The Kia Stonic small SUV is due to go on sale before the end of the year, priced to compete with its arch-rival, the Nissan Juke, which costs from £14,590. The first pictures of the car have leaked online ahead of the official launch later today.
The leaked images of the B-SUV machine appeared on Spanish website Autodato. They confirm the Stonic takes styling cues from the Kia Rio hatchback. There is also a similarity with the similarly sized Hyundai Kona, which was launched by Kia's sister brand last week.
It will go on sale in October, with prices and specs to be confirmed nearer to that time. It’s tipped to share engines with the Kia Rio family hatchback, given that the two car use the same platform.
This means 1.0-litre three-cylinder, 1.25-litre and 1.4-litre four-cylinder petrol engines, and a 1.4-litre diesel for higher-end cars, and specs ranging from entry-level 1 to range-topping 3 and GT-Line cars.
Kia claims that the Stonic offers a level of customisation options unprecedented on any Kia model before it, on both the interior and exterior. Design sketches released by Kia reveal the car’s chunky, Rio-inspired look and intricate rear light clusters.
The front-end design is far removed from that of the Kia Sportage, suggesting a different aesthetic direction for the brand’s future model. Small SUVs are now a key market for volume car makers, so it’s likely that the Stonic will become one of Kia’s best-sellers when launched in October.
The Stonic, the name of which was unearthed by Autocar in trademark filings back in January, won’t be available four-wheel drive anywhere in its range, despite its position as a more serious SUV than rivals’ soft-roaders.