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Kia’s Evergreen Compact SUV Gets Bold New Look

Kia has introduced the new Sonet to the South African market, building on a range that has surpassed all expectations since its local introduction in 2021 with a significantly updated exterior design, an upgraded interior, and a repositioned range in the highly competitive A-SUV segment of the market.

Lauded for its outstanding build quality and overall reliability, Kia’s evergreen compact SUV now offers consumers an even better value proposition than before.

Speaking during the launch this week, CEO of Kia South Africa, Gary Scott,  declared that with  the sporty, eye-catching design, high-quality features and fun-to-drive dynamics, the Sonet had helped make Kia the brand of choice for trendy urbanites with big ambitions.

“Renowned for its inherent engineering, quality finishes and big car attitude,” he stressed, “Sonet remains one of the most desirable small SUVs currently on offer. With this first update to the model, we’re confident that it will only grow in popularity.”

Styling

The new Kia Sonet’s exterior design, like the recently introduced new Picanto and Seltos, is inspired by Kia’s award-winning ‘Opposites United’ design philosophy, which harnesses the creative tension generated by the divergent values of nature and modernity to deliver a harmonious whole.

Already a striking compact SUV, the design update to the Sonet sees the inherently sporty design embracing an even bolder and more futuristic expression that is thoroughly modern, sporty and effortlessly stylish.

At the front, the new Sonet gains a new light signature, a new front bumper, an updated iteration of Kia’s signature ‘tiger nose’ grille, and a revised fender and bonnet, all combining to create a notably more dramatic visage that visually aids the Sonet’s wide, confident stance.

At the rear, this sporty, wide stance is reiterated through redesigned taillights that are horizontally connected just beneath the rear windscreen, giving Sonet a new rear light signature that complements the redesigned tailgate and rear bumper.

These changes have not made any impact on the Sonet’s dimensions: it retains a height of 1,610 mm, length of 4,110 mm and width of 1,790 mm.

Depending on the grade, two different wheel design options are available, both 16-inch in diameter. As part of its refresh, a variety of colours are also available. Complementing perennial favourites like Sparkling Silver metallic, Gravity Grey metallic, Glacier White Pearl, Aurora Black Pearl, Intense Red metallic and Imperial Blue metallic, Sonet gains one new colour option in Pewter Olive metallic. Customers also have a choice between Glacier White Pearl with a black roof or Red metallic with a black roof.

Comfort & Space

The long wheelbase (2,500 mm) and short rear overhang frees up space in the cabin and boot, giving the Sonet one of the roomiest cabins in its class. In fact, Sonet offers excellent leg- and headroom compared to many of its segment competitors, with its 385-litre boot capacity rated as one of the biggest in the segment. Ride comfort is ensured through a combination of a MacPherson strut set-up at the front and a coupled torsion beam axle at the rear.

Inside, Sonet retains its high-quality, high-technology interior, with the familiar layout left largely unchanged. Two infotainment screen sizes are on offer – an 8-inch colour touchscreen and a 10.25-inch integrated colour touchscreen – depending on the grade, while ensuring that all of the car’s important controls remain intuitively positioned to reduce instances of distracted driving. A combination of black cloth and artificial leather upholstered seats are standard, while higher specification models are fitted as standard with artificial leather upholstery.

Power

The new Kia Sonet retains the familiar, reliable naturally aspirated 1.5-litre MPI and turbocharged 1.0-litre GDi petrol engines the range is known for. The overwhelming success of the 1.5-litre powertrain has resulted in the range offering a broader variety of models with this engine, with the number of derivatives powered by the 1.0-litre T-GDi reduced.

The fuel-efficient 1.5 MPI three-cylinder engine produces 85 kW of power at 6,300 r/min and 144 Nm torque at 4,500 r/min, while the four-cylinder 1.0-litre T-GDi engine develops 88 kW of power at 6,000 r/min and 172 Nm of torque between 1,500- and 4,000 r/min. Customers have a choice between a 5-speed manual transmission or CVT when opting for the 1.5-litre engine, or a 7-speed dual clutch transmission (DCT) when opting for the 1.0 T-GDi.

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