Kia unveils subcompact Sonet SUV — made in India for the world

By JAY WONG | 10 August 2020

NEW DELHI: Kia Motors Corporation has revealed the Sonet to the world during a digital presentation.

The subcompact sports utility vehicle (SUV) is produced at the South Korean carmaker's Anantapur production facility in India and shares architectural underpinnings with the Hyundai Venue.

The Sonet slots itself below the upcoming Seltos (KX3) that's supposed to launch in Malaysia soon, with a 2,500mm wheelbase and measures in at 3,995mm-long, 1,770mm-wide and 1,605mm-tall.

Its design cues include a compact body that's been slapped with the company's signature Tiger Nose grille that's flanked by LED Daytime running lights shaped like an electric pulse of a beating heart, front and rear skid plates and a wraparound rear-windscreen.

India gets three engines for choice starting with a 1.2-litre (1,248cc) four-potter producing 87PS at 6,000rpm and 122Nm of torque at 4,000rpm.

A more powerful 1.0-litre (998cc) T-GDi turbocharged three-cylinder engine with 100PS at 6,000rpm and 172Nm of torque from 1,500 to 4,000rpm rounds off the petrol offerings.

In the diesel-spectrum is a sole 1.5-litre (1,493cc) common-rail direct injection (CRDi) engine with a variable geometry turbo which helps it produce 90PS and 216Nm of torque, although a higher output version of the same engine is available with 109PS at 4,000rpm and 236Nm of torque at 2,000rpm.

The engines can be mated to five transmission choices that include five and six-speed manuals as well as a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, six-speed automatic and the company's new six-speed Smartstream intelligent manual transmission.