Kia’s third model to enter the Indian market is set to be introduced in the hotly-contested compact SUV segment. We got a glimpse of the car at this year’s Auto Expo. Christened as the Sonet, the car will take a few of the most popular offerings in India including the Maruti Vitara Brezza, Hyundai Venue and Tata Nexon. Here are 5 things you need to know about the car.
Ahead of its complete unveiling, Kia has given us a few teasers of the car that sheds a dim light on its exterior and design. The Korean manufacturer claims that except for its signature tiger-nose grille, the Sonet will be a brand-new model in terms of styling. The car is highlighted by muscular wheel arches, a connected taillight unit, gold paint, darkened C-pillar and flush door handles.
The silhouette of the car suggests that the car will have an upright stance with conventional proportions and high ground clearance, similar to the Hyundai Venue.
If the Seltos proved anything, it was Kia’s strength in providing a car filled to the brim with features. The Sonet is expected to be nothing less. Considering that the Venue and the Vitara Brezza have rooted itself as the most popular contenders in the segment, the Sonet must arrive with an attractive package. A few notable features from the Seltos will be carried over to the Sonet. Additionally, a few features such as an 8-inch HD touchscreen infotainment system, built-in eSIM for UVO car connectivity features, push-button start with keyless entry, automatic climate control, wireless charger, electric sunroof, rear AC vents, six airbags and much more could be expected.
Kia has not put out an official word regarding the powertrain options in the Sonet. However, we expect the car to share its engines with its cousin, the Hyundai Venue. Both models will be based on the same platform as well. This means that on offer would be a 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol unit delivering 120 PS and 171 Nm, a 1.5-litre petrol unit that produces 115 PS 144 Nm and a 1.5-litre turbocharged diesel unit that puts out 115 PS and 250 Nm of torque. A 6-speed manual and 7-speed dual-clutch automatic should be the transmission choices.
In addition to this, Hyundai’s iMT option that recently debuted on the Venue is also expected to make it to the Sonet. For the unaware, the intelligent Manual Transmission (iMT) offers the convenience of a 2-pedal clutch-less technology combined with a traditional manual gear lever. This eliminates the need for drivers to constantly use the clutch pedal.
4. Launch Date and Pricing
The car is set to be unveiled in the flesh on August 7. Several dealerships across the country have unofficially commenced bookings for the car while the official bookings are expected to open by mid-August. The car is most likely to be launched in September this year.
Considering that the car will lock-horns with aggressively priced monikers like the Vitara Brezza and Hyundai Venue, we expect the Sonet to come in at around INR 7 to 11 lakh.
5. Kia’s Most Important Product
As we mentioned before, the Kia Sonet will be introduced in the most hotly-contested segment in India. Manufacturers have lately taken up an expanding their line-up, aiming to hitch their wagon in the segment’s high demand.
Badges like the Vitara Brezza and Venue has seen exceptional demand since their launch in the Indian market. Keeping in mind such a deep-rooted dominance, Kia is expected to bet big on, what will be its smallest offering.
Since its launch in August last year, the Seltos has witnessed a cumulative sales of more than 45,000 units. Speaking to Autocar India, the company’s president and CEO, Han-Woo Park, revealed that the brand was expecting at least 70,000 units of sales in its first full year in the market.
To put things into perspective, the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza has made frequent appearance in the top-10 selling cars in India with sales going as high as 5,08,673 till the end of 2019.
The Hyundai Venue, on the other hand, recorded a monthly average of 8,805 units last year. Other chief rivals for the Sonet in the same segment include the refreshed Tata Nexon, Ford EcoSport, and the Mahindra XUV300.