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An in depth look at the Kia Stonic

The Kia Stonic

Following on from our other in-depth looks into the Kia range its now the Stonic’s turn, Kia’s 1st B Segment SUV




  • Kia’s first entry into the B-segment SUV market
  • Sector volume expected to double to 2.2 million a year in Europe by 2020
  • Based on the Rio supermini and built alongside it in South Korea
  • Powered by high-efficiency, high-technology petrol and diesel engines
  • Fuel economy of up to 56.5mpg with CO2 emissions of 130g/km
  • Agile and comfortable, with suspension and steering tuned in Europe
  • Features a suite of connectivity and electronic driver assistance systems


Exciting; sporty, smart; confident – four words which perfectly capture the spirit and character of the new Kia Stonic, the South Korean company’s first entry into the rapidly expanding small (B-segment) SUV market.


Stonic’s arrival is perfectly timed, with the B-SUV market in Europe expected to double to more than two million units a year by 2020, based on 2017 sales.


Stonic is based on the platform of the latest Rio supermini and is powered by high-efficiency, high-technology petrol and diesel powertrains from other Kia models including Ceed. It was designed in Europe at the company’s Frankfurt studios, with input from the main design centre at Namyang in Korea. Originally intended as a car solely for Europe, it will now also be sold in Korea, such was the reception it got when shown there.


In the UK there is a six-model line-up based on grade ‘2’, ‘3’ and ‘4’ trim levels. All versions offer an extensive package of connectivity features, including links to Android Auto™ and Apple CarPlay™ via pre-downloaded smartphone apps, while advanced electronic driver assistance systems such as Forward Collision Avoidance Assist, Lane Departure Warning and Automatic Headlight control.


A new kind of Kia for a changing market

Stonic adds a uniquely Kia twist to the newest and fastest-growing market sector in Europe. B-SUV sales are expected to double to around 2.2 million a year in Europe by 2020.


It brings a distinctive B-SUV look to the multi-award-winning styling which is evident in every model from Kia. Key signature design elements such as the ‘tiger-nose’ main front grille, the distinctive C-pillar and the straight lines and smooth surfaces ensure that Stonic is instantly recognisable as a Kia.


Stonic and Rio share the same 2,580mm wheelbase, but Stonic is 70mm taller to give it a clear crossover stance, and it is wider with a longer rear overhang to maximise passenger and luggage space. Stonic is not only one of the smartest-looking Kias to date, but also one of the smartest in terms of packaging.


The grade ‘4’ version stands out even more thanks to two-tone paintwork. The roof, wing mirror casings and rear spoiler are picked out in either black, red or orange, depending on the main body colour.


The interior has been designed around the displays for the connectivity technologies. There is a 7.0-inch display with a DAB radio and MP3 compatibility, and on ‘3’ and ‘4’ grades, this is upgraded to a 7.0-inch touchscreen navigation system with Kia Connected Services featuring TomTom Live™. Android Auto™ and Apple CarPlay™ smartphone integration is fitted to every model.


The horizontal theme evident in the exterior styling is repeated in the cabin, emphasising width and space while separating the upper information and lower control areas. The number of buttons and switches has been kept to a minimum to give a neater look and greater functionality.


By the end of this decade the B-SUV market will have overtaken that for larger C-SUVs such as the Kia Sportage, and will account for 10.3 per cent of all European sales. It is a sector dominated by mainstream manufacturers: currently only two premium brands – Audi and Mini – contest it.


B-SUVs are the ‘new cool’, attracting buyers from the supermini, small MPV and three-door compact hatchback sectors. But Stonic will not simply cannibalise sales from other Kia models. Rather, it will attract customers from other brands to continue Kia’s inexorable upwards momentum.


In 2016, Kia’s performance across Europe was almost double the five per cent increase in the overall market, giving the company a three per cent share for the first time. In the UK, 2016 growth was even better – 13.8 per cent compared with just two per cent overall, ensuring that Kia ended with a 3.4 per cent market share.


B-SUV sales in the UK have risen by 50 per cent in the past three years and are expected to increase by another 40 per cent by 2021.


Stonic is sold in the UK in six versions based on two engines and three trim lines. All versions are front-wheel drive.




Stonic is a car created to meet the changing demands of the European market, where conventional three-door hatchbacks and small MPVs are falling out of favour. The requirement now 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.


Kia was quick to recognise the business case for a B-SUV, even though as originally planned it was to be sold only in Europe. That decision made Europe the logical place to design the car, but Korea the best place to build it, as it would share production facilities with the Rio on which it is based.


While Kia’s California design studios were busy creating the latest Rio in collaboration with the main design centre at Namyang in Korea, Stonic was entrusted to the European design team at Frankfurt, with help from Namyang.


A dynamic small urban crossover with a Kia twist outside

Stonic adds a uniquely Kia twist to the newest and fastest-growing market sector in Europe, bringing what have become the brand’s distinctive design features and hallmarks to the B-SUV class.


There is the familiar ‘tiger-nose’ grille, which in Stonic gets a wide but narrow interpretation. It is mounted beneath a beautifully sculpted stepped bonnet and above a wide lower air intake running almost the full width of the car. The main grille is in high-gloss black and satin chrome. Sharp, functional lines blend with softer, sculpted surfaces all over the car, and there is a stylised C-pillar – another key Kia identifier – but here it is narrower than in some other models and flows effortlessly from the roofline into the voluminous beltline running above the expansive rear wheel arches and around the tailgate.


A black garnish running around the wheel arches and along the sills and the lower portion of the doors and tailgate emphasises Stonic’s SUV stance, proportions and strength, and is complemented by silver skid plates front and rear. The ‘4’ grade has chrome side window trim. There are bold bi-function static bending headlights with LED daytime running lights, and the ‘4’ model also has LED rear combination light units. Projection front fog lights, neatly integrated roof rails and a rear spoiler are standard, and ‘3’ and ‘4’ versions also have privacy glass on the rear side windows and tailgate. All versions in the UK have 17-inch alloy wheels.


The overall effect is of sportiness and dynamism with practicality – exactly what a crossover should be.


The Stonic ‘4’ offers a greater range of colour combinations than any previous Kia. The roof, rear spoiler and door mirror housings can be in black, red or orange, depending on main body colour; the interior trims feature colour accents in the black and grey faux leather seats and around the lower centre console and display screen areas.


Spacious, practical and stylish interior

Stonic and Rio share an identical 2,580mm wheelbase, but Stonic is 70mm taller and 35mm wider. Meanwhile the rear overhang has been extended by 70mm to maximise passenger and luggage space and add to Stonic’s appearance of SUV robustness.  Stonic is not only one of the smartest-looking Kias to date, but also one of the smartest in terms of packaging.


The increase in overall height has been put to good use to raise ground clearance by 42mm compared with Rio, giving the command-post view out and the enhanced feeling of safety which buyers cite as two of the main reasons for choosing an SUV.


Stonic has the best shoulder room of any car in the B-SUV class, as well as generous head- and legroom front and rear, while the extended rear overhang allows for a boot of 352 litres with the 60:40 rear seats upright, and 1,155 litres with them folded. This is 27 litres more than in the Rio. Stonic ‘4’ versions have a dual-height luggage floor to enhance versatility.


The dashboard has been designed around the displays for the car’s connectivity technologies.  There is a 7.0-inch display in all versions with a DAB radio and MP3 compatibility. Android Auto™ and Apple CarPlay™ smartphone connectivity is fitted to every model. In the ‘3’ and ‘4’ grades, this is upgraded to a 7.0-inch touchscreen satellite navigation system featuring Kia Connected Services with TomTom™ and a reversing camera with dynamic guidelines.


The horizontal theme evident in the exterior styling is repeated in the cabin, emphasising width and space while separating the upper information and lower control areas. The number of buttons and switches has been kept to a minimum to give a neater look and greater functionality.


The central display screen is at the same height as the main instrument cluster, making it easier for the driver to absorb information quickly with the minimum of distractions. A 3.5-inch supervision cluster within the main instruments is standard.


Grade ‘2’ models have black cloth upholstery with grey stitching, with black cloth and grey faux leather upholstery with colour accents giving the Stonic ‘3’ a plush feel to the cabin, along with satin chrome finish interior door handles and a D-shaped steering wheel with perforated leather trim. Grade ‘4’ versions have a combination of black and grey faux leather inserts and colour highlights.


Quality – perceived and actual – is evident in the fit and finish and the choice of materials. A leather-trimmed steering wheel and gearshifter are standard, and there are silver or satin chrome interior door handles. Grade ‘4’ versions have an engine start/stop button and aluminium pedals.


The extensive interior storage areas include a centre console box and cupholders, bottle holders in every door, an illuminated glovebox, an overhead sunglasses case and a front passenger seat-back pocket.



Stonic is based on the platform and running gear of the latest Rio supermini and has an identical 2,580mm wheelbase, but has been tuned to take into account its greater ground clearance (up by 42mm), higher centre of gravity and increased weight, and to give it slightly more sporty driving characteristics. The suspension features independent MacPherson struts at the front and a torsion beam axle at the rear. Stonic’s responsive steering is aided considerably by a stiff body shell which is composed of 51 per cent lightweight high-strength steels.


Spring and damper settings take advantage of the stiff body, which allows the suspension to do its work without having to compensate for flexing of the car’s structure. The rear dampers are almost vertical, while those at the front benefit from pre-loaded linear valve technology, delivering more consistent handling and suspension response over broken surfaces.


Pre-loaded linear valve technology introduces a completely new piston design which not only increases driving comfort but also ensures excellent isolation of vibrations in the vehicle body. Rapid opening and closing processes in the valve ensure outstanding wheel damping, which adds to safety by improving handling precision. In addition, innovative piston geometries further optimise the damper’s noise emissions.


The gearbox for the motor-driven power steering (MDPS) is mounted as far forwards as possible, improving feel for the driver, while the number of teeth on the steering’s serration column shaft enhances off-centre feel while contributing towards an improvement in noise, vibration and harshness. This all results in faster steering responses with greater feedback and increased driver confidence.


The column-mounted MDPS requires just 2.52 turns between the extremes of lock for a tight turning circle of 5.2 metres. Ventilated front disc brakes and solid rear discs are fitted across the range and supported by anti-lock (ABS), electronic brake force distribution (EBD) and a Brake Assist system (BAS). Collectively, these allow Stonic to be steered and braked at the same time without risk of going out of control, ensure that most braking effort goes to the wheels which are best able to take advantage of it, and automatically deliver maximum stopping power in emergency braking, regardless of the pressure applied to the pedal by the driver.


Alloy wheels of 17 inches in diameter are standard, with 205/55R17 tyres. All models have a tyre mobility kit in place of a spare wheel alongside a tyre pressure monitoring system.





Stonic is sold in the UK with a choice of two powertrains which conform with Kia’s downsizing policy while employing advanced technologies like turbocharging, direct injection and stop/start systems to minimise fuel consumption and emissions while ensuring outstanding performance. All versions are available with a six-speed manual gearbox, with a seven-speed auto available on a ‘3’ and ‘4’ grades.


The car is based on the platform and running gear of the latest Rio supermini, but there has been extensive tuning work to take into account its greater ground clearance, higher centre of gravity and increased weight. The suspension features independent MacPherson struts at the front and a torsion beam axle at the rear. Ride and handling benefit from the stiff body shell, which is made of 51 per cent advanced high-strength steel.


Refinement has been enhanced through detailed work on the aerodynamics, body structure and insulation, while active safety benefits from a number of advanced driver assistance features.


The 1.0-litre T-GDi engine

Kia has embarked on an ambitious policy of reducing average fuel consumption and CO2 emissions of its model range by 25 per cent by 2020, based on 2014 levels. It aims to do this through engine downsizing, more efficient combustion systems and the addition of alternative-fuel vehicles where appropriate.


The 1.0-litre T-GDi engine Stonic fits in perfectly with this strategy by delivering exceptional power and torque, despite its small capacity, through turbocharging and direct injection. The T-GDi unit sprays a fine mist of fuel directly into the cylinders through a high-pressure injection system which ensures it uses only as much fuel as necessary for the load being put on it. The result is highly efficient combustion with excellent performance. Direct injection with turbocharging also helps to boost low-speed response and driveability.


In Stonic the 1.0-litre T-GDi three-cylinder 998cc engine with four valves per cylinder develops 118bhp at 6,000rpm and 171Nm of torque continuously from 1,500rpm to 4,000rpm.


The key targets were instantaneous response, highly efficient combustion and exemplary torque across a wide portion of the rev band. These goals have been more than met with the aid of innovative technical solutions. The T-GDi engine features laser-drilled injectors with six holes laid out in a pyramid shape so that the fine mist of fuel is spread more evenly throughout the cylinders than if it was being consistently sprayed into certain points. Thanks to a high-pressure pump, injection is up to 200 bar.


The T-GDi engine has a straight intake port which ends in a sharp throat, reducing air resistance at all stages of the process. This improves cylinder tumble flow for faster, more efficient combustion while suppressing engine knocking.


There is a single-scroll turbocharger paired with an electric wastegate motor. This improves turbocharger performance while scavenging clean air for the engine to re-use for combustion. At the same time it allows the wastegate to open to improve the flow of spent exhaust gases. It is an innovative system which allows higher low-end torque, more immediate response at any throttle opening and improved fuel economy at high engine loads.


The engine is fitted with an integrated exhaust manifold which reduces exhaust gas temperatures, bringing the benefits of higher speeds with greater fuel efficiency. Lower temperatures also result in cleaner emissions by allowing the catalytic converter to operate more effectively. Engine temperatures are closely regulated by a dual-thermostat split cooling system, which allows the block and cylinder heads to be cooled independently. The main thermostat controls the flow of coolant to the cylinder heads above 88º C to reduce knocking, while the engine block thermostat shuts off coolant flow above 105º C to reduce friction and improve efficiency.


A number of factors contribute towards the exemplary driveability and efficiency of the all-aluminium T-GDi unit. There is continuously variable valve timing on both the inlet and exhaust sides, electronic throttle control and light, low-friction moving parts. The crankshaft is offset from the centre-line to aid smoothness.


The turbocharger is integrated within the exhaust manifold in a one-piece casting, improving sealing while reducing weight. A number of detailed engineering solutions minimise throttle lag – the delay between the driver pressing the accelerator and the turbocharger delivering boost – and reduce internal friction.


For added durability, the cylinder block has been heat-treated and the crankshaft, pistons and connecting rods have been strengthened.


The T-GDi engine accelerates Stonic from standstill to 60mph in 9.9 seconds on the way to a top speed of 114mph. Combined fuel consumption is 47.1mpg, with CO2 emissions of 137g/km.


All-new ‘U3’ diesel engines

The Stonic is also available with Kia’s all-new ‘U3’ diesel engine. Designed to go beyond the stricter limits laid down by the latest Euro 6d TEMP emissions standard, the ‘U3’ 1.6-litre CRDi (Common-Rail Direct injection) uses Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) active emissions control technology to regulate emissions. The engine therefore produces less carbon dioxide, particulate matter and NOx compared to earlier Kia diesel engines. Available with a 114bhp power output, the new 1.6-litre diesel powerplant produces 280Nm of torque and is mated to a six-speed manual gearbox.


Model Power bhp Torque


0-60 sec Max speed mph Comb. mpg CO2g/km
‘2’ 1.0 T-GDi 118bhp 6-speed manual ISG 118 171 9.9 114 47.1 137
‘3’ 1.0 T-GDi 118bhp 6-speed manual ISG 118 171 9.9 114 47.1 137
‘3’ 1.0 T-GDi 118bhp 7-speed auto DCT ISG 118 171 10.2 115 46.3 138
‘3’ 1.6 CRDi 114bhp 6-speed manual ISG 113 280 10.5 112 56.5 130
4′ 1.0 T-GDi 118bhp 6-speed manual ISG 118 171 9.9 114 47.1 137
4′ 1.0 T-GDi 118bhp 7-speed auto DCT ISG 118 171 10.2 115 46.3 138


All versions of Stonic are fitted with Kia’s Intelligent Stop & Go (ISG) engine technology which turns off the engine when the car is stationary in traffic and the driver puts the gear lever into neutral and releases the clutch pedal. The engine restarts as soon as the clutch pedal is pushed.


ISG consists of crankshaft position, battery and vacuum sensors plus neutral, on-off and clutch switches that feed into an electronic control unit. This operates the ISG starter, intelligent alternator and cluster. The air conditioning units and bonnet switch also feed into the ISG ECU.


The crankshaft position sensor measures the crank angle during engine run-out and monitors it while the vehicle is stopped, ensuring the starter is activated for as short a time as possible by optimising cranking and combustion. The battery sensor monitors the battery condition and temperature, while the clutch and neutral switches recognise when drivers wish to continue driving and ensure the engine is started. There is a brake booster pressure sensor to make sure the engine continues to operate if brake boost falls too low.


A heavy-duty maintenance-free AGM (Absorbent Glass Mat) battery delivers the power necessary to run the system, and intelligent alternator management reduces drain on the battery while accelerating and recharges the battery when coasting and braking.


All the driver has to do is stop, put the car into neutral and lift his or her foot off the clutch. After a brief pause, the engine cuts out. It restarts as soon as the driver pushes the clutch. The system has been engineered not to stop the engine during warm-up from a cold start or if the air conditioning system is working hard. Drivers can also manually turn off the ISG system through a switch on the dashboard.





Kia Connected Services with TomTom™ are accessed through a 7.0-inch touchscreen satellite navigation system. The information available to drivers includes live traffic updates, weather reports, speed camera locations and local point-of-interest searches.


Android Auto™ is available for Android smartphones running 5.0 (Lollipop) or higher, while Apple CarPlay™ is compatible with iPhone 5 and newer. Both allow users to connect to apps and functions, including voice-guided, hands-free calls and texts and voice recognition. Android Auto accesses Google maps navigation and Google Play music. Apple CarPlay™ links to pre-loaded maps, music, podcasts, texts and messages and audiobooks, all through Siri voice control.


A DAB radio is standard and is linked in grade ‘2’ to a 7.0-inch display. A reversing camera is included in ‘3’ and ‘4’ versions’. All models have Bluetooth® with music streaming.




Stonic is one of the first cars in its sector to offer Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA) (City, Urban & Pedestrian) as part of Kia’s Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS). It also offers a Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS) with Driver Attention Warning (DAW) and High Beam Assist (HBA). Both are standard in ‘3’ and ‘4’ models and optional with grade ‘2’. And, in an increasingly connected world, the Stonic ‘3 and ‘4’ offers the full Kia Connected Services package powered by TomTom™. Android Auto™ and Apple CarPlay™ smartphone integration is standard on all models.


Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA) (City, Urban & Pedestrian) takes data from radar and a camera to detect sudden and potentially dangerous braking by a vehicle ahead, and activates the brakes. At speeds between 5mph and 50mph it will come to a complete stop, avoiding many potential collisions and minimising the consequences of others. It is also able to detect pedestrians who wander into its path, and apply the brakes in the same way. Visual and audible alerts warn the driver of imminent danger so that manual intervention is possible before the car starts to brake automatically.


The Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS) also relies on a camera which in this case recognises the lane markings on roads and senses when the car is about to deviate from its intended course when the indicators have not been activated. Again, the driver is warned visually via a symbol on the instrument display and audibly to correct the car’s trajectory.


In Stonic ‘4’ models there is also Blind Sport Detection (BSD) with Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA). Radar and cameras recognise if the driver is about to change lanes into the path of another vehicle approaching from behind in an adjoining lane and warn the driver. Rear Cross Traffic Alert uses the same radar and cameras to alert a driver about to reverse out of a parallel parking spot into the path of a vehicle approaching from the side.


The ultra-stiff body shell has beneficial effects beyond handling and comfort. It provides a greater barrier against injury in the event of an accident. Structural additions include a partitioned inner assembly of the front strut mount, strengthened connections in the C-pillar cross-member and the application of structural adhesives on major chassis components. Advanced high-strength steels reinforce all major chassis parts, and there are multiple load paths to dissipate crash energy in the front of the car.


Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and Vehicle Stability Management (VSM), which work together to stabilise the car on slippery road surfaces or when simultaneously cornering and braking, are joined by Straight Line Stability, which senses any difference in applied brake pressure between the right and left of the car and intervenes to keep it straight. Stonic also features Cornering Brake Control, which delivers asymmetrical brake pressure when braking in tight curves to counter loss of traction, and Torque Vectoring, which brakes an inner wheel if the car is in danger of running wide in corners, bringing it back onto the driver’s desired line.  All versions have Hill-start Assist to prevent the car from rolling backwards when setting off on steep inclines.


There are six airbags with pre-tensioners and load limiters to brace occupants in their seats in extreme braking or if an accident is about to happen, and to help prevent injury to chests. A visual and audible seat belt reminder warning is fitted, and there are ISOFIX child-seat mounting points.




The Kia Stonic is available in six versions based on two engines and three trim grades –‘2’, ‘3’ and ‘4’. Grade ‘2’ offers one petrol engine, while level ‘3’ is available with the 1.0-litre T-GDi and 1.6-litre CRDi units. The top-of-the-range ‘4’ model is paired exclusively to the 1.0 T-GDi powerplant. A seven-speed dual-clutch transmission (DCT) is offered on grade ‘3’ and ‘4’ versions with the 118bhp 1.0 T-GDi engine.


Standard features besides those for connectivity, safety and driver assistance include 17-inch alloy wheels, air conditioning, all-round electric windows with an automatic function on the driver’s side, roof rails, rear parking sensors, remote central locking with fold-away key, electrically adjustable, heated and power folding door mirrors, a 3.5-inch supervision cluster, Bluetooth® with music streaming, automatic headlight control, bi-function projection headlights with static cornering lights and LED daytime running lights. There are body-coloured bumpers, door mirror casings and door handles, steering wheel-mounted audio controls and 60:40 split rear seats. A six-speaker audio system is standard.


Grade ‘3’ versions add a 7-inch touchscreen satellite navigation system with Traffic Messaging Channel (TMC) and Kia Connected Services with TomTom Live™, as well as life-saving safety equipment like Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA) (City, Urban & Pedestrian), Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS) and Driver Attention Warning (DAW) and High Beam Assist (HBA). A reversing camera system is also included as standard, with dynamic guidelines neatly shown on the centre fascia screen. Automatic air conditioning, an automatic defog system, LED rear combination lights, an auto-dimming rear view mirror, rain sensing front wipers and privacy glass for the rear windows and tailgate are also fitted. Black cloth and grey faux leather upholstery with colour accents give the Stonic ‘3’ a plush feel to the cabin, along with satin chrome finish interior door handles and a D-shaped steering wheel with perforated leather trim.


Move up to level ‘4’ and there’s two-tone paint with a contrasting colour for the roof and the door mirrors, as well as chrome side window trim and a solar windshield glass with sun band. Black and grey faux leather upholstery mark the Stonic ‘4’ as the top-of-the-range model, alongside heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, aluminium pedals and an engine start/stop button with smart entry system. Boosting practicality, there’s a dual height luggage area floor and luggage net to secure loose items from moving around in the boot.




Kia set a new benchmark in 2007 when it launched the cee’d with an industry-best seven-year/100,000-mile warranty. That demonstration of faith in the quality and reliability of Kia products was subsequently extended to every model.


A major benefit is that it is transferable to subsequent owners at no charge, as long as the seven-year time limit has not been reached and the mileage is below 100,000.


The mechanical warranty is supported by a 12-year anti-perforation warranty and a five-year paint warranty.


Servicing is required every 10,000 miles or once a year, whichever comes soonest. The Stonic is available with Kia’s ‘Kia Care’ service plans, which have been developed to provide customers with a wide range of service plan options for any Kia model within the first seven years of the vehicle’s life – matching its industry-leading seven-year warranty.


The service plans include a comprehensive range of options including the original, traditional, first, third and fifth services and those in between, but in addition a customer can now purchase services up to and including the seventh service which matches the full length of the warranty. The plans are available for all Kia owners and can be purchased at any point of ownership for cars up to five years old.


The Kia Promise was introduced to give customers the best ownership experience by giving them access to seven key benefits. The Kia Promise is activated after purchase and is done by simply registering on the online portal, MyKia. Along with the industry leading seven-year/100,000 mile warranty, other benefits of the Kia Promise include complimentary seven day insurance and £250 Insurance Excess Return for one year; easy to use Click & Collect on Genuine Kia accessories; convenient online service booking; Family-Like Care and Accident AfterCare. Every new Kia also comes with complimentary Roadside Assistance for 12 months. When a customer registers on MyKia, Kia Roadside Assistance Plus, the highest level of cover provided by the RAC, can be unlocked, which includes onward travel and European cover.



Burning questions that you would love to ask our President and CEO


  1. How important is the Stonic in the UK?

The market for SUVs is increasing year-on-year, and the Stonic is our compact offering in the segment. Launched during 2017, it has accelerated to become our fourth best seller, behind Sportage, Picanto and Ceed.


  1. What does 2020 hold for the Kia brand in the UK?

Until there is some certainty around what the split from Europe means for the UK, it’s likely to continue to be turbulent in the new car market. Last year was once again another record year for Kia in the UK, with 97,323 cars delivered to customers during 2019. That represents an increase of 1.6 per cent, in a market that was down by 2.4 per cent and saw the lowest number of new vehicles registered since 2013. Last year, Kia moved up one place to number eight in the overall UK sales charts, which is a significant achievement in a sales environment that has been exceptionally tough.


The first year of the new decade is going to present a number of challenges – none more so than the switch from NEDC to WLTP CO2 emissions figures in April 2020. At a time when consumers expect to see ever-improving data, the change in regime means that all cars will see an increase to their emissions, meaning most owners will be paying more for their motoring each year. That’s a bitter pill to swallow for many and will take a lot of explaining in the showrooms. It will mean, however, that the fuel economy and CO2 emissions are more realistic in real-world driving and gives Kia the opportunity to fully leverage their range of highly efficient eco cars.


Mandatory CO2 standards for passenger cars were first introduced in 2009 by the European Union, and in 2020 a new, more stringent set of standards means that an average of 95g/km across the product range must be achieved. Failing to do so will result in significant fines, and therefore the primary focus of Kia Motors is to achieve the fleet CO2 average of 95g/km across the line-up.


  1. Which vehicles are hitting a chord with UK buyers currently?

There is a continued trend for customers to migrate away from traditional sectors towards SUVs, and we’re in a perfect position to deliver on the changing demand, with six key products in the Kia portfolio – Stonic, Niro, XCeed, Soul EV, Sportage and Sorento.


2019 was very much the year of the Ceed, with replacements for the hatchback and Sportswagon and new entrants into the market thanks to the all-new XCeed and ProCeed. Every Ceed derivative posted an increase on the year before, and it was a similar story for many models in the Kia range, which saw a rise compared to 2018. Highlights include the Niro, with a 44 per cent increase, a rise of more than 6 per cent for the Picanto and 44 per cent growth in Stinger sales. Sorento registrations rose, too, while the most popular model in the Kia range, the Sportage remained broadly static but still the highest selling and most popular model.


Alternative fuel vehicles are continually hitting the headlines, and here at Kia we are very well placed to provide customers with a wide range of different solutions to suit individual needs. In 2020, we are aiming for three in every ten cars we sell to be electrified in some way. With both the pure electric e-Niro and Soul EV, we are ahead of the curve in offering customers a choice of electric solutions to solve their mobility issues. For those that prefer a plug-in hybrid vehicle, we now have three, thanks to the recently refreshed Niro and the newly introduced Ceed Sportswagon and all-new XCeed. The top selling Sportage is fitted with mild hybrid technology on all of the diesel variants and this technology will soon be available on the Ceed, Ceed Sportswagon and XCeed, too.


  1. What elements of the Stonic make you proud to be leading Kia Motors UK?

The Stonic sits in a segment that continues to grow, with family buyers, in particular, seeking a roomier vehicle in a compact footprint. Stonic offers personalisation options to make it stand out on the road, and buyers tell us that they like the generous equipment levels, affordable running costs, exceptional warranty and roomy cabin.



We’ve anticipated what you’re likely to ask us


  1. Which engines are the best sellers in the Stonic line-up?

Almost two-thirds of buyers opted for the 1.0 T-GDi engine in 2018, and that’s because it’s available in every trim level, while just under a quarter of customers chose the highly efficient 1.6-litre CRDi powerplant.


  1. What trim level is the most popular?

It’s the grade ‘2’ that was the biggest seller in 2018, with almost half of customers choosing it. Interestingly, a third of all buyers opted for the well-equipped ‘First Edition’ model that was available in the Stonic’s first year on sale. That model has since been replaced by the ‘4’ grade.


  1. Why isn’t there a four-wheel-drive Stonic?

Demand for four-wheel-drive in the compact SUV class is low, and so the Stonic isn’t available with a system that adds extra weight and reduces efficiency. Our decision not to offer four-wheel-drive has seemingly been vindicated by some rivals deleting the option from their compact SUVs.


  1. Are there any plans for hybrid, plug-in hybrid or electric versions of the Stonic?

We are evaluating electric powertrains for all of our future products, but so far we have not made any announcements about electrification plans for the Stonic in its current generation.


  1. Are there any plans for a more powerful Stonic GT?

The most powerful engine in the Stonic, the 1.0 T-GDi, accounts for around two thirds of all sales, and that powerplant is deemed sufficient for the needs of Stonic buyers. We constantly evaluate opportunities, but the market for a higher powered Stonic would be too small to justify the investment costs.


  1. Are you planning to launch a GT-Line version of the Stonic?

We regularly review the line-up that we offer, and it is certainly feasible for such a model, after all, we offer ‘GT-Line’ or ‘GT-Line S’ models in all other models in the Kia range, except the Venga and Niro. However, there are no immediate plans to offer a Stonic ‘GT-Line’, but who knows what may be possible in the future.


Q         Does the new diesel engine require Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) to meet emissions regulations? How often will buyers have to refill the Diesel Exhaust Fluid tank?

Like many of its rivals, the Stonic’s new diesel engine requires urea for its Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) emissions control system. The SCR system enables the Stonic to meet the latest Euro 6 emissions regulations – it is fully compliant with the 6d TEMP regulations. Depending on use, buyers will need to top-up the 12-litre tank after around 5,000 miles, though that varies from model to model. The car alerts the driver when the tank gets low and, if ignored, will eventually prevent the car from starting.


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