A Kia what now? Meet the Sonet, a brand new tiny crossover being launched for India that Kia says will quickly be out there in different world markets. It isn’t solely clear if the U.S. is amongst these markets, nevertheless it appears unlikely given Kia’s well-fleshed-out small-SUV lineup right here. The Sonet is kind of the identical measurement as Hyundai’s Venue—which is bought in America—which means it’d overlap closely with the Kia Soul and, to some extent, the recently introduced Seltos that sneaks in between the subcompact Soul and the compact Sportage.

What Is the Kia Sonet?

The Sonet is a sub-subcompact SUV that appears kind of like a squished mashup of a Sportage and a Seltos, with dinky little wheels and a bubbly roof. It’s cute in the way in which most small issues are cute, and fascinating particulars abound, from the body-color strip behind the rear doorways that wraps over the black roof to the deeply sculpted physique sides. Lesser trim ranges get body-color roofs, however reduce traces outline the identical roll-hoop-style factor highlighted on the GT-spec Sonets.

That applies doubly to the inside, which has cool vertically oriented air vents, a big out there 10.3-inch central show, and large digital readouts for velocity and local weather controls. The gauge cluster, specifically, has a nifty binnacle design with a 4.2-inch display screen on one aspect that may show navigation directions, plus wraparound readouts for gas stage, engine temperature, and the tachometer.




A Gaggle of Transmissions

For one thing so small, the Sonet certain presents a bevy of powertrain choices. There are two gasoline engines—a 1.2-liter 4 and a 1.0-liter turbo—and a 1.5-liter diesel. Kia went nuts with the Sonet’s transmission choices, furnishing 5 (!) of the issues: A five-speed handbook, a six-speed handbook, a segment-exclusive (in India) six-speed computerized for the diesel engine, a seven-speed dual-clutch computerized, and the identical i-MT clutch-pedal-less manual launched within the India-market Hyundai Venue. That final transmission simply is essentially the most fascinating of the bunch, because it retains a conventional handbook shifter however lacks a clutch pedal; shifting the shift lever initiates an automatic clutching course of.

Kia doesn’t specify, nevertheless it appears as if the Sonet is front-wheel-drive, just like the Venue. With automotive security a rising matter of curiosity in India, particularly amongst low-cost autos, the Sonet boasts a rash of airbags, child-seat anchors, anti-lock brakes, and digital stability management. And whereas the Kia is unquestionably going to be low cost, it doesn’t look it, which can swimsuit it nicely if and when it spreads to different markets. Will it come Stateside? If Kia sees room beneath the Soul, possibly, however that’s a skinny slice of the market and the corporate signifies it has no plans to take action on the moement. The Soul begins at $18,610, so the Sonet must land within the $15,000 house to make any sense, however by no means say by no means in a market that may’t get sufficient crossover SUVs.

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