Kia Sonet is one of the best selling compact-SUVs in the Indian market. It became one of the most popular compact SUVs as soon as it was launched. It goes against the likes of Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza, Hyundai Venue, Ford Ecosport, Mahindra XUV 300, Tata Nexon, Renault Kiger and Nissan Magnite. In India, the Sonet is offered only with a front-wheel-drive layout. Here, we have a video that is uploaded by Sravanth Kumar. The video shows a Sonet that is crossing a river without any issues.
The video is only 23 seconds. There is a black Sonet in the video that is able to cross a flowing river in one go. We can see that at the end of the video, the track that the Sonet has to go up can be slippery and the Sonet did a good job despite being a front-wheel-drive vehicle.
Should you do it?
This is not the first time that we are seeing a compact SUV crossing a river. Earlier, we had a video in which a Ford Ecosport was crossing a river. There was also a video of Kia Seltos doing the same. Having said that, you should not do it. This is because there are a lot of electrical appliances and wiring in the engine bay that can get in touch with water and get damaged. Replacing electrical parts can be very expensive and water can damage other parts of the engine also.
In the video, we can see that most of the front of the Sonet was submerged in the water. The water could have entered the air intake because of which the water would have entered the engine. This would have made the engine hydrolocked. To rectify this the whole engine would have to opened and thorough cleaning would be required. Modern vehicles come with sensors that detect if water is getting into the engine. The sensor automatically shuts the engine off so that no more water goes inside. However, this means that you can get stuck. Also, opening the engine and repairing it thoroughly would require a lot of money and man-hours.
The other thing to note is that the Sonet is a front-wheel-drive vehicle. These types of vehicles can get stuck in slushy river beds quite easily. The front wheels would then start spinning and then you would need to call someone to tow the vehicle.
In such conditions, a 4×4 drive vehicle is a must. Vehicles like Force Gurkha, Mahindra Scorpio and Mahindra Thar come with a 4×4 powertrain. The 4×4 system ensures that you are able to get out of such tricky and slushy situations. The 4×4 system distributes the power equally among all the wheels which ensure there is enough grip available to all the tyres. So, the vehicle can get out of such slushy situations.
Currently, the highest water wading capacity in the compact SUV segment is of the Ford Ecosport. The Ecosport has a water wading capacity of 550 mm which is quite good. For reference, the Mahindra Thar has a water wading capability of 500 mm and the Force Gurkha has a capacity of 550 mm.