5 reasons we love the Kia Sonet

Mechanically similar to the Hyundai Venue and sitting below the Kia Seltos, the 2021 Kia Sonet crossover is here to augment South Africa’s compact family car segment, offering customers more options in the budget crossover sector. No doubt, this B-segment crossover has big shoes to fill, competing against the Toyota Urban Cruiser, Nissan Magnite, Ford EcoSport, Suzuki Vitara Brezza, and the Honda WR-V. The question is, what makes the Sonet so exciting in this highly competitive vehicle segment? Let’s find out:The 2021 Kia Sonet comes equipped with a 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine generating 85kW and 144Nm of torque. This exclusive powerplant option is more powerful than its competitors. The 1.5-litre four-banger from Toyota produces 77kW and 138Nm, while the 1.0-litre turbo triple from Nissan Magnite creates 74kW and 160Nm. Kia plans to offer a 1.0-litre turbo petrol before the end of this year, as well.

The automaker gives customers two transmission choices: A six-speed manual or a CVT with a claimed acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h in 11.3 (manual) and 11.8 seconds (automatic).

While Kia offers the new Sonet in just two trim levels, both are highly equipped. The base LX trim comes standard with an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support, air-conditioning, Bluetooth streaming, front and rear electric windows, electric mirrors, a rear-view camera, and automatic headlamp activation.

The range-topping EX has everything you get in the LX plus the rear park distance control, a leather steering wheel and gear knob, silver skid plates, roof rails, side repeater lamps, and front fog lamps. 

The entry-level LX comes with 15-inch steel wheels, while the LX sports 16-inch alloy wheels.

Kia claims that they have extensively used (more than two-thirds) high-strength and advanced steel in the construction of Sonet to make it lightweight yet robust. Unfortunately, we do not have Global or ASEAN NCAP crash test results to crosscheck this assertion. However, you can get some idea seeing the range of safety features, which include Electronic Stability Control (ESC), ABS with EBD, Hill-start Assist Control (HAC), Dual front airbags as well as ISOFIX child-seat anchoring points. 

Kia mentions that the new Sonet is 4,120 mm long, 1,790 mm wide, and 1,610 mm tall with a wheelbase of 2,500 mm. Comparing the length with rivals, it is favourable with the Urban Cruiser and Vitara Brezza both measuring 3,995 mm long. However, the width and wheelbase are the same among these three crossovers. On the other hand, the Sonet is shorter of the two in height by 30 mm, but it makes up for this in the boot space, which stands at 392 litres against the 328 litres of the Urban Cruiser and Vitara Brezza.

The base Sonet LX starts at R264,995 for the manual and R285,995 for the CVT. The top-of-the-line EX is more expensive at R284,995 for the manual and R305,995 for the CVT. Price-wise, Kia's new crossover is very competitive and well-positioned in its segment with a 5-year/unlimited km warranty and a 4-year/60 000 km service plan. (Prices correct at time of publication.)

With so many great new budget crossovers on the market, it’s best to do some online research before making a commitment. Be sure to visit our blog every month, to read our reviews on some of the latest cars to hit South Africa’s roads.

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