Kia Stonic: C'mon Kids, Dig This Rad Crossover

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
kia stonic c mon kids dig this rad crossover

Few automakers can afford to sit on the sidelines while rivals do battle in the growing subcompact crossover segment, and Kia sure isn’t one of them. Back in January, a trademark filing revealed Kia was developing a vehicle bearing an odd name — Stonic — which many rightly guessed would become the brand’s newest crossover. Well, that mystery vehicle is no longer a mystery.

The automaker has released concept sketches of its upcoming subcompact crossover, a high-beltline, low-roof runabout with wheels tailor-made for pelting stones off its sickly off-gold paint.

Kia describes the vehicle as having styling drawn from the larger utility vehicles in its lineup, albeit with the exaggerated proportions we expect from early drawings. A corporate nose and taillights similar to the Sportage ensures everyone will recognize the vehicle’s lineage. The automaker references the model’s “true European design flair” — a term used to describe any utility vehicle not reminiscent of a box.

Kia claims the Stonic will go on sale in the second half of this year. With this timing, it’s likely we’ll see an official debut at September’s Frankfurt auto show. Crossover-mad Americans should get a chance to eyeball the vehicle soon after.

Sportiness and youthful appeal factors heavily in the description, so there’s no mystery as to what demographic Kia hopes to woo. (Reality states Baby Boomers will actually make up a large part of sales.) Calling it “the most customisable Kia ever, inside and out,” the automaker fails to provide any details to back up the claim. The same opaqueness surrounds the vehicle’s drivetrain. As the two models share the same segment, it’s assumed the Stonic will share a platform with Hyundai’s upcoming Kona.

What Kia is willing to reveal is the vehicle’s maximized interior space and a “floating HMI (human-machine interface),” which most normal people will refer to as a infotainment screen.

Now, about that name. Stonic. Sonic? No, that’s a Chevrolet many people forget about. Kia has explained its motivations behind the name, claiming the “name ‘Stonic’ combines ‘Speedy’ and ‘Tonic’, which refers to the first and last note in the musical scale.”


[Image: Kia Motors]

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  • Lou_BC I kinda like the blocky lines. The snout has a star wars stormtrooper look so that means it won't hit anything.
  • ToolGuy I respect the work this individual has done from the starting point he was handed ("I have been involved for about 6 months repairing this car acquired form my sister who received it from our dad"; "The car was an oily mess when I received it, had a clogged catalytic converter, and hesitated intermittently on the highway after extended driving (> 20 miles)")...But there is no need to show prospective customers the "before" or "in process" photographs. Very few customers want to see or know how the sausage is made.And rather than show extreme close-ups of the dents, call a PDR shop, and bump up your selling price.
  • Ajla "launched as the GX550 offering a 3.4-liter" I know some people rip on pick up or performance car buyers for insecurity but it is funny that premium vehicle buyers need inflated designations like this because "GX340t" won't get their d*cks hard. Although Lexus isn't alone in this, it's even better here because they went from GX470 to GX460 back in 2009 and no one died over the decrease. The IS500 and LC500 are still matched to their displacement but maybe they'd sell more if it was called LC650? 🤔
  • ToolGuy Q: Is it time for ToolGuy the non-early adopter to purchase an EV for long-term ownership?A: No, it is not.(Get this stuff ironed out and I'll be back later.)
  • Theflyersfan Why take the effort to cover the back plate when the front plate is visible in a couple shots?