Kia Motors has just unveiled the Sonet compact SUV concept, a sub-4 meter offering aimed at the Maruti Brezza, Hyundai Venue and other similar offerings in this highly competitive segment. The official market launch of the Kia Sonet will happen in the second half of this year, and the South Korean automaker has used the Hyundai Venue’s platform for its latest compact SUV, which will sit below the Seltos in terms of pricing.
The mini SUV will be built at Kia Motors’ new factory in Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh. Meanwhile, here are some pictures of the Sonet, straight from the show floor at the Auto Expo.
As the images suggest, the Kia Sonet looks totally different from the Seltos, and for that matter the Hyundai Venue – the SUV on which it’s based. The Sonet has just the right mix of the curves and butch lines, but is more of a crossover in terms of styling than outright SUV. Most buyers won’t mind this as the high ground clearance, good street presence and sharp looks will more than make up for the crossover stance.
The most prominent design highlight of this compact SUV is the Tiger Nose grille, a distinctive design feature found on all Kia cars.
The production version of the Sonet is likely to be very similar to the concept version that’s shown at the Auto Expo. The sub-4 meter offering will feature three engine options: a 1.2 liter-4 cylinder naturally aspirated petrol with 82 Bhp-114 Nm, a 1 liter-3 cylinder turbocharged petrol with 118 Bhp-172 Nm, and a 1.4 liter-4 cylinder turbocharged diesel with 89 Bhp-220 Nm. All three engines will get manual gearboxes as standard with the turbocharged petrol engine also getting a 7 speed twin clutch automatic gearbox option. The mini SUV will be front wheel driven, and will have a monocoque body.
Expect the feature-set of the Sonet to be similar to that offered on the Hyundai Venue, and the Kia compact SUV could offer a few additional bits. In terms of pricing, the Kia Sonet is likely to be pegged close to the Rs. 7 lakh mark for the base petrol trim, going up to about Rs. 10-11 lakhs for the top-end diesel and turbo petrol automatic trims. The Sonet is meant to bring Kia Motors the next wave of growth after the Seltos. The automaker will be aiming at selling about 10,000 units of this compact SUV each month. The segment leaders – Brezza and Venue – had better brace for some very serious competition.