Fleet Magazine test the KIA Stonic on its UK Launch

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Fleet Magazine test the KIA Stonic on its UK Launch

The UK is very unique and for some reason, we have a lot of differences with the rest of Europe. For instance, we are the only country in Europe you can’t drive to. We don’t use the Euro as our currency, Brexit…

However, we do have one thing in common with the rest of Europe and that’s our love for cars, particularly the SUV range.

Experts have predicted that the B-Segment SUV market sector will double to 2.2 million sales a year by 2020, which is incredible to think the SUV market is only ten years old.

In step KIA! Now we here at Man & Machine UK we don’t hide our love for a good KIA. With the 7 years transferable warranty and pretty much every bit of tech you could think of in a car, thrown in with reasonable pricing, you really can’t go wrong.

We were invited to the launch of their new B-segment model, the ‘Stonic’. As you can see from the pictures, it really is the teenage brother of the Sportage.

Rear of ‘First Edition models.

Styling Exterior

The requirement these days is for small cars with the looks and higher seating position of an SUV, but without the weight, cost and fuel consumption penalties of all-wheel drive.

The Stonic comes in two very stylish models, the Grade ‘2’, and the ‘First Edition. From a styling perspective on the outside, the Stonic comes with very stylish 17” alloy wheels which are a ‘one for all’ in terms of the two models.

You will also have the option of three paint types. Standard which comes in a lovely poo brown dubbed the ‘chronic Stonic’ (by me) … Sorry.

The Grade ‘2’ version of the Stonic (check out those alloys for an entry-level spec)

Moving on, the Stonic comes in a huge range of colours depending on your personality. We imagine most people will avoid the ‘Optional’ Chronic paint and opt for a wide range of premium paint colours which even include a lime green, orange and red roofs, with a choice of any body colour.

The two-tone paint is standard should you opt for the ‘First Edition’ however the paint/colour will set you back a usual £545.00.

In terms of headlights, Kia has launched the Stingers with mini Sportage front and rear lights. All LED which is standard on pretty much all their range.

Interior of ‘First Edition’ with a green roof.
Interior Styling

Let’s move onto the interior. For those of you who are smart enough to buy a ‘First Edition,’ you will be looking at a convenient amount of extras. And with the price only being £2500.00 extra it does seem like you get a lot for your money.

So what would you get for the extra money you will pay for the upgrade to a ‘First Edition from Grade ‘2’? Where do I start? Okay, so you will notice straight away the half leather seats which come with a three-level heating system.

You will also notice if you opt for a coloured roof, you will have the interior stitching and panels to match. If you opt for a black roof you will have a smooth grey stitching inside with the panels to match.

Interior of Grade ‘2’

All KIA’s are a nice place to be and the Stonic follows suit. The seats are either all cloth or half cloth half leather. We found them to be very comfortable and hugging as well as looking the part too.

There is a downside to the Grade ‘2’ and that is there is no built-in sat-nav. However, if you are not from the 18th century you will have a smartphone and like me connect to Apple play or Android Auto which as you will agree with works a hell of a lot better.

The ‘First Edition’ does come with Sat-nav as standard but again, will you use it? Probably not. Everything is very modern and we see this as being a perfect first car or car for somebody who wants to look good, feel good and not have to break the bank to get the higher seating position.

The great thing about the Stonic is that everybody has a Nissan Juke. The Juke hasn’t really had a facelift since ‘back in Naam’ leaving the door open for KIA to put up a fight and show of its modern style.

Performance & Economy

Well, for now, you have a choice of 2 engines. You have Kia’s astonishingly good 1.0-litre petrol and their 1.6 diesel. Both come with manual gearboxes at the moment. We tested both and on a normal run, mixture of country roads and around town we average around 45MPG from the petrol and 55 MPG from the diesel. Very good.
The performance from both engines is really quite good, the 3 cylinders 1.0 litre has 118 BHP and fits the car perfectly, its no slouch. The diesel comes with 98 BHP and compared to the petrol is a little sluggish and takes that slight bit longer to get up to speed. But as usual, its down to you, what you think fits better around your lifestyle. Both engines are really quite good so whichever you pick you won’t be disappointed.

Trim Levels

This is the nice bit; Kia has made things simple giving you only 2 trims to pick from. They haven’t messed about with pricy optional extras. You can pick either the ‘First Edition’ which is all singing all dancing or the ‘2’

Let’s start with the ‘2’ it costs £16,995 OTR, not bad.

For that money, you’re getting well, quite a lot. A nice 7” display with Apple CarPlay and AndroidAuto. No built-in sat nav I’m afraid that if I’m honest I prefer the maps on my phone so no biggie. 2 USB slots, Bluetooth and a decent sound system.
Onto the ‘First Edition,’ it costs £20,495 for the petrol OTR. With the first edition, it really emphasises the styling, you get quite a funky interior, its all colour coded to match your exterior styling. Its put together quite nicely and it’s not too in your face like some other cars.

This edition gives you things like satnav, keyless entry, climate control, heated front seats, heated & flat-bottom steering wheel and privacy glass.

What’s nice is both cars get very similar kit both cars come with 17-inch alloys, same 7” touchscreen, air conditioning and automatic lights.