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Kia will be rolling out the Stonic, a subcompact crossover that aims to lead the pack thanks to its sleek styling, dynamic platform, and ample cabin space.

What is it?

The Stonic is a B-segment crossover / SUV with a generous helping of Kia style and value. Kia aims to capture customers who are transitioning from hatchbacks and sedans to crossovers. The Stonic will also be a handy replacement for those who want to ditch the domesticity of their compact MPVs.

Within the compact 4140mm long x 1760mm wide footprint, Kia promises class-leading shoulder, leg and headroom, with a versatile 352-liter cargo bay. Helping out with the space allocation is the 2580mm wheelbase.

Engine and transmission

We’re guessing that the Stonic will be powered by Kia’s 1.4-liter naturally aspirated petrol engine, matched to either a 5-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission. The lightweight 1.0-liter turbo petrol engine would be a nice surprise, as the 3-cylinder is good for 120ps.

Styling

The Stonic was penned in Kia’s European design studios. The brand’s tiger-nose grille is smoothly integrated into a fascia that balances friendliness and aggression—like a Rottweiler puppy’s. The front pillars are blacked out to achieve the de rigueur ‘floating roof’ effect. The black paint extends well into the roof, to achieve something more like a targa look. There’s a scuff plate beneath the front bumper, and angular fog-lamp cutouts. Black fender and door cladding; and a clean tail section with angular taillights complete the look. Squint and the Stonic can be an upscale German compact SUV’s long-lost twin.

Interior

Kia’s interiors have been a model of almost Teutonic orderliness, and the Stonic’s is thankfully no exception. The multi-function steering wheel sits before a instrument cluster with big, clear, analog gauges. An 8-inch touchscreen for the infotainment system pops up from the center of the instrument panel, above analog aircon controls.

Seats feature an attractive mix of fabric and leather trim, again recalling some of the styling cues of classic enthusiast hatchbacks. Splashes of color adorn the steering wheel, seat stitching, and the upper and lower dash surrounds.

Convenience Features

We expect that the Stonic will feature available automatic aircon, multi-function audio and information system, and the now-essential Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity.

Handling

The Kia Stonic is built on a strong, lightweight platform, using 51% high-strength steel. This reportedly helps deliver more confident handling, passenger cabin stability and a refined ride.

Pricing

In keeping with Kia’s value-for-money formula, we expect a starting price in the heart of its segment, at around P800,000.