Lyrical Performer
Car India|October 2020
With three engines offered in four different states of tune, five transmission options, and a mile-long list of features, the Kia Sonet is no paper tiger
Sarmad Kadiri

KIA HAVE DONE THE UNIMAGINABLE. THE KOREAN BRAND HAS MANAGED to capture over four per cent market share, having sold one lakh units of the Seltos in less than a year of its launch. To better understand this achievement, do bear in mind that India is not an easy market to please and every global car manufacturer worth their salt has been vying for such a resounding success. Although the Carnival has received a lukewarm response, the Seltos became a major hit, over 10,000 units being sold in August this year, and now Kia Motors India bring the Sonet, their second SUV/crossover to India, which is expected to have an even greater mass appeal.

We got a chance to spend some quality time with the Sonet before its official launch and it was a day well spent. The all-new Kia is being offered with two petrol and one diesel engine options and five transmission options to choose from. However, what surprised us was that the car-maker gave us only their automatic and iMT versions to try out, hinting at what the young, urban Indians are tilting towards. We started with the 1.0-litre turbo-petrol equipped with the trending six-speed iMT (intelligent manual transmission) that promises to deliver hassle-free driving. But does it?

It definitely looks the part. Sample this: the Indian step-wells, the famed tiger’s nose, and even baby elephants — the end result is a very taut and muscular design that looks like nothing else in the compact SUV segment. The front of our top-end variant comes with an interesting looking skid-plate, with twirled-up silver accents making it stand apart from lower trims, which make do with simpler brush metal highlights. It also gets an intricate-looking grille with red inserts and the snooty GT Line badge. And, yes, a family face with the familiar tiger nose grille which, on the Sonet, gets chrome highlights. Other distinctive features include crown-jewel LED headlamps and stylish daytime running lights (DRL) that come with a promise to make your heart skip a beat. If you’re looking for the indicators, well, they come integrated into the LED DRL. Even from the side, the Sonet has a distinct profile with bold wheel-arches and thick C-pillars. There is a glossy black plastic accent on these pillars which gives an impression of an extended rear windscreen, not one of my favourite design elements. The crystal-cut 16-inch alloy wheels look smart, though. The LED tail-lamps have a similar heartbeat-lighting profile and you will also like the small, roof-mounted spoiler which also has brake lights for additional visibility. The rear bumper gets some glossy black highlights painting the sporty theme. What I appreciate the most about the rear design is that it has just a few badges which have been tastefully executed.

Get in and you will instantly notice the well-put-together cabin with a youthful layout and a splash of colours. Some might even recognise bits borrowed from the Seltos, such as the door-handle and even the 10.25-inch touchscreen, the latter being the best in the segment. The cabin of the GT Line screams ‘Premium’ with ample use of piano black accents in combination with good-quality textured and soft plastic. The narrow a-c vents with glossy black surrounds look cool and come with a small display for temperature readouts. Below it are about a dozen buttons to manage the climate control and drive modes which feel well-built and nice to use, but don’t look very pleasing to my eyes. The centre console gets a couple of cup-holders and there’s even a small storage space under the centre arm-rest.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM CAR INDIAView All

GIMME SHELTER

There’ll be times you won’t want a rear-drive V12 convertible on filthy autumn roads — but even the daftest ideas make perfect sense in Ferrari’s 812 GTS

8 mins read
Car India
January 2021

Feeling the Force

With Lewis Hamilton out of action, it was a promotion for Williams Mercedes’ George Russell. However, things weren’t all they were shaping up to be, and an outgoing Sergio Perez took his and Racing Point Mercedes’ first-ever win

2 mins read
Car India
January 2021

Exploring the City of Palaces

We set out on the 2020 edition of the Hyundai Great India Drive in the all-new i20 to explore the southern region of our beautiful country

5 mins read
Car India
January 2021

CURRENT AFFAIRS

In the current scenario of the government promoting electric cars, we spend a few days driving around in the Tata Nexon EV to see how it is to live with

7 mins read
Car India
January 2021

Daily Driving In The Hector

We have been driving the MG Hector, one of the cars in our long-term fleet, for a while now. Here’s what the connected SUV has to offer

3 mins read
Car India
January 2021

Lyrical Performer

With three engines offered in four different states of tune, five transmission options, and a mile-long list of features, the Kia Sonet is no paper tiger

8 mins read
Car India
October 2020

Taming The Thar

We put the 2020 Thar through its paces, both on the road and off it

6 mins read
Car India
October 2020

NEWFANGLED CITY SLICKERS

The new Honda City arrives to face some stiff competition from family sedans across a wide price spectrum, but a key competitor is the equally new Hyundai Verna. We pit the two 1,497-cc petrol manual rivals against each other

5 mins read
Car India
October 2020

Light Work of Hard Trails

The Compass Trailhawk is the most o -road-ready SUV in Jeep’s Compass line-up. We put it to the test

5 mins read
Car India
October 2020

Full Gasly in the Temple of Speed

Monza always throws up a storm or two and, just as it did 12 years ago, a Faenza-based car took to the top step of the podium

2 mins read
Car India
October 2020
RELATED STORIES

Region To Region

Region To Region

10+ mins read
Musky Hunter
February/March 2021

YOGA & PEACE

DEEPAK CHOPRA speaks with DAAJI about the role Yoga has to play in bringing about world peace. This is an excerpt from their conversation broadcast on International Day of Peace, September 21, 2020. That documentary is available at https://heartfulness.org/en/international-day-of-peace/.

6 mins read
Heartfulness eMagazine
January 2021

Create the habit of meditation

CHIRAG KULKARNI, Co-Founder and CMO of Medly Pharmacies in the USA, speaks with RISHIKA SHARMA about creating a regular meditation practice, so as to make it a habit. He also shares how meditation has benefited both his personal and professional life.

7 mins read
Heartfulness eMagazine
January 2021

SHIA'S PRIVATE TEMPLE OF DOOM!

Indiana Jones gig derailed by abuse scandal

2 mins read
Globe
January 11, 2021

Let's Dish

"Food Raconteur” Ashok Nageshwaran wants to tell you a story.

2 mins read
DesignSTL
January/February 2021

THE MAKING OF A MODEL MINORITY

Indian Americans rarely stop to ask why our entrance into American society has been so rapid—or to consider what we have in common with other nonwhite Americans.

10+ mins read
The Atlantic
January - February 2021

Interconnectedness

In 2017, DR. VANDANA SHIVA spoke with KIM HUGHES about the sacredness of the Earth, the work she has been doing to bring awareness and change in the field of sustainable agriculture, and the importance of understanding our interconnectedness with Nature, and how we can change the way we eat.

8 mins read
Heartfulness eMagazine
December 2020

DIAMONDS - A Luxury Gem Steeped in Fact & Fable

The diamond is one fabled gemstone! For example, google “Hope Diamond” to see all the legends associated with just this one stone said to bring misfortune to its owners.

2 mins read
Rock&Gem Magazine
January 2021

Women's World

Brown Sugaa and Medusa

2 mins read
Born To Ride Southeast Magazine
December 2020

Women's World

Brown Sugaa and Medusa

2 mins read
Born To Ride Florida
December 2020