Test all limits in the Nissan Navara
Test all limits in the Nissan Navara

Kia changes its tune with the new Sonet

Kia has just introduced the new Sonet to the South African market, and it features a significantly updated exterior design, an upgraded interior, and a repositioned range in the highly competitive A-SUV segment of the market.

Attractive SUV styling

The design update to the Sonet sees the inherently sporty design being given an even bolder and more futuristic expression that is thoroughly modern, sporty and stylish.

At the front, the new Sonet gains a new light signature, a new front bumper, an updated iteration of Kia’s signature ‘tiger nose’ grille, and a revised fender and bonnet. At the rear, its sporty, wide stance is reiterated through redesigned taillights that are horizontally connected just beneath the rear windscreen, giving the new Sonet a new rear light signature that complements the redesigned tailgate and rear bumper.

These changes have not made any impact on the Sonet’s dimensions, and it retains a height of 1 610mm, length of 4 110mm and width of 1 790mm. The wheelbase measures 2 500mm.

Depending on the grade, two different 16-inch wheel design options are available. As part of its refresh, a variety of colours are also offered, including Sparkling Silver, Gravity Grey, Glacier White Pearl, Aurora Black Pearl, Intense Red, Imperial Blue and Pewter Olive.

An interior to get comfy in

Inside, Sonet retains its high-quality, high-technology interior, with the familiar layout left largely unchanged. Two infotainment screen sizes are on offer – an 8-inch colour touchscreen and a 10.25-inch integrated colour touchscreen – depending on the grade. All of the vehicle’s important controls remain intuitively positioned to reduce instances of distracted driving. A combination of black cloth and artificial leather upholstered seats are standard, while higher-specification models are fitted as standard with artificial leather upholstery.

What’s cooking under the bonnet?

The new Kia Sonet retains the naturally aspirated 1.5-litre MPI and turbocharged 1.0-litre GDi petrol engines of before. However, the popularity of the 1.5-litre powertrain has resulted in the range offering a broader variety of models with this engine, with the number of derivatives powered by the 1.0-litre T-GDi reduced.

The 1.5 MPI three-cylinder engine produces 85kW of power at 6 300r/min and 144Nm torque at 4 500r/min, while the four-cylinder 1.0-litre T-GDi engine develops 88kW of power at 6 000r/min and 172Nm of torque between 1 500r/min and 4 000r/min. Customers have a choice between a five-speed manual transmission or CVT when opting for the 1.5-litre engine, or a seven-speed dual clutch transmission (DCT) when opting for the 1.0 T-GDi.

The revised range

There are now six models spread over four specification levels in the new Sonet range. All offer great value for money without compromising on standard features.

LX models come standard with body-coloured bumpers and trim for the electrically adjustable side mirrors, as well as a new 16-inch styled whee. Inside, black cloth upholstery combined with artificial leather is standard, with height adjustment for the driver’s seat. The steering wheel can be adjusted for rake, with the second-row seatbacks split 60:40 to create more or less cargo space as required. Electric windows are on offer all around, with manual air-conditioning as standard. Automatic headlight control (with escort and ‘welcome home’ functionality) provides illumination. An 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system takes pride of place on the dashboard and incorporates a reverse camera. The infotainment system offers Bluetooth connectivity with voice recognition, as well as wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Six speakers are standard, as is a USB port in the front (with additional charging ports front and rear).

The EX builds on this foundation, carrying over the same exterior styling while adding rear parking sensors. Exterior enhancements include the addition of rear fog lamps and roof rails, while the electric side mirrors gain integrated indicator signal lamps and an auto folding functionality. The high-mounted stop lamp in the rear spoiler, the rear combination lights, the positioning lamps and the front daytime running lights are also updated from bulb to LED. Inside, a storage box with integrated armrest is added between the two front seats, while the steering wheel and gear shifter gains leather cladding. Drivers also gain the benefit of conventional cruise control.

The EX Plus adds a range of high-grade additional features to the extensive EX grade specification. Most notably, this includes an upgrade of the 8-inch touchscreen infotainment screen to a 10.25-inch unit integrated with a 10.25-inch TFT LCD instrument cluster. EX Plus models also gain full artificial leather upholstery, an electrochromatic rearview mirror and a wireless charging pad for mobile devices. On the outside, EX Plus models boast differently styled 16-inch diamond cut alloy wheel.

The SX grade is new to the Sonet range and presents the highest possible specification available. It builds on the EX Plus package through the additional of a range of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) which includes Blind Spot Collision Avoidance Assist, Lane Keep Assist (LKA), Lane Follow Assist (LFA) and Forward Collision Avoidance Assist (FCA).

Model line-up and pricing

The new Kia Sonet LX and EX range is on sale now, with EX Plus and SX derivatives available from late July 2024.

  • Kia Sonet 1.5 LX Manual: R366 995
  • Kia Sonet 1.5 LX CVT: R391 995
  • Kia Sonet 1.5 EX CVT: R411 995
  • Kia Sonet 1.0 T-GDi EX DCT: R436 995
  • Kia Sonet 1.5 EX Plus CVT: R454 995
  • Kia Sonet 1.5 SX CVT: R484 995

*All Sonet models come standard with Kia’s industry-leading unlimited-kilometre/5-year warranty, inclusive of roadside assistance. In addition, a prepaid 4-year/60 000km service plan is also included. A variety of plan extension options are available at point of sale through Kia Financial Services.

Like this article?

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on Linkdin
Share on Pinterest

You might also like

Give them bread!

A freshly baked bread is probably one of the most popular and tastiest side dishes at any braai. LIANA REINERS sniffed out a few easy

Read More »

Give them bread!

A freshly baked bread is probably one of the most popular and tastiest side dishes at any braai. LIANA REINERS sniffed out a few easy

Read More »