Kia Sonet is one of the best selling compact-SUV in the Indian market. The manufacturer is now working on a factory-fitted CNG version of the Sonet. A test mule was recently spotted with a red number plate, a CNG sticker and the CNG filler just behind the fuel filler cap. Moreover, you can also see the CNG plate on the C-pillar. Kia could launch the Sonet CNG in the coming months, it would be Rs. 60,000 to Rs. 90,000 more expensive than the regular variants.
The test mule is finished in the Glacier White Pearl paint scheme. There is a red stripe on the bumper which leads us to believe that this is the GT Line Trim of the Sonet. What is interesting is that the GT Line Trim is only offered with the 1.0-litre engine that comes with turbocharging and direct injection. Usually, factory-fitted CNG setups come with a naturally aspirated petrol engine. However, it seems like that is not the case with the Sonet CNG.
The 1.0-litre turbo petrol engine produces 120 Ps of max power and 172 Nm of peak torque. While running on CNG the power and torque outputs will fall. Moreover, as of now, the turbo petrol engine comes mated to only a 6-speed intelligent manual gearbox or a 7-speed dual-clutch gearbox. If Sonet does come with a turbo petrol-CNG powertrain then we expect it to get a 6-speed manual gearbox.
The GT Line is the top-end trim which is quite expensive. Manufacturers usually offer the CNG powertrain with lower and mid-spec variants. There is a high chance that Kia would introduce more variants of the Sonet CNG also.
With the prices of petrol and diesel increasing and electric vehicles still lacking charging infrastructure, people have started considering buying CNG vehicles. Maruti Suzuki has its S-CNG line-up of CNG-powered vehicles that have been doing very well in our Indian market. Hyundai also has a factory-fitted CNG option and now, Tata has also introduced the Tiago and Tigor with factory-fitted CNG.
We are not expecting Kia to make any other cosmetic changes to the Sonet CNG. Moreover, mechanically, it would stay the same. So, it would continue to be offered with three engines. There would be a 1.2-litre, naturally aspirated petrol engine, a 1.0-litre turbo petrol engine and a 1.5-litre diesel engine.
The naturally aspirated engine produces 83 PS of max power and 113 Nm of peak torque. It is offered only with the 5-speed manual gearbox. The diesel engine produces 100 PS of max power and 240 Nm of peak torque if you get it with a 6-speed manual gearbox, the power output is bumped up to 115 PS and torque to 250 Nm, if you get the 6-speed torque converter automatic transmission.
Kia updated Sonet recently
Kia updated the Sonet with new features. It now comes with Highline Tyre Pressure Monitoring System and side airbags as standard. Variants with iMT gearbox now get Hill Assist Control, Electronic Stability Control, Vehicle Stability Management and Brake Assist as standard. From HTX+ variants, you would be able to get curtain airbags as well.
From HTX, you would get a 4.2-inch colour TFT instrument cluster. From HTE variants, you would get semi leatherette upholstery. The prices of the Sonet start at Rs. 7.15 lakhs ex-showroom and goes up to Rs. 13.09 lakhs ex-showroom.