Kia Stonic (2017) Review
Kia Stonic (2017) At A Glance
Insurance Groups are between 10–14
On average it achieves 75% of the official MPG figure
The Kia Stonic is one of a seemingly endless range of compact crossovers hoping to catch your eye. Introduced in 2017, the Stonic is based on the Kia Rio, but it offers a little more practicality than its showroom sibling. If we had to pick three highlights, we’d say that it offers excellent value for money, a good level of standard equipment and the reassurance of an excellent seven-year warranty. It’s up to you to decide if that’s enough to choose the Stonic over rivals like the Hyundai Kona, SEAT Arona, Renault Captur or Nissan Juke.
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The Kia Stonic: if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. This is yet another fish swimming in an increasingly crowded pond of compact crossovers. The name, in case you were wondering, is a portmanteau of ‘speed’ and ‘tonic’.
Make of that what you will. What’s more important is the fact that Kia Stonic is a rival to the Hyundai Kona, Seat Arona, Nissan Juke, Renault Captur, Skoda Karoq, Suzuki Vitara and… well, the list goes on.
Why should you choose the Stonic over any of its rivals? The seven-year warranty is a good place to start, but this will be of little interest if you’re considering a three- or four-year PCP deal. Maybe the long list of standard equipment will help, or the fact that the Stonic boasts a classy if sombre cabin. It’s best to think of it as a slightly more practical and chunkier version of the Kia Rio.
There are four trim levels: 2, Maxx, 3 and 4. Even the Stonic 2 boasts an impressive array of features, including 17-inch alloy wheels, a seven-inch touchscreen media display, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, air-conditioning, all-round electric windows, roof rails, rear parking sensors and cruise control. That’s comprehensive for a car costing around £18,000.
What it lacks is the standard safety equipment required for a five-star Euro NCAP safety rating. For this, you’ll need the Stonic 3 or 4, which come with an enviable list of standard equipment that wouldn’t look out of place on a premium rival. Subjectively, we also think the Stonic cuts a fine figure in a crowded segment.
The Stonic 3 offers the best value for money, adding sat-nav, a reversing camera, LED rear lights, rain-sensing wipers, cloth/faux leather upholstery, forward collision avoidance and lane keeping assist to the mix. You also get the option of a 1.6-litre diesel engine, although we’d shun this in favour of the excellent 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol.
It might be small, but the three-cylinder unit packs quite a punch, which makes it ideal for use in the city. Not that it feels out of its depth when you exit the urban sprawl. If you’re after a car for short runs into the city and the occasional long trip, the Stonic 1.0 is a capable contender.
Don’t approach the Stonic expecting a traditional crossover experience. The low-slung driving position is at odds with the lofty position offered by many of its rivals, which may or may not be a good thing, depending on what you’re after.
The driving position is matched by an experience that’s more supermini than crossover. The firm ride and sharp steering should enable the Stonic to live up to the ‘sporty’ part of its name, but the car is strangely devoid of fun.