hyundai Venue, Mahindra XUV3OO, Tata Nexon and the newly-launched Toyota Urban Cruiser.
Kia Sonet’s design language is different from its elder sibling, the Seltos. The fluidic and curvy form begins with the front end consisting of a well-sculpted bonnet and front bumper, sandwiching the trademark Kia tiger nose grill. The side profile features a flowing design combined with muscular lines for SUV aesthetics, further enhanced by the 16-inch diamond cut alloy wheels. The Sonet features a rather simple design at the rear.
The interiors look well-appointed with a driver-focused design that includes two screens. A few of the feature highlights include wireless phone charger, ventilated front seats, premium seven-speaker infotainment system with sound mood lighting, Smart Pure Air Purifier and an electric sunroof. Technology, safety, and enginesThe Sonet features the latest version of Kia’s UVO connectivity technology that enables multiple connected solutions.
It also includes a 10.25-inch HD touchscreen to address infotainment needs, along with a 4.2-inch colour display panel to display various parameters to the driver for distraction-less driving. Safety features include six airbags, an anti-lock braking system, electronic stability control, hill-start assist control, vehicle stability management, front parking sensors and tyre pressure monitoring system. Kia is offering the Sonet three engine options. It also offers multi-drive modes— normal, eco, and sport.
The Kia Sonet is the newest product in the segment, and while it may not have the most radical front-end design like that of its cousin, the Hyundai Venue, it is definitely looks the most premium. The stance of an SUV is brought out well through the design features. Again, when it comes to technological equipment, the segment-average centre console touchscreen combined with the additional instrument cluster screen, along with the host of previously-mentioned features, make it a top contender for customers to consider.
If we were to nitpick, we’d say that the wheelbase of the vehicle is not as high as that of the EcoSport or the XUV3OO, and the rear design seems end abruptly. It’s available in six trim levels, with prices starting from `6.71 lakh. It sits prime in the price range of all its competitors.