By Malusi Msomi
The Kia Sonet is a car that’s important in Kia’s product portfolio as Kia now has a 5% market share in SA. More than 70% of the segment which the Sonet competes in have turbocharged engines, so the turbo Sonet was bound to join that category. The main reason for it taking so long to hit our market was because of stock challenges. Now that the issue has been resolved, SA buyers of the Sonet now have the option of turbo joy.
At the launch we drove the range-topping EX+ model. The cute compact crossover SUV comes standard with 16-inch wheels, new rear combination LED lights, and new Kia logos at the front and rear. When compared with some of its competitors, the Sonet seems to edge ahead in terms of boot space and features.
It comes with a good number of niceties such as an 8.0-inch HD touchscreen infotainment with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, rear-view camera and rear park distance control (PDC), folding electric side mirrors, and cruise control. It has a good-looking cabin with easy to reach and user-friendly button placement. However, there is a fair use of plastics in the cabin which might be a deal breaker for some.
Pokey 1.0-litre turbocharged engine
The 1.0-litre turbo engine produces 88kW and 172Nm. The 7-speed DCT automatic works perfectly with this engine rather than a whiney CVT. Some would expect lightning fast shifts from the DCT but the engine and transmission has been calibrated for smoothness and efficiency. There isn’t that big a difference in terms of performance figures between the turbo 1.0-litre and 1.5-litre naturally aspirated engine but the turbo engine feels more responsive which translated to easier overtaking and better fuel economy. Overall, we enjoyed traversing the beautiful roads of Cape Town in the new Kia Sonet 1.0 T-GDI EX+.
In terms of safety you get In terms of safety it comes with 6 airbags (EX+) ABS, EBD, HAC and ESC Rear-view camera and rear PDC.
Spec-for-spec, when comparing it to rivals, the Sonet seems to offer more standard equipment and an impressive warranty of 5 years / unlimited km. It’s definitely one to consider when shopping in the SUV crossover department. An in-depth review will occur when we get the newcomer for a comprehensive test. Pricing for the Kia Sonet 1.0 T-GDI EX+ starts from R389,995.
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