Kia Sonet Review – Should You Buy It?

After creating a buzz for almost nine months of 2020, Kia Sonet is finally launched in the country at an introductory price of Rs 6.71 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi). For the uninitiated, the SUV has got over 25,000 bookings at the time of its launch with most variants commanding a waiting period of 2-4 weeks.

Kia Sonet Review

To answer the question of whether you should buy it or not, let’s delve into finer details of the Sonet.

Alluring Price

Speaking of the first noticeable aspect of the Kia SUV, it’s the aggressive pricing. Although introductory, it undercuts the prices of all its rivals in the subcompact SUV segment. Even the segment-leading Hyundai Venue price begins at Rs 6.75 lakh. It is offered in five different engine-gearbox combinations and six variants.

Here is its variant-wise pricing.

Kia Sonet Engines THE HTK HTK+ HTX HTX+ GTX+
1.2L Petrol MT Rs 6.71 lakh Rs 7.59 lakh Rs 8.45 lakh
1.0L Turbo Petrol iMT Rs 9.49 lakh Rs 9.99 lakh Rs 11.65 lakh Rs 11.99 lakh
1.0L Turbo Petrol DCT Rs 10.49 lakh Not Announced
1.5L Diesel MT Rs 8.05 lakh Rs 8.99 lakh Rs 9.49 lakh Rs 9.99 lakh Rs 11.65 lakh Rs 11.99 lakh
1.5L Diesel AT Rs 10.39 lakh Not Announced

*All prices ex-showroom Delhi.

For people looking for other options, here is the Kia Sonet price comparison with Tata Nexon, Hyundai Venue, Maruti Vitara Brezza, Mahindra XUV300 and Ford EcoSport. Although the base Sonet petrol is the most economical option, the top-spec Sonet petrol is the costliest among all the six rivals!

Petrol sub-4m SUVs Price (ex-showroom)
Kia Sonet Rs 6.71 – 11.99 lakh
Hyundai Venue Rs 6.75 – 11.63 lakh
Tata Nexon Rs 6.99 – 11.34 lakh
Maruti Vitara Brezza Rs 7.34 – 11.15 lakh
Mahindra XUV300 Rs 7.95 – 11.12 lakh
Ford EcoSport Rs 8.17 – 11.56 lakh
Diesel sub-4m SUVs Price (ex-showroom)
Kia Sonet Rs 8.05 – 11.99 lakh
Hyundai Venue Rs 8.15 – 11.58 lakh
Tata Nexon Rs 8.45 – 12.70 lakh
Mahindra XUV300 Rs 8.70 – 12.30 lakh
Ford EcoSport Rs 8.67 – 11.71 lakh
Maruti Vitara Brezza Not available in diesel

Design

Despite being based on the Venue, the Sonet shows no signs of borrowing. The front overhangs of the Sonet are larger while the rear is smaller compared to the Venue. The styling isn’t dramatic but yes, it isn’t composed either like the Hyundai. The signature tiger-nose grille is flanked by full-LED headlamps with integrated DRLs. The skid plate at the front complete the butch look of the Sonet.

The quarter glass area on the D-pillar and blacked A-pillar along with wide wheel arches lend it a sportier appeal. The car is bigger in proportions compared to the Venue and it shows. It is 20mm wider and 37mm taller than the Hyundai SUV. It gets 15mm more ground clearance too (205mm).

The rear styling is comprehended by merging rear tail lamps and de-pressed tailgate. On the rear bumper, the faux tailpipe breaks the monotony. Overall, it’s an upright design.

Dimensions

Here are the Sonet Vs Venue dimensions for your reference.

Car Models Kia Sonet Hyundai Venue
Length 3995mm 3995mm
Width 1790mm 1770mm
Height 1642mm 1605mm
Wheelbase 2500mm 2500mm
Bootspace 392-litres 350-litres
Ground clearance 205mm 190mm

Interior

Kia Sonet Interior

Thanks to its upright stance, the ingress and egress is a walk in the park in the Kia Sonet. You get a higher seating position compared to the Venue which aids in better road visibility. The dash looks chic with the centre stage taken over by the 10.25-inch touchscreen unit. The buttons might feel odd to look at, however, you will feel they are ergonomically designed for easy reach and function.

Moreover, the availability of plenty of storage spaces for knickknacks makes it a practical cabin to be in. The Sonet cockpit is thoughtfully designed to keep you in complete comfort. Whether you are in the driving seat or passenger seat, everything is well within your reach.

The seats are comfortable and offer good under-thigh support. Although you get a number of gizmos to play around in the Sonet, the rear seats are strictly for four adults. You can chip in a kid but seating three would be a squeeze.

Engines & Specifications

The Kia Sonet gives you an array of engine-gearbox options – just like the Hyundai Venue. In fact, it shares all the option with its Korean cousin.

Engine 1.2L Petrol 1.0L Turbo-Petrol 1.5L Turbo-Diesel
Power 83PS 120PS 100PS/115PS (AT)
Torque 115Nm 172Nm 240Nm/250Nm (AT)
Transmission 5-speed manual 6-speed manual / 6-speed iMT / 7-speed automatic 6-speed manual / 6-speed automatic
Mileage 18.4kmpl 18.2kmpl(iMT)/18.3kmpl (DCT) 24.1kmpl/19kmpl (AT)

Among all the options, the combination of 1.5L turbo diesel and 6-speed automatic gives you the true fun of driving. Probably, this is the reason why Kia Sonet GTX+ AT is the most in-demand variant in its lineup.

The iMT transmission gives you the comfort of driving a clutchless automatic with a manual shifting gearstick. The variants having DCT get three driving modes – Eco, Normal and Sport – along with a number of traction modes. No other variant offers this. No, we don’t know the reason.

Ride & Handling

The Kia Sonet gets a lot of sound-deadening materials, which makes its cabin a lot silent compared to the Venue. Moreover, the ride quality is very composed thanks to the perfectly balanced suspension setup which isn’t too stiff or soft. It takes on rough roads with ease. The steering feels light and gives you confidence whether driving in the city or on the highways.

The Sonet diesel feels more planted with added weight compared to the petrol. Best engine to go on long drives. The default setup of driver seat is on a higher setting so you always get a commanding look of the road ahead. It’s a good feature for someone who has just started to learn driving. The driver’s seat is height-adjustable, however, the steering is only tilt-adjustable.

Features

Kia Sonet Features

The Sonet is packed with a lot of goodies and segment-first features which makes it a benchmark in the sub-4m SUV space. Some of creature comfort features include 10.25inch touchscreen infotainment system with the snappy interface, auto AC, ventilated seats, wireless phone charger, 4.2inch colour instrument cluster, Bose premium sound, electric sunroof, LED headlamps, LED tail lamps, smart key with push-button start/stop, front & rear USB charging ports, rear AC vents and many more.

It also gets the Kia Seltos’ sourced UVO connect system with AI voice command, OTA map and 55 other additional features.

Safety

Kia Sonet Safety

Kia Sonet gets dual airbags and ABS with EBD as standard safety features. The top-spec GTX+ gets six airbags, ESC, HAC, VSM, brake assist, front and rear parking sensors, rear defogger and projector fog lamps.

The bottomline

Let’s sum up what you get in the Sonet and then weigh whether it is worth buying. You get unheard features in the segment like ventilated seats, ambient lighting, wireless charging, etc. Automatic transmission options such DCT and 6-speed torque converter in combination with turbo petrol and diesel options. Excellent road presence and balanced ride quality. And above all, a price tag that undercuts all its rivals.

On the downside, the limited rear-seat space could be a deterrent for someone wanting a proper five-seater SUV, which can seat three full-size adults in comfort at the back seat.

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