The time couldn’t have been better. SUVs have been a popular body type and on top of that B-segment is busy playing ground. Nexon to XUV300, Rs 7 lakh to Rs 12 lakh, manufacturers play on different cards – safety, creature comforts, refinement and stylish. We have the latest one in the mix – the Sonet. Let’s get going, and find out where does it sit:
10:47Kia Sonet first drive review
Sonet comes in Tech Line and a more premium GT Line trim, much like the Seltos. The body is well-proportioned, with a familiar face. Kia’s prodigy is evident here as well. A tiger-nose grille with chrome diamond knurling, vertically-placed LED headlights with LED DRL on top with a kink show the aggressive side of the Sonet. The projector fog lamp is in the shape of an ice cube, much like the Carnival. The front skid plate finished in grey colour coordinates with the black grille.
On the sides, the R16 alloys fit under the rectangular arches. Dimensionally, Sonet has a wheelbase of 2,500 mm and high ground clearance of 205 mm.
To meet the under-four metre length, Sonet’s back looks an abrupt chopped off section, however, it doesn’t miss out on uniqueness. The heartbeat-shaped LED DRLs, solid lines on the tailgate and an impressive lower profile will ensure heads turn towards the Sonet on road.
Kia Sonet demands a lot of attention the way it looks. This golden colour is exclusive to Sonet and you have a choice of more than 10 other colours.
Inside the car, there is a lot is common with the Seltos and that’s not a bad thing. The steering wheel is multi-function and tilt adjustable. The driver’s seat is electrically adjustable and the front occupants enjoy a ventilation facility as well. The space on offer is decent as well.
Kia is known to bring in vibrant colours to mix. The GT line sports black upholstery with red stitching while the Tech line is offered dual-tone leatherette seats with silver stitching.
The 10.25-inch infotainment is the largest in the segment. It’s slick to use and is taken straight out of the Seltos. And you know Sonet stands for Social Network, so understandably the connected features are next to none.
Kia’s matchless technology is reflected inside the cabin. In a first, Sonet has remote start facility in manual variants as well. How about an air purifier? Seltos introduced the idea, now Sonet also can manage the in-car air quality.
For the second row occupants, you get an adjustable headrest, well-padded seats, dedicated AC vents, USB charging port and a sunroof for all. The only area Sonet scores less is the width. It’s strict for two people.
Use the wireless charging on the go, while things like cruise control, 7-set Bose speakers coupled with LED sound mood lights and sunroof ensure Sonet can be converted into a lounge in no time.
It’s just not the looks and features of Sonet that will stump you. Get behind the driving wheel and enjoy your choice of engine-transmission option, which by far is the most versatile in the segment till date.
1.2 litre petrol with 5 MT
1.5 litre diesel with either 6 MT or 6 AT
1.2 litre turbo petrol with either iMT or 7-DCT.
Diesel is available in two state of tunes with the new automatic transmission offering engine belts out 115 PS. The one I’m driving is the 6-speed iMT with turbo petrol. We tried this out a few days ago with the Venue. And the situation in Sonet is even better.
Which one would you pick? A turbo petrol iMT or a diesel AT? I’m really looking forward to drive the most advanced automatic gearbox in the segment, which is paired with the diesel.
The iMT, which can be considered a semi-automatic, is exciting, will trill your senses. The gearshifts are seamless, with no clutch pedal in the middle. The gear level, however, is a little heavy to operate and the best thing iMT is this: The engine doesn’t stop even when you come to a halt suddenly. The clutch actually holds you in the gear, and the engine with beeps reminds you. The iMT with the Turbo-Venue is exciting, however, the experience is even better here.
And that’s major because of the compact wheelbase, stiffer suspensions and a sporty steering wheel. Sonet has good road manners and highway stability while zipping in the mundane city traffic, where the car will spend most of its time, is equally fun.
The diesel manual has a whopping mileage figure of 24 while both turbo petrol and diesel automatic are good enough for 18 kmpl on the regular run. Surprisingly, Kia claims greater FE figures in Sonet over Hyundai Venue.
The list of segment-first features keeps growing. Kia Sonet in GT Line also comes with 3 levels of traction control and as many drive modes.
Now, not all can go good for Sonet. What do you think of the waiting period? It’s going be a really long one before you get your hands on Kia’s wild by design.
With the launch on the horizon, Kia Sonet is expected to be priced around Rs 7 lakh – 12 lakh (ex-showroom). Do you think its the next go-to SUV in the making?