Earlier this year, Kia Philippines executives gave us a teaser that they will be launching a new crossover model in the local market. They didn't confirmm what it was, but based on the teaser image, it could only have been the Stonic crossover.
But now, Kia Motor Corporation (the global automaker) has just revealed the first images of the new 2021 Stonic, and with a mild-hybrid. Could this be the model for our market once Kia Philippines does launch it?
Yes, the Stonic you see here is the recently updated 2021 model. There aren't a lot of changes on the outside apart from the new LED headlights. Customers also have more color options to choose from as well and have new 16-inch wheels fitted.
Inside, the cabin has largely been carried over too. The most obvious change is the touchscreen infotainment system which has been upgraded to a large 8.0-inch unit which now comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Along with the infotainment, the 4.2-inch digital display cluster in front of the driver has been upgraded too. Meanwhile, a new ‘User Profile Transfer’ feature enables users to back-up their in-vehicle UVO preferences via the cloud and transfer settings from one vehicle to the next.
The visual changes are quite subtle, and that’s because Kia has focused on updating the Stonic’s powertrain for the 2021 model year. Kia now offers the small crossover with a mild-hybrid engine paired with their Intelligent Manual Transmission. Specifically, the Stonic Hybrid uses a 1.0-liter T-GDi engine paired with a 48V MHEV (mild-hybrid electric vehicle) system. Power output is available in either 100 PS or 120 PS versions. Meanwhile, torque on the 120 PS models is now up to 200 Nm.
Aside from the new MHEV powertrain, Kia also updated the Stonic’s non-hybrid engines as well. A 100 PS 1.0-litre T-GDi engine and a new version of Kia’s naturally aspirated 1.2-liter engine with a power output of 84 PS are now available to choose from. Both engines are offered with either a 6-speed manual or a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission.
With Kia Philippines supposedly set to launch the Stonic in Q4 of this year, we won't be surprised if we will indeed get the updated crossover you see here now. The question that remains is: will the mild-hybrid powertrain will be offered in the Philippines?
Would you want Kia Philippines to offer the MHEV option?