Kia Sonet Officially Revealed

20Sonet 01

Kia’s smallest SUV yet, the Sonet, has finally been revealed and it’s headed for SA in 2020.

The Kia Sonet is the Korean’s entrant to the compact SUV segment. It will sit beneath Seltos in the brand’s growing SUV lineup. The Sonet is based on the Hyundai Venue platform but is built in an entirely different factory in Bangalore, India - the same factory where we currently receive our Seltos range from. Take a look at what the new Sonet has to offer. 


The Sonet has 3 engines available, although the engines to be offered in South Africa has yet to be confirmed. There’s a 1.2-litre naturally-aspirated 4-cylinder to start the range, no power figures were stipulated, but we suspect this is the same engine from the Picanto, which delivers 65 kW and 120 Nm of torque. Next in line is the 1.0-litre 3-pot turbopetrol, likely the same engine that powers the Hyundai Venue, meaning 88 kW and 172 Nm of torque will be offered. Topping off the range is a 1.5-litre turbodiesel unit, likely pulled from the Seltos with 86 kW and 250 Nm of torque. The diesel engine is available with a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission. The petrol units make use of either a 5-speed manual (1.2 model), 6-speed manual, or 7-speed dual-clutch transmission.

There is also what Kia calls a Smartstream 6-speed iMT gearbox available. It is effectively a manual ‘box but without the clutch pedal. You still control the gearshifts by moving the gear lever, but the clutch work is taken care of by the car. This seems to be a step up from the AMT gearboxes we have tried in the Kwid, Fiat 500 and Suzuki S-Presso that are awful to drive.

Interior Features

The interior of the new Sonet has many of the modern tech features and even some that are only available in more expensive segments. Wireless charging is available, for instance. There is also a large 10.25-inch infotainment screen and a smaller 4.25-inch digital instrument cluster. Top-spec models will also offer a seven-speaker sound system from Bose - complete with LED mood lighting that turns the interior of your Sonet into an 80s Discotech.

Kia is claiming the Sonet has an air purifying system that has 2 levels of purification. The system not only effectively cleans out pollutants from the cabin, but also kills bacteria and viruses as it cleans the air. 

As with most Korean cars, app connectivity is standard for both Apple and iPhone users and the UVO connect system is installed that allows users to connect to multiple apps and receive updates over the air. Many of the features of UVO connect haven’t made it to SA yet so we await local confirmation on what will be available closer to the local launch date.

Also, Kia has not yet divulged official load space information but considering that the Sonet is based on the Hyundai Venue, it should offer similar load-carrying capacity in the region of 350-litres. 

Safety specification

Continuing with the increase in safety systems to its vehicles, Kia has gone to town with the standard safety spec on the Sonet. Most notable is the inclusion of stability control, hill-start assist and a tyre pressure monitoring system. Further to this, it has up to 6 airbags fitted as well as ABS with EBD, automatic headlights, ISOFIX child anchoring points and front and rear parking sensors.

As mentioned, local specification has yet to be confirmed by Kia South Africa. We will know closer to the local launch what specification of engines, transmissions and interior features we will receive.

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