Facelifted Kia Stonic coming here this year
An upgraded Kia Stonic has been revealed in Europe, finally exposing the all-new small SUV that will be launched in Australia around October this year.
On sale in Europe since late 2017, the Kia Stonic is based on the Korean brand’s Rio light-car platform and will rival compact SUVs such as the Mazda CX-3 and Honda HR-V.
It will sit below the larger Seltos in Kia Australia’s growing SUV range, which continues to include the mid-size Sportage, which will be renewed next year, and the large Sorento seven-seat, an all-new and more upmarket version of which arrives here in September.
Expected to be priced under $25,000, the 2020 Kia Seltos will bring a lightly revised exterior and a higher-tech cabin fitted with a larger 8.0-inch touch-screen infotainment unit with an upgraded navigation system, multi-connect Bluetooth functionality and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. A 4.2-inch high-resolution instrument cluster has also been added.
These features will also find their way into an upgraded MY20 Rio due here in coming months, but yet to be confirmed for either our Rio or Stonic is a ‘Phase II’ UVO Connect telematics feature that offers things such as live traffic information, weather forecasts, fuel prices, on- and off-street parking and more.
Selectable drive modes available include Eco, Sport and Normal, while the baby SUV will also come with newly-designed full LED headlights and 16-inch alloy wheels in a range of style options.
The Kia Stonic will be available with a range of vivid exterior colour options, including new Perennial Grey and Sporty Blue hues that will be shared with the MY20 Rio. A Most Yellow contrasting roof colour will bring the number of two-tone colour options to 20.
Safety features (depending on the variant) will include autonomous emergency braking (AEB), forward collision warning, lane keeping assist, blind spot monitoring, driver attention warning, speed limit warning, rear cross traffic alert with avoidance, adaptive cruise control, six airbags and more.
In Europe, the Kia Seltos will be available with new electrified ‘Smartstream’ powertrains, including a 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbo-petrol engine paired with a 48-volt lithium-ion polymer battery to boost torque and efficiency.
Power outputs remains the same as the previous-gen Kappa engine, with either 74kW or 88kW on tap, however, the mild-hybrid system boosts peak torque to 200Nm (16 per cent higher than before) in Stonics fitted with a seven-speed dual-clutch auto.
The system comprises a starter-generator unit (MHSG) connected to the crankshaft by a belt, which extends the engine’s ‘off-time’ by switching into generator mode when the car is decelerating or coming to a stop.
Kia says the MHSG reduces engine load and emissions, while recuperating energy from the crankshaft to recharge the battery.
The powertrain is available with a new ‘intelligent’ six-speed manual transmission (iMT) that Kia says uses a clutch-by-wire system and electronically-actuated clutch, that still “retains the driver engagement of a conventional manual”.
It will come fitted to every mild-hybrid 1.0-litre engine in Europe, no matter whether it’s six-speed manual or seven-speed dual-clutch automatic.
Both transmissions allow the engine to use a ‘sailing’ mode at speeds up to 125km/h to improve efficiency, with the engine switching back on when the driver pushes the accelerator.
Kia says official fuel efficiency figures will be announced closer to the Stonic’s launch in Europe, where a revised 62kW 1.2-litre naturally-aspirated four-cylinder will also be offered, in the third quarter of 2020.
Australian engine details are yet to be announced, but our Stonic is likely to mirror that of the facelifted Rio hatch, meaning 74kW/133Nm 1.4-litre naturally-aspirated four-cylinder and 74kW/172Nm 1.0-litre turbo-triple petrol engines, perhaps mated solely to an automatic transmission.
The Stonic will also be covered by Kia’s seven-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty with capped-price servicing and roadside assist.
Pricing and full local details will be revealed ahead of the Kia Stonic’s arrival later this year.
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