A Class Of Its Own

Kia Sonet petrol and diesel detailed review and expected price

What is it?

Kia really designed a mark in the mid-dimensions SUV house with the Seltos, and now, with its compact SUV the Sonet, it’s wanting for one more mega strike. Like the Seltos, the Sonet is an all-new model for Kia that designed its international debut ideal listed here in India and will later on be sold in other markets.

It shares a system with the Hyundai Location, and nevertheless you’d be expecting the Sonet to truly feel the similar from behind the wheel, the two Korean firms choose a pretty divergent technique with their system sharing. Contrary to the badge-engineered or mild-facelift alterations we’ve viewed other people decide for, Hyundai and Kia have designed absolutely sure their shared merchandise have minor in widespread. The exteriors and interiors bear no similarity, and equally also truly feel a little bit different to travel, thanks to delicate modifications to the tuning of the engine and suspension.

The Sonet could share its underpinnings with the Location, but it is pretty different to glance at.

There are 3 engines (4 if you rely two different electrical power outputs for the diesel) and five gearboxes on offer you (certainly, that many!) and they are offered in five combos.An 83hp, 1.two-litre petrol mated to a 5-speed handbook, a 120hp, 1.-litre turbo petrol mated to a seven-speed DCT vehicle or a 6-speed iMT (clutchless handbook), and a 1.5-litre diesel that places out 100hp when coupled to a 6-speed handbook.

The shock is the 1.5 diesel with a 6-speed torque-converter vehicle that has its electrical power bumped up to 115hp. It’s also a shock because a diesel vehicle is exceptional in the compact SUV segment and the only these selections are all those with lowly AMT gearboxes. Even the Sonet’s cousin, the Hyundai Location, only gives a handbook with its 1.5-litre diesel. But what the Sonet does not get is a handbook option with the 1. turbo-petrol, and that could be a miss out on for purists. For this exam travel, we had the prospect to assessment 3 powertrain selections – the 1. turbo-petrol DCT and iMT, and the 1.5 diesel vehicle.

What’s the Kia Sonet diesel vehicle like?

Apparently, the diesel is the similar powertrain that does obligation in the Seltos, putting out an equivalent 115hp and 250Nm. The diesel handbook gets the fixed-geometry-turbo engine (rather of the variable-geometry unit on the vehicle) and places out a lower 100hp and 240Nm of torque.

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The Sonet diesel-AT’s engine makes 15hp and 10Nm additional than the diesel-MT’s unit.

The 115hp engine is an absolute gem. Refinement is major notch, and sounds and vibrations are muted. At significant revs it does get a little bit gruff, but never really seems harsh or thrashy. Efficiency, far too, is great, with pretty minor turbo lag, and when you get past the two,000rpm mark, there is a action up in electrical power shipping. From then on, you get a satisfyingly seamless surge of electrical power up to 4,200rpm, at which point the gearbox will upshift even in handbook manner.

What’s great is that the vehicle ‘box is really pretty nicely matched to the broad torque unfold of the diesel powerplant, and in the Standard travel manner, it provides a pretty intuitive travel experience. It rarely feels like it’s in the incorrect gear and the automobile does exactly what your ideal foot tells it to. Consider to change tempo and it will do so easily place your foot down to overtake traffic and the gearbox will drop just the ideal quantity of cogs to give you sufficient grunt, and, as envisioned of a torque convertor unit, the electrical power arrives in great and sleek.

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Smooth 6-speed torque convertor automated gels nicely with the 115hp diesel engine.

Activity manner, of course, does bring in a additional intense truly feel, with the ’box keeping on to the lower ratios a little bit lengthier. But so useable and intuitive is the Standard manner that for day to day driving and even some speedy dashes, it will establish to be sufficient for most. There is also an Eco manner, and listed here far too it impresses, as it turns out to be rather useable and does not throttle the engine in the desire of efficiency.

How about the Kia Sonet turbo-petrol?

The 1.-litre turbo-petrol is shared with the Location, and when Hyundai gives it with a handbook, DCT or iMT, Kia only gives the Sonet with the DCT and iMT. The engine places out the similar 120hp and 172Nm as the Location and the all-aluminium unit is properly balanced, so you can barely truly feel the usual thrum of a 3-pot motor. Refinement is also pretty superior and it’s only when you rev it to the redline that it gets a little bit vocal. The punchy midrange and the ease with which it builds electrical power makes it a pleasurable travel, and when there are no paddle shifters like you get in the Location, there is a sequential functionality via the gear lever, so lovers can have interaction with the gearbox and this feisty engine.

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The 120hp, 3-cylinder 1.-litre turbo-petrol is rather refined.

At gradual speeds, however, you can trip up the DCT, which isn’t as superior as VW’s DSG – the benchmark for mass-volume twin-clutch transmissions (which, ironically, VW discontinued in its mass-market place automobiles). Like in most twin-clutch gearboxes, when you mash your foot down, there is a momentary hesitation followed by a burst of electrical power. Also, when you are crawling in traffic, the transmission feels a little bit snatchy. All this serves to highlight how substantially smoother the diesel’s torque-converter transmission is. 

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For a sportier travel experience, decide for the twin-clutch vehicle (over) around the iMT.

The iMT is also one thing we got a prospect to experience and, as opposed to the DCT, it gives you superior manage around shifts, as there is no software and automated controls to 2nd guess you. So, in concept, you can extract the 1. turbo’s greatest functionality. Nonetheless, the iMT gearbox does not like to be hurried, and if you stomp down on the throttle immediately after a speedy shift, the automobile bogs down. This also confirmed up in our tests, in which the iMT was markedly slower than the DCT. If its functionality you are immediately after, then you’ll be superior off with the DCT. The iMT makes sense only if you want to have full manage around your shifts but without having the trouble of a clutch.

What is the Kia Sonet’s functionality like?

The diesel vehicle was the fastest. In a speedy exam, it did the dash to 100kph in just eleven.48sec as opposed to the petrol DCT’s 12.25sec and thirteen.37sec for the iMT. The diesel was also in advance in the roll-on acceleration runs, registering 8.09sec from forty-100kph and 6.29sec from 20-80kph. The petrol DCT posted a slower 9.10sec and seven.48sec for the similar forty-100kph and 20-80kph runs currently being autos, of course, equally instances had been the result of a sharp kick-down on the accelerator in full vehicle driving. The iMT posted thirteen.55secfor forty-100kph in fourth gear and eleven.19sec for 20-80kph in third gear.

Kia Sonet functionality (as examined)*
Sonet 1. Turbo iMT Sonet 1. Turbo DCT Sonet 1.5 Diesel AT
-20kph 1.48s 1.56s 1.17s
-40kph 3.27s 3.40s two.51s
-60kph 6.12s 5.78s 4.70s
-80kph 9.38s 8.90s seven.78s
-100kph thirteen.37s 12.25s eleven.48s
-120kph 19.87s 17.28s 15.76s
20-80kph eleven.19s (in 3rd gear) seven.48s (in kickdown) 6.29s (in kickdown)
forty-100kph thirteen.55s (in 4th gear) 9.10s (in kickdown) 8.09s (in kickdown)

*Efficiency figures not to Autocar India exam expectations


So it’s the diesel vehicle powertrain that provides a smoother travel experience as nicely as superior functionality who would have imagined? Insert to this a slightly superior claimed efficiency – 19kpl for the diesel, eighteen.3kpl for the petrol DCT and eighteen.2kpl for the iMT – and the diesel is rather plainly the superior decide.

There is the issue of expense, of course. Diesel autos can get dear, but with the petrol employing pricey direct injection and twin-clutch gearbox technologies, the hole could not be all that substantially. In simple fact, on the total, so superior is the diesel vehicle, we cannot assist but think Hyundai has really thrown away an great hand by not featuring the Location with the similar powertrain combination.

How is the Kia Sonet’s journey and dealing with?

Trip quality on the diesel and petrol are equally rather identical, the Sonet easily soaked up large potholes with ease and the extra fat, 215/sixty R16 tyres did a superior occupation of smothering out our rain-ravaged streets. The only negative little bit is, around a several sharp ruts, you truly feel a thud, and it tends to heave you upwards when cresting speed breakers.

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The journey is superior and the suspension soaks up potholes with ease.

In phrases of dealing with, the diesel and petrol truly feel a little bit different. The diesel has a slightly heavier steering and is a little bit additional nose heavy. The petrol felt nicer to steer and turned into corners with a little bit additional agility. Equally automobiles truly feel properly planted and offer you a fantastic degree of self-confidence at significant speeds, which makes them superior prolonged-distance cruisers. Total grip by means of corners is superior, and entire body roll is nicely contained. The steering truly feel on equally is quite identical – there isn’t substantially opinions, but on the furthermore aspect, it is light-weight sufficient in the city and has sufficient pounds at bigger speeds. The light-weight controls, decent all-round visibility, restricted turning circle and compact proportions make the Sonet pretty city-welcoming and quick to slot into restricted parking spots.

The travel modes do alter the steering truly feel, nevertheless the influence is minimal and only felt in Activity manner, with the steering firming up a little bit. Exclusive to the segment, the Sonet also gives traction modes (Snow, Mud and Sand). We couldn’t get round to tests these, but will definitely go by means of them in depth in our full-blown road exam.

What’s it like on the exterior?

We’ve by now talked about the structure and styling in our to start with glance, but to reiterate, the Sonet does glance pretty substantially like the thought showcased at the Vehicle Expo, other than for bits like the flush doorway handles and some trim bits that have not designed it to production. And when Hyundai has gone with a additional radical design and style for the Location, Kia has opted for a additional familiar but still pretty placing technique.

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The styling is just not radical like the Venue’s, but it is pretty placing and gets found.

The front, of course, carries the signature Kia ‘Tiger Nose’ grille, which has a great knurled and chrome-completed lower edge, and on the GT Line, there are some neat purple accents far too. The headlights are slim LED units with the signature ‘heartbeat’ DRL light-weight structure, and they sit atop a pretty sharply minimize bumper that houses the fog lights and a fake skid plate. Topping off the front, the bonnet has a great and delicate electrical power bulge.

The aspect is in which you’d be expecting there to be some similarity to the Location, but listed here far too Kia has gone with a totally different design and style. The doorways are different with a additional rounded profile, and defining the Sonet’s silhouette is a C-pillar that appears swept back, thanks to the inset quarter glass and the black-out treatment method on the major and lower edges. The alloys are also rather placing and have a large amount of sharp cuts, nevertheless to some they could come off as a little bit around the major.

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Rear bumper has fake exhausts, skid plate and diffuser.

At the rear, the integrated spoiler carriers the significant-mounted halt light-weight and the tail-lights also have the ‘heart beat’ DRL signature, which extends neatly into a reflector unit stretching ideal throughout the bootlid. A fake skid plate with an integrated fake diffuser and dummy exhausts round off the rear conclusion.

What’s the Kia Sonet’s inside like?

In phrases of inside house, it’s no shock the Sonet is identical to the Location, and that signifies house is not course top. Like with the Location, the rear seat is comparatively cramped and ideal for two not-far too-tall passengers. The rear seat itself is rather comfy, with plush padding, nevertheless thigh assist is a little bit small. Up front, it’s a different story. The front seats are large, nicely bolstered and ventilated which, in peak summer, is a significant furthermore.

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Ventilated front seats are distinctive in this segment and are rather comfortable.

In which the Sonet really scores is with cabin quality. The preference of products used gives a quality truly feel which is not just superior than rivals (the Location bundled), but also automobiles of a segment over. The richly textured dashboard major, the chunky steering wheel with superbly crafted buttons, and the over-all tactile truly feel of all the switchgear are major course. Personally, I’m not a lover of the central air-con vents’ glance, but love the way they modify with a reliable and damped truly feel. I’m also not a lover of the electronic instrument cluster and would have favored a classic needle to display screen speed, but I suppose it’s been created for the new ‘digital’ buyer.

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Rear seatback a minor far too inclined and rear house is tighter than most in the course.

Getting centre stage in the cabin is the large touchscreen (borrowed from the Seltos), which at ten.25 inches, is the most significant in course. It’s sharp, quick to run and gives a split screen functionality, allowing you run equally Android Vehicle as nicely as some of the Sonet’s very own OS’s capabilities. 

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ten.25-inch touchscreen is broad sufficient to offer you split-screen features.

This delivers us to the Sonet’s attribute record. With the sum on offer you, it’s clear the Korean carmaker is aiming to have the most comprehensive record. There are all of the envisioned bits, like vehicle weather manage, a sunroof and wi-fi mobile phone charging. But what really sets the Sonet aside, other than the large touchscreen, is a good-sounding seven-speaker Bose audio procedure, a perfume dispenser, and an air purifier that Kia says gets rid of microbes and viruses with UVC light-weight and a HEPA filter – just what the physician requested in these COVID instances.

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The in-cabin air filtration procedure has a rear display screen far too, just like the Seltos.

A different extraordinary attribute is the ‘Hello Kia’ voice command that lets you simply just speak to the automobile to set matters like AC temperature and lower the home windows, which is rather helpful at toll plazas. As with most voice assistants these days, you never have to master a specific command, as the procedure recognises a several conversational phrases. Kia’s UVO connectivity is also present, with features offered via smartphone or smartwatch far too. In phrases of basic safety, the Sonet is nicely kitted out, featuring six airbags, Ab muscles and ESC, Hill begin Support Handle, front and rear parking sensors and emergency braking warning.  

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Buttons fall easily to hand toggles and presses have a quality truly feel to them.

Must you buy a Kia Sonet?

Rarely does a manufacturer converse of qualified product sales volumes, rarer even now for them to do so a few of months right before the model’s precise launch. But these is the self-confidence Kia has in its most up-to-date product, it has revised the Sonet’s product sales focus on upwards from 70,000 units to 1,00,000, and that far too in the midst of a pandemic! So is the company’s faith nicely-placed?

Apart from the not-so-spacious back seat, it’s difficult to fault the Sonet. It’s fantastically styled with superior proportions and loads of placing details, the interiors are pretty nicely appointed, completed to a significant purchase and packed with attributes, many of which are to start with in course. It’s also easy and pretty enjoyable to travel, and the diesel vehicle overshadows the turbo-petrol in virtually each and every way it’s certainly good. There are also other powertrain selections to decide on from, based on your budget.

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Hope a Rs 6.5 to eleven.9 lakh (ex-showroom) cost tag for the Kia Sonet.

Of course, the pricing is a key variable in the Sonet’s greatest achievement, but immediately after what we’ve viewed and driven, there is no question that Kia has one more winner on its fingers.

Also see:

Kia Sonet video assessment

Kia Sonet launch on September eighteen

First Kia Sonet buyer automobiles developed at Anantapur plant

Kia Carnival gets rewards up to Rs two.ten lakh