Kia has revealed its compact Sonet crossover, which is due for the local market later this year.

We first saw concept renderings for this new vehicle in July, but official images give a clear indication of what local Kia fans can expect.

The Korean brand has a strong presence in the compact vehicle segment, with its Picanto rightfully considered to be a great blend of style and design.

Kia brand momentum

Much of the brand equity that Kia has developed among South African customers, has sourced from positive rental or ownership experiences with the Picanto supermini. The company is keen to convert some of that positive brand momentum into a new crossover offering, called the Sonet.

Using the same front-wheel drive platform as Hyundai’s Venue, the Sonet promises to offer a quality urban and gravel driving experience for local customers.


Beneath the tidy design, with its characteristics Kia floating grille, there are no less than three engine options, although we suspect that only the two turbocharged variants will find their way into the South African Sonet line-up.

Hyundai has already proven that local customers are entirely happy with its one-litre three-cylinder turbopetrol engine, which boosts 88kW and 172Nm. As Kia is Hyundai’s twin-company, the same engine is available to Sonet customers.

For those interest in using this new Korean crossover as a long-distance touring vehicle, to explore South Africa’s treasure of gravel roads, there is also a 1.5-litre turbodiesel. It is a touch less powerful than the one-litre turbopetrol (at 86kW) but has a stronger torque profile of 250Nm and should offer superior cruising economy and overtaking performance.

Six-speed manual gearboxes are available on all Sonet engine derivatives, but the turbodiesel offers a six-speed automatic too, while the turbopetrol uses a seven-speed dual-clutch as its two-pedal transmission option.


Convenience and safety specification is good, with six airbags places through the Sonet’s cabin architecture. It also features a generously sized 10.25-inch infotainment screen, with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto Smartphone integration.

Although the Kia Sonet is hardly an off-road adventure vehicle, it is inarguably better suited to all-terrain touring than a comparative family hatchback. With 190mm of ground clearance you will be able to drive along elementary dirt trail and also roll through potholes with much less puncture risk.

Author: Onlineautos