The sub-compact SUV space we can all agree is quite crowded, offering a lot of choice for Indian consumers. Because of the segment’s popularity, currently, the segment includes the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza, Hyundai Venue, Ford EcoSport, Mahindra XUV300, Tata Nexon and the Honda WR-V. Thanks to the growing demand for the fun-sized SUVs, Nissan, Renault Toyota and Kia are about to enter this same space as well. The first of the new boys on the block is scheduled to be the brand new Kia Sonet which will be launched on August 7. Being a sibling to the Hyundai Venue, the Sonet will use identical underpinnings, wrapped in a more aggressive and sharp styled body.
The Kia Sonet Concept was showcased at the 2020 Auto Expo in February with a promise to be launched within 6 months time. Staying consistent to the timeline, the Kia Sonet in production form will be revealed on August 7, cementing its arrival in the Indian market. The Sonet will be Kia’s third model offering after the Kia Seltos and the Kia Carnival.
From the teaser images and videos released by Kia to create the buzz ahead of the vehicle’s launch suggests that the design will not be too far off from the concept model. At the front will be a sleek designed Tiger Nose signature grille flanked by sleek headlamps with sabre-tooth designed LED DRLs. The side profile will also be quite similar, but the tyres used on the concept are unlikely to be used of the production version as a set of 16-inch alloys are expected to be offered for the top of the range model.
The interior of the Sonet is expected to follow Kia’s latest design language seen in its latest range of SUVs. The pattern of the dashboard could resemble more like the new Kia Sorento SUV international model. It will feature a large dash-top mounted infotainment touchscreen, with the HVAC switchgear right below, flanked by the central air vents. The centre console would offer a wireless smartphone charging pad. The steering wheel in the Sonet could be similar in shape and design and the Seltos with a flat-bottom design and offer steering mounted audio controls. Kia will also offer Kia UVO Connect smart car technology with the Sonet which is expected to be similar to the system offered with the Hyundai Venue, albeit a more updated version offering improved features.
Engine options in the Kia Sonet are likely to be borrowed from the Hyundai Venue offering a standard 1.2-litre petrol engine and a 1.5-litre turbo diesel engine both with manual transmission offerings. But like the Venue, the Sonet will offer a 1.0-litre T-GDI engine with three transmission offerings, first would be a manual, followed by the familiar 7-speed DCT with paddle shifters and a new and innovative iMT clutches manual offering.
We still do not know how the variant break-up for the Sonet will be like. But it is possible that Kia uses a similar variant naming system like the Seltos with a standard Tech-Line range offered in parallel to the GT-Line range with the 1.0-litre offering. The prices for the Kia Sonet are expected to be highly competitive, and we believe it could be within the range of Rs 6.5 lakh to Rs 11 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). But all doubts will be put to rest on Agust 7, 2020 when the Sonet is finally launched.
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