The Kia brand has been associated with value for money SUV’s for years, and with the new Stonic, the Korean-built range has moved into the to the somewhat crowded compact sector.
The Stonic slots in beneath the well-established Sprtage and Sorento models in Kia showrooms, but while its bigger siblings feature 4x4 drivetrains the Stonic is two-wheel drive only.
The Stonic is sleek on the outside with distinctive styling, with a sporty fun look, it stands out from the crowd.
The Kia Stonic spec list is pretty good, so even though there are rivals with lower entry prices, the Kia competes well on a like-for-like basis coming out well against the competition.
The car is available in two versions, the Stonic 2, and the higher-spec’d First Edition.
The Stonic 2 this comes with 17-inch alloy wheels, a seven-inch TFT screen containing an infotainment system –Apple CarPlay – Android Auto, air conditioning, all round electric windows, parking sensors, LED running lights and not forgetting roof rails.
The Stonic First Edition boasts navigation, heated seats, a reversing camera, stop-start, autonomous breaking, blind spot detection and lane departure warning, plus two-tone paint and a ‘lush’ interior. Engines: A choice of three engines, with two petrol and one diesel, all manual.
We had the Kia Stonic 2 1.6 CRDi 2 on test, we took it over our usual testing ground out over witches country around Pendle in East Lancashire out through Saddleworth Moor and onto Hull before returning back to Manchester.
At this time of the year it can prove difficult, narrow country roads, wet slippery lanes and poor visibibility.
Considering we were in the lesser spec’d car I must say it still felt comfortable and well appointed making for a relaxing ride leaving the driver refreshed at the journeys end.
The Stonic navigated the country lanes positively with no problems, the car felt agile, and relatively roll-free handling in a composed and tidy fashion. The steering is well balanced, and the gear changes were light and smooth.
We took the Stonic off road and needless to say it coped well on farm tracks as well as muddy trails, which wascommedable considering this was a two-wheel drive SUV.
On the return journey along the M62 our Stonic was not pushed around by cross winds sticking perfectly in the lane easy to drive again making for comfortable drive.
The other critical tests – is it kid approved for ‘street cred’ and did it deal with the day to day requirements of a family car – shopping trips, ferrying the kids to school, being able to handle bulky loads, well it was a great big yes to all of these.
The Kia Stonic proved to be a great Compact SUV ideal for everything it was required to do
And should more than hold its own against the competition we would cetainly recommend a test drive.