Kia Sonet sub-compact SUV is now all set to make its global debut in India on 7 August, sharing segment space with the likes of Hyundai Venue and Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza. The Sonet concept was unveiled during the 2020 Auto Expo in February and now the production version is heading for a full reveal next month. Kia Sonet shares its platform and powertrains with its sibling Hyundai Venue and upon launch, will become the second car with a clutchless manual transmission. The IMT gearbox is expected to be launched in the Hyundai Venue first some time by the end of this month.
Kia Motors is introducing what it calls Intelligent Manual Transmission or IMT gearbox in the Sonet SUV, providing clutchless shifting with the control of a manual shift lever. In very simple words, an IMT will offer operation exactly like a manual gearbox which needs the driver to shift gears with the stick but there will be no clutch pedal.
Kia Sonet engine options will include a 1.2-litre, 4-cylinder petrol engine with a five-speed manual as well as IMT options, a 1.5-litre diesel turbo unit borrowed from the Seltos, but in a different state of tune, delivering 99 hp and 240 Nm of torque. The diesel will be offered with a six-speed manual and could available with an automatic as well, and lastly, a 1.0-litre 3-cylinder turbocharged petrol paired with a 7-speed DCT will also be offered for the GT-Line model.
Like the Kia Seltos and Kia Carnival, Kia Sonet will also offer Internet-connectivity through the latest generation of Kia UVO software. It would also likely offer a voice assistant with a wake word ‘Hey Kia’.
The Sonet will be launching in India’s most competitive segments, going up against the Venue, Brezza, and also Ford EcoSport, Mahindra XUV300, Tata Nexon, and the Honda WR-V. The Sonet with its new features could be a very competitive package if is able to price the Sonet between Rs 6.5 lakh to Rs 12 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi).
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