Kia’s upcoming sub-4 metre SUV, the Kia Sonet, is now open for pre-bookings. Interested customers can pre-book a Sonet for the sum of Rs 25,000, either at a Kia dealer or on the Kia website.The Kia Sonet is Kia’s answer to the sub-4m SUV segment and shares its platform and engines with the Hyundai Venue. That means it gets three engines, a 1.2 litre, four cylinder petrol that generates 83bhp and 115Nm, and a 1.0 litre three cylinder turbocharged engine with direct injection that is good for 120bhp and 172Nm. The 1.2 is available with a 5-speed manual gearbox, but the 1.0 GDi does not have the option of a clutch pedal at all. It is available either with a 6-speed iMT transmission, which has a manual gear lever but no clutch pedal – the duties of the clutch pedal are managed electronically by the Sonet.
This aforementioned tech has recently debuted in the Hyundai Venue, and is a first in the segment. The 1.0 is also available with a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.
The Sonet gets a single diesel engine, the 1.5 litre four cylinder engine that sees duty in the Seltos, Hyundai Creta, and Hyundai Venue. Interestingly, it is available in two states of tune – 100bhp/240Nm if you opt for the 6-speed manual gearbox, but 115bhp/250Nm if you choose the 6-speed torque converter automatic gearbox, which should keep performance consistent no matter what gearbox you choose. The six-speed torque converter automatic available with the diesel engine is unique to the segment as well.
Isn’t the Kia Sonet identical to the Hyundai Venue?
The Kia Sonet is based on the same platform as the Hyundai Venue, so has identical length and wheelbase, but is taller and wider than the Hyundai. It also offers a bunch of features, as expected. On the list are auto LED headlamps, LED DRLs, a sunroof, remote engine start with the key, a rear view camera, upto six airbags, ABS, ESP, hill start assist, front parking sensors, a tyre pressure monitoring system, a 10.25-inch touchscreen with Kia’s ‘UVO’ connected car tech, cooled front seats, an air purifier, an audio system from respected name Bose… the list goes on. Just like the Seltos, the Sonet will also be available in Tech Line and GT Line trims, with the latter being the sporty-looking variants. There will be scarlet accents on the exterior, along with some nice touches like scarlet brake callipers.
The Kia Sonet competes with compact SUVs like the Hyundai Venue, Tata Nexon, Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza, Mahindra XUV300, and Ford EcoSport. The segment looks to get really crowded soon, with the Toyota Urban Cruiser, Nissan Magnite, and Renault Kiger joining the party by 2021.