2018 Kia Stonic Revealed; Subcompact Newcomer Hungry for Your Kids and Pets

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
2018 kia stonic revealed subcompact newcomer hungry for your kids and pets

After Hyundai dropped the curtain on its B-segment Kona crossover last week, corporate cousin Kia wasn’t far behind, pulling the wraps off its own new subcompact crossover earlier today.

The Stonic, which will go on sale in Europe in the third quarter of this year, rides atop the same platform as the Kona, but arguably wears it better. Sporting a more cohesive design, a sharp, contemporary face, and headlights in all the right places, the Stonic aims to gra Kia a slice of the growing subcompact utility vehicle market. In Europe, the segment is expected to grow to more than 10 percent of all new sales in just a few years.

That’s money Kia wants to take home to Korea. It’s not just overtaxed European buyers on Kia’s hit list, either; automakers are hurriedly adding missing CUVs to their North American lineups to boost sales and market share.

Speaking purely from a continental standpoint, Michael Cole, Chief Operating Officer of Kia Motors Europe, claimed in a statement, “By volume, the B-SUV market is expected to overtake the C-SUV segment by 2020.” B-segment buyers, he said, are attracted from many other segments, making a subcompact crossover an attractive vehicle to add to a lineup.

Compared to the questionable face adorning the Kona, Kia’s Stonic appears much cleaner. While the two bodies are similar — yes, you can order that roof (minus the basket-handle B-pillar) in a different color — Kia’s new offering makes better use of its allotted body cladding. No messy spillover from the wheel arches here. Inside, everything appears tasteful, well-positioned and uncluttered, with a hint of sporty flair. Body colors abound in the cabin.

Kia mentions the Stonic’s “European-tuned” steering and suspension, which was tailored to give the little CUV a sportier ride, as well as the use of high-strength steel (which comprises 51 percent of the body) during its development. Remember Kia’s plan to make itself seen as the exciting brand? This is a mild part of that blueprint. The Kia Stinger represents the other end of the scale.

In Europe, Kia promises 20 two-tone color combinations. Will Americans also be able to go hog-wild with the palette when the model appears late this year? Time will tell, but “global” models carry that designation for a reason.

Under the hood of the Stonic, in Europe and overseas, at least, lies a bevy of small engines you won’t see this side of any ocean. Gasoline engines displacing 1.0, 1.25 and 1.4 liters join a 1.6-liter diesel as the overseas powerplants. Over here, we’re likely to see a 2.0-liter naturally aspirated four-cylinder or a turbocharged 1.6-liter.

Kia hasn’t announced an on-sale date or U.S. pricing for the model, as Europe comes first. We’ll likely first see the Stonic in the flesh at the Frankfurt auto show in September. Hopefully then we’ll learn more of model’s specifications, including more details on Kia’s claim of “class-leading” shoulder room.

[Images: Kia]

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  • Bd2 Bd2 on Jun 22, 2017

    The weird thing is that the Australian market is claiming that they won't be getting the Stonic and instead, will be getting a different small CUV later. Have a difficult time believing that Kia has been developing another subcompact CUV (this is their 2nd, after the one for developing markets, 3rd if you count the Niro). Probably has to do something with the powertrains as the European spec models are too underpowered for Australia - but that would hold the same for the NA market.

  • Mike9o Mike9o on Jun 22, 2017

    Is this even coming to the US? I can't see Kia selling this, Niro and Soul.

  • ToolGuy CXXVIII comments?!?
  • ToolGuy I did truck things with my truck this past week, twenty-odd miles from home (farther than usual). Recall that the interior bed space of my (modified) truck is 98" x 74". On the ride home yesterday the bed carried a 20 foot extension ladder (10 feet long, flagged 14 inches past the rear bumper), two other ladders, a smallish air compressor, a largish shop vac, three large bins, some materials, some scrap, and a slew of tool cases/bags. It was pretty full, is what I'm saying.The range of the Cybertruck would have been just fine. Nothing I carried had any substantial weight to it, in truck terms. The frunk would have been extremely useful (lock the tool cases there, out of the way of the Bed Stuff, away from prying eyes and grasping fingers -- you say I can charge my cordless tools there? bonus). Stainless steel plus no paint is a plus.Apparently the Cybertruck bed will be 78" long (but over 96" with the tailgate folded down) and 60-65" wide. And then Tesla promises "100 cubic feet of exterior, lockable storage — including the under-bed, frunk and sail pillars." Underbed storage requires the bed to be clear of other stuff, but bottom line everything would have fit, especially when we consider the second row of seats (tools and some materials out of the weather).Some days I was hauling mostly air on one leg of the trip. There were several store runs involved, some for 8-foot stock. One day I bummed a ride in a Roush Mustang. Three separate times other drivers tried to run into my truck (stainless steel panels, yes please). The fuel savings would be large enough for me to notice and to care.TL;DR: This truck would work for me, as a truck. Sample size = 1.
  • Art Vandelay Dodge should bring this back. They could sell it as the classic classic classic model
  • Surferjoe Still have a 2013 RDX, naturally aspirated V6, just can't get behind a 4 banger turbo.Also gloriously absent, ESS, lane departure warnings, etc.
  • ToolGuy Is it a genuine Top Hand? Oh, I forgot, I don't care. 🙂