Review: Kia Stonic (2017)

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Impressive petrol and diesel engines. Low running costs. Decent handling. Seven-year-warranty.

Dreary cabin. Cramped rear seats. Bumpy ride quality on larger wheels.

Kia Stonic (2017): At A Glance

The Kia Stonic is a sensible and safe compact crossover that promises years of hassle free, low cost ownership. It can't match its rivals for space, style or in-car tech, but the Stonic will please people who prefer to save money than keep up with the latest trends.

The value-focused nature of Kia means that few buyers will have to raid the options list to get the best out of the Stonic. In fact the mid-spec model gets all of the daily motoring essentials, with climate control, touchscreen navigation, reversing camera, parking sensors and automatic lights all included in the deal. You also get a huge seven-year warranty, which means Kia will cover all of the major components for 100,000 miles (or unlimited mileage in the first 36 months). 

The Stonic isn't built for speed, but it does drive better than many of its small crossover rivals; the front-wheel drive set-up has lots of grip and the steering is nicely weighted. Unlike the Hyundai Kona, there isn't a four-wheel drive option but there is a surprising amount of fun to be had behind the wheel of the Stonic.  

The turbocharged 1.0 T-GDi is the best engine; the three-cylinder petrol is advertised with 50+mpg and can be paired with a six-speed manual or a seven-speed automatic gearbox. A 1.6 CRDi diesel is also available for drivers who cover long distances.

Both the 1.0 T-GDi and 1.6 CRDi will cover 0-62mph in roughly 10 seconds and this means the Stonic has enough in its locker to join a fast flowing motorway or busy roundabout without stress. Passing slow moving traffic, on the other hand, requires a downward gear change or two. And the 1.0 petrol tends to get quite gruff as the revs increase.  

Passengers wanting a taste of luxury will find the Stonic's cabin a tad underwhelming. The dark and dreary interior’s covered almost exclusively in a layer of cheap and scratchy plastics that wouldn't be out of place on a 1980s VCR. The rear seats are cramped too, which makes long trips an unpleasant experience for tall or large adults.

The decision to choose the Kia Stonic over a SEAT Arona or Mazda CX-3 will very much depend on expectation. Buyers who want something upmarket, smartly styled and filled with touches of luxury will be better with SEAT or Mazda. However, for those in need of an affordable crossover with a huge warranty and low life costs, the Stonic will be something of a long-term bargain. 

Kia Stonic 2017 Road Test

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Register your interest for later or request to be contacted by a dealer to talk through your options now.

What does a Kia Stonic (2017) cost?

List Price from £17,760
Buy new from £14,674
Contract hire from £165.76 per month

Kia Stonic (2017): What's It Like Inside?

Length 4140 mm
Width 1760 mm
Height 1520 mm
Wheelbase 2580 mm

Full specifications

The interior of the Stonic is competent, but underwhelming when compared to its rivals from SEAT, Volkswagen and Mazda. The thick layers of scratchy plastics feel hardwearing and easy to clean, but give the cabin a dull and dreary feel.

For what the Stonic lacks in style, it makes up for in equipment. There are three trim levels to choose from – 2, 3 or 4 – and even the cheapest version comes with electric/heated door mirrors, height adjustable driver’s seat, parking sensors and touchscreen infotainment. Choose a mid-spec ‘3’ and the Stonic also gets navigation, a rear view parking camera, automatic climate control and a leather steering wheel.

The dashboard is logically laid out and this means there’s no shortage of easy to reach dials, buttons and switches. The steering wheel also gets lots of simple on-board controls that make it easy to adjust the radio, switch the trip computer or set the cruise control with a flick of a thumb.

The Stonic sits much lower to the road than its crossover rivals, which means you have to lower yourself into the driver’s seat. However, while the lower driving position makes access less gentrified than that of the Arona or CX-3, the Stonic is fairly comfortable to drive with well-supported seats and a centre store box that doubles up as an armrest. 

The rear seats are less impressive, with limited legroom making it an uncomfortable fit for tall teenagers and large adults. The front seatback covers are finished in hard plastics and this makes it painfully easy to bruise a knee or two as you climb in and out. 

The Stonic's boot has 350 litres of storage with the rear seats in place, which is roughly the same as the CX-3. However, the boot opening is narrow and has a high load lip. The rear seats do not fold flat either.  In comparison the Arona provides 400 litres while and T-Roc has one of the largest in the small crossover class with 445 litres. 

Specification (from March 2019):

'2' is the base trim and features 17-inch alloy wheels with 205/55R tyres, body coloured door handles, heated, electrically adjustable and folding door mirrors with LED indicator lights, front & rear silver skid plates, automatic headlight control, LED daytime running lights, front fog lights, LED rear lights, roof rails, 7-inch infotainment screen with DAB radio and Apple Carplay and Android auto, rear parking sensors, cruise control, electric windows (front and rear) air con and height adjustable driver’s seat.

'3' adds rear privacy glass, shark fin antenna, automatic windscreen wipers, faux leather seat upholstery, climate control, leather trimmed steering wheel, 7-inch touchscreen navigation, Kia connected services with TomTom Live, reversing camera, land keep assist, high beam assist and forward collision avoidance assist.

'4' is the top of the range model and adds chrome side window trim, heat insulating glass, premium paint, two-tone paint with contrasting roof, heated front seats, heated steering wheel, stainless steel pedals, blind spot assist, dual height boot floor and luggage nets.

Child seats that fit a Kia Stonic (2017)

Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.

Which car seat will suit you?

What's the Kia Stonic (2017) like to drive?

The Kia Stonic is offered with two petrol engines, a turbocharged three-cylinder 1.0-litre T-GDi and naturally aspirated four-cylinder 1.4-litre MPi. Outputs for the petrols are a respective 120PS and 99PS, with the 1.0 T-GDi being the superior engine due to its higher torque and lower noise levels at motorway speeds. 

The Stonic isn't built for performance, but the 1.0 T-GDi has enough acceleration to get the vehicle up to cruising speeds without disrupting traffic flow. The six-speed manual version is advertised with 51.4mpg, while the seven-speed dual-clutch DCT officially returns 54.3mpg. As always, we’d recommend using Real MPG to compare on-the-road economy figures.

Kia offers a 1.6 CRDi diesel with an advertised 70.6mpg, for long distance drivers. The four-cylinder turbodiesel is limited to the six-speed manual gearbox only and provides much better low-gear acceleration due to its torque levels being 110Nm higher than the turbocharged petrol. Both the 1.6 diesel and 1.0 petrol tow up to 1110kg when hooked to a braked trailer or caravan.  

The Stonic is based on the same mechanical platform as the Rio hatchback and is genuinely good to drive. Not only does it sit much lower to the road than a typical crossover, but the front-wheel drive set-up uses a torque vectoring system that brakes the inner wheel to improve corning agility in demanding turns. 

The suspension features MacPherson struts at the front and a torsion beam axel at the rear, which can feel occasionally unsettled on rough roads. However, for the most part, the Stonic and its standard fit 17-inch wheels (205/55R tyres) are supple enough to cope with Britain's variable roads.

Automatic emergency city braking (for both vehicles and pedestrians) is standard fit on the majority of Stonic models, along with lane keep and high beam assist. Range-topping versions get rear cross traffic alert, which warns the driver of approaching vehicles when reversing out of a parking space or driveway. 

Engine MPG 0-62 CO2
1.0 T-GDI 51–57 mpg - 115–130 g/km
1.0 T-GDI DCT 54 mpg - 120 g/km
1.4 50 mpg - 125 g/km
1.6 CRDi 67–71 mpg - 106–109 g/km

Real MPG average for a Kia Stonic (2017)

Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance


Real MPG

32–58 mpg

MPGs submitted


Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

What have we been asked about the Kia Stonic (2017)?

Every day we're asked hundreds of questions from car buyers and owners through Ask Honest John. Our team of experts, including the nation's favourite motoring agony uncle - Honest John himself - answer queries and conudrums ranging from what car to buy to how to care for it as an owner. If you could do with a spot of friendly advice before buying you're next car, get in touch and we'll do what we can to help.

Ask HJ

Which crossover should I buy?

I need a car for a round trip commute of 90 miles, mostly on the motorway. I have been looking at a SEAT Arona, Skoda Kamiq or Kia Stonic as I like the style of those. Which would you recommend and engine type, trim level etc - or is there a better choice? I am not wedded to any brand and just view a car as a tool to get to work. It needs cruise control and air con which is fairly standard these days. Thanks.
You won't go wrong with any of the three you've mentioned but the Skoda Kamiq is probably the best all-rounder. It's available with a 1.6 TDI diesel engine which would be a frugal choice for your commute. Also look at the Volkswagen T-Cross or T-Roc.
Answered by Andrew Brady
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