2021 Kia Stonic Review
The presence of crossovers around the metro has grown in recent years, and for good reason. They’re compact like most sedans, easy to maneuver around, and are generally get-up-and-go vehicles. The newly updated Kia Stonic not only fits into all those categories, but also has some of its own bells and whistles that sets it apart.
Continue reading to find out more about Kia’s latest compact crossover.
An amalgamation of the words “stylish” and “iconic”, the Kia Stonic brings in a straightforward, smart design that not only concentrates on looking good, but also backs it up with its own set of features.
The Stonic is available in 6 different colors, namely Clear White, Clear White With Black, Extreme Blue, Flame Orange With Black, Prime Red, and Flash Yellow With Black — which we think is the most striking color of them all.
We get a nice front end that Kia calls their Tiger Nose Grille, although we would have liked to see some added ventilation. It doesn’t look all too intimidating, but it does have its own modern charm. Flanking the grille are adjustable bi-halogen headlights paired with automatic DRLs.
The sides are well contoured and have some plastic trim. Although some may call it rather dull, it still maintains the overall go-getter aesthetic of the car.
It’s also on the taller side with a ground clearance of 185 mm and has a wheelbase of 2570mm with 16” alloy rims. If you head to the top, it includes roof rails which is also going to be good in the event you need to secure some cargo else up there.
At the rear, you might notice it looks like the Kia Sportage’s little brother, with a couple of areas that also resemble a little bit of the Kia Rio — especially with those LED combination lights. It only comes with a single rear fog lamp on the lower left side, since the left-hand side is reserved for the backup lights.
Checking Stonic’s trunk, you’d be surprised at how much space there is. The floor is a little lower compared to the rest of the cabin, meaning you’ll be able to stack luggage and still have ample space for other things, while underneath the floor is reserved for your spare tire.
Stepping inside the Stonic, you’ll be greeted with an all-black interior, with a mix of some plastic and leatherette finish that trickles all around the interior. We also get some matte silver accents on the side of the door, the door handles, the steering wheel, which evokes a more casual and sporty appeal.
The seats are composed of fabric with a nice, textured grip. Although they’re only manually adjustable even for the top-of-the-line variant, the comfort is there nonetheless. The front seats have quite a low seating position, so there’s a chance you might not even see the Stonic’s hood properly as you drive.
From the driver’s perspective, you’ll notice the same leatherette texture all over the steering wheel wheel. You also have some media controls on the left, while the buttons on the right control the information display that shows average fuel consumption, trip meter, and user settings.
As for headroom, it’s actually pretty generous. I personally stand at 5’7″, and still had enough room to move my arms around and have a comfortable ride. My editor, who is 6′ tall, was also able to fit in there pretty nicely. However, this is one of those aspects where your mileage may vary.
We also find a decent amount of storage space in here. There are pockets located on the sides of the doors, two cup holders in the middle and a couple of other open compartments behind it. There’s even a small slot that seems to fit the key like a glove, which by the way is looking really nice with that rubberized diamond-like texture. Above the gear lever you’ll find another area to put other miscellaneous items, which is where you can also find the standard 12V socket and a USB-A port for charging and data transfer.
Right in the middle of everything is your infotainment unit. Apart from your standard Bluetooth and radio functions, it also has Android Auto and Apple Carplay capabilities. You’re going to have to keep your phone plugged into the USB port to be able to use these features though. But then again, charging your phone in-car has become a sort of a standard procedure, so no problems there.
The infotainment screen is on the larger side at 8-inches, as opposed to most cars that have screens of about 7-inches or less. This makes it easier to give it a quick glance and concentrate more on driving.
It’s also got a reverse camera built-in, which is nice. Despite its VGA-like quality, the visual steering assistance makes parking feel close to second-nature.
Our only gripe in terms of entertainment would probably be the speaker quality, since bass is heavily lacking. If you’re more into hip-hop, pop, or electronic music, it’s going to be pretty evident. While we do appreciate the Stonic’s cool-looking speaker grilles making the interior feel even more youthful– we wish the sound quality was just as good.
The rear seats are also comfortable and have the same finish as the ones in front. The headroom is a little higher, and there’s just enough legroom, even for those on the taller and larger side. You can even access the trunk by pulling a couple of tabs on the seats. Both can be pulled down so you can access and store more things easily, which is really neat. Dedicated A/C vents at the back are missing, but thankfully the A/C at the front is strong enough to keep everyone in the car cool.
The Kia Stonic is outfitted with a 1.4L four-Cylinder (16 Valve DOHC) engine. It’s actually the same engine used in the Kia Soluto, producing 94hp and 132 Nm of torque for the manual variant and an extra 5hp for the automatic transmission models.
Three variants are available for the Stonic, namely the LX MT, LX AT, and EX AT, all of which share the same engine. For this review, we drove the EX AT.
Our test drive not only included the city, but also through a lot of winding country roads and highways. We also experimented with different driving styles to get a better overall understanding of how the Stonic rides.
Performance isn’t going to blow anyone’s minds away no matter which model you choose. There is a slight delay in acceleration, although we didn’t find that to be much of a problem in urban environments. The steering is also nice and light, which made it easy to maneuver around traffic and tight spaces.
On the highway, the Kia Stonic was surprisingly able to keep up. Albeit it’s not going to be the fastest, but it’s more than capable of handling the task, and so in style. The EX’s 6-speed Automatic transmission makes for an easy ride, but to bring out the Stonic’s full potential, switching to manual mode not only makes the ride more engaging, but it also makes quite the difference in performance. It’s quite a gamer changer when it comes to up-hills and sharp turns.
Coming in and out the corners, the Stonic maintained enough grip. There’s a minimal amount of roll so you won’t be thrown left and right too much, although I wouldn’t be too confident pushing it too much. The suspension on the other hand is on the stiffer side of things, and that might be so it’s able to handle the vehicle’s center of gravity. Cracks and minor road imperfections are going to be fine, but you’re going to want to slow down on speed bumps, as you’ll feel them quite hard otherwise.
The KIA Stonic has a fuel capacity of 43-Liters, and since it shares that same engine as that of the Soluto, fuel efficiency should be somewhat similar. Giving just enough power to the pedals for city driving, we were able to get an average fuel consumption of about 13.2 km/L, which is just right in our opinion. Although in other scenarios it does dip a little more, but that’ll just depend on who’s behind the wheel.
On the highway and more open areas, we got an average of 14.7km/L, while being a little bit more aggressive on the gas will bring you around the 7.8 to 8.5km/L range. And although these numbers show that it can be fuel-efficient, you’ll just have to be careful especially if you’re a little heavy on the gas pedals.
For all it’s worth, the Kia Stonic is a great addition to the crossover community, and we wouldn’t be surprised to spot more of these on the road soon. The eye-catching aesthetics, effortless steering, and value for money make it a good starter vehicle. If that’s any basis for a vehicle of this particular caliber, then Kia really nailed it with this one.
So if you’re looking for a brand-new ride that has spunk, comfort, and one with a reasonably affordable price, then this stylish-crossover would seem like a great option to add to your list.
The all-new Kia Stonic comes in three variants. The LX MT at PHP 675,000, the LX AT at PHP 785,000, and the EX AT PHP 875,000. It also comes with a 5-year warranty with roadside assistance and is readily available for purchase at your nearest KIA showroom. If you don’t want to physically head there yourself, Kia even has this virtual showroom where you can go check everything out from the comfort of your home.
With additional input and editing by Joey Maceda.