Kia’s crossovers lineup comes in various shapes and sizes. From the flagship Telluride SUV to the compact Stonic, which coincidentally will be arriving in the Philippines later this year, there are already a good number of models to choose from. Now, an even smaller crossover joins the automaker’s line up – the 2021 Sonet.
The South Korean automaker has finally pulled the covers off, albeit digitally, on their new compact crossover... and in India.
Styling-wise, the Sonet certainly looks like the teasers Kia has revealed in the past few weeks. The front fascia features a small version of Kia’s signature Tiger Nose grille and is flanked by sharp LED headlights. At the back, it has a full-width taillight and large black trim on the bumper. Unfortunately, it looks nothing like a toy as the production model has been adjusted for, well, production.
Although the vehicle might be small on the outside, the Sonet’s cabin is big on features. Front and center is a large 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system with navigation and traffic updates. It is then paired with a premium Bose 7-speaker system. Meanwhile, a 4.2-inch instrument cluster presents all the important information to the driver. To protect the occupants from airborne viruses and diseases, the Sonet comes equipped with Kia’s Smart Pure Air Purifier which incorporates an N29 filter.
What is surprising about the Sonet is the powertrain. Most crossovers in this segment are usually available only with a gasoline engine. Kia, however, offers the Sonet with a diesel engine – a 1.5-liter CRDI four-cylinder mill. For those averse with diesel, it is also available with a 1.2-liter four-cylinder and a 1.0-liter three-cylinder gasoline engines. Five transmission options are available including the automaker’s six-speed Smartstream intelligent manual transmission (iMT) which does not need a clutch pedal to operate.
The all-new Sonet is set to go up against other crossovers in the same segment such as the Hyundai Venue and the upcoming Nissan Magnite. Although it would be nice to compare sizes, Kia has not revealed exact measurements of the Sonet. But for reference, it is even smaller than the Stonic which measures 4140mm long, 1760mm wide, and 1520mm tall.
Will we see the Sonet in the Philippines in the future? It seems very likely. Interestingly, the Sonet name has already been trademarked in the Philippines by Kia. Does that mean we might just see the smallest Kia crossover on Philippine streets in the not-so-distant future? And could this Indian-made Kia pose a good challenge to the Chinese-made Ford EcoSport?