Kia Motors India’s third model launch will be a sub-compact SUV that will be called the Kia Sonet. The Sonet made its concept debut at the 2020 Auto Expo in Greater Noida and is scheduled to make its market debut by the end of the year. The Kia Sonet will utilise the platform and powertrains that are used in its sibling, the Hyundai Venue, and would also rival the Vitara Brezza and other cars like the EcoSport and the Nexon in the segment.
But the question remains if the Sonet would be able to replicate the blockbuster success of its elder brother, the Kia Seltos was able to achieve? The Seltos became one of the highest-selling SUVs in-India right after the launch and surpassed the sales of the Hyundai Creta on a month-on-month basis. This was down to the fact that the Seltos was priced competitively, and it offers a lot of features along with three engines and four transmission options. Features that the old Creta did not. Now as the Venue was already launched in 2019, there are somethings about the upcoming Kia Sonet that we already know.
The Sonet when it is launched later this year will use the same underpinnings as the Hyundai Venue and it will also be powered by the same engine options. The standard petrol unit will be the 1.2-litre, 4-cylinder unit that is said to be offered with a 5-speed manual as well as AMT options which they will call “intelligent manual transmission” or iMT. The diesel offering would be a 1.5-litre turbo unit borrowed from the Seltos, but in a different state of tune, delivering 99hp and 240Nm of torque. This engine would be offered with a 6-speed manual and is likely to be offered with an automatic as well. The 1.0-litre 3-cylinder turbocharged petrol will also be offered for the GT-Line model. This motor would be paired with a 7-speed DCT.
While the Venue is offered with 33+ connected features with its BlueLink connected car technology. The Sonet, being launched a year later would be able to offer more at launch as it would be equipped with the latest generation of the Kia UVO software. It is likely to also offer a virtual assistant with the wake-up command “Hey Kia”.
Kia has not revealed the interior cabin design of the Sonet as yet. But going by the theme of Kia’s other models, compared to Hyundai’s, the Sonet will have an all-new design for the dashboard and the cabin. It will also feature an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and voice recognition.
Styling-wise, the Kia Sonet will offer a more bold and youthful approach. If the concept is anything to go by, the Sonet will have its signature tiger-nose grille flanked by sleek and aggressively styled headlamps and a bold front bumper. The top-spec variant would feature diamond-cut alloy wheels with the GT-Line getting red accents on different parts of the vehicle for a sportier look. The Sonet is likely to also offer dual-tone colour options, while a sunroof offering cannot be ruled out for the higher-spec models due to its popularity.
If we look at Kia’s past manner of pricing its vehicles in India, it has always managed to price its vehicles competitively. Whether it was the Seltos or the arrival MPV. We expect nothing less for the Sonet, especially in one of India’s most competitive segments. The Sonet will have to go against stiff competition from not only the Hyundai Venue, but also the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza, Ford EcoSport, Mahindra XUV300, Tata Nexon, and the Honda WR-V. If Kia is able to price the Sonet between Rs 6.5 lakh to Rs 12 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi) Then the Sonet would surely be a highly competitive package in its segment.
The launch of the Sonet was expected in August, ahead of the festive season. However, due to the outbreak of the coronavirus and the nationwide lockdown, it is likely that it may be delayed till October 2020.
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