The Stonic is Kia’s latest entry into the SUV/crossover sector that’s transformed the car market in recent years.
Based on the Rio supermini, it gets a raised ride height, a bit more space and some rugged SUV styling.
It goes up against other pimped up supermini-SUVs including the Peugeot 2008, Hyundai Kona, Ford Ecosport and Nissan Juke.
Prices start at £15,485, which is in line with the Kona and 2008 but slightly more than an entry level Juke, though it’s worth noting the Kia has a better level of standard equipment.
With ride height raised by 45mm over the Rio, 17” wheels with smart alloys, and the option of contrasting roof colour, it’s a handsome car.
It may look like it could handle a bit of rough and tumble but the Stonic is two-wheel drive only, so don’t buy one if you need to do any off roading.
Under the bonnet, you’ve the choice of a 1.4 litre naturally aspirated petrol, a 1.6 litre diesel or a turbocharged 1.0 litre petrol unit.
My test car came with the 1.0 litre petrol, which is the pick of the bunch. Despite its smaller displacement, the turbo means it puts out 20bhp more than the 1.4 litre unit. With 118bhp, it’s nippy around town and has enough oomph for overtaking manoeuvres on A and B roads.
The Stonic is one of the better handling crossovers. Having a higher ride height it’s never going to grip like a limpet but steering is sharp and the body remains flat in cornering.
When it comes to long distance cruising it’s comfortable enough, if it can’t quite match the refinement of the Seat Arona or Renault Captur.
My time with the Stonic coincided with me house-sitting for a friend in East Haven. The Stonic proved to be a great all rounder that was equally at home doing 70mph on the A92, pootling around Abroath or tackling some of Angus’s rural backroads.
Inside, there’s room for four adults and a decent sized boot. There are only two spec levels, called “2” and “First Edition.” My car was the more expensive First Edition model and came with reversing camera, part leather seats, keyless entry and sat nav. Even the entry model has a seven-inch touchscreen, rear parking sensors and 17” alloy wheels.
With a reputation for reliability and a superb seven-year, 100,000 mile warranty, the Stonic shouldn’t be a car that lets you down. In fact, there’s very little not to like about it.