Article by: Steven Allen.
Kia has upgraded the Kia Stonic compact SUV for the 2021 model year by adding mild-hybrid technology and driver assistance kit. The 2021 version will also benefit from new cabin technology and some personalisation options to make the Kia Stonic more personal to the driver.
But the biggest difference in the new Kia Stonic is the EcoDynamics+ mild-hybrid petrol powertrain. Using a 48-volt electrical system linked to the starter motor, the vehicle can harvest energy that is usually lost when braking or coasting. With this, it can redeploy that power to help supplement the engine's torque or increase the amount of time the engine is switched off.
With help from distribution, the 1.0L petrol engine can be tuned to produce 99 or 118 bhp and comes with a choice of either a six-speed manual or a seven-speed automatic.
If you opt for an automatic, this comes with a 'clutch-by-wire' system that electronically actuates the clutch, allowing the mild-hybrid system to turn the engine off earlier.
At the same time, Kia has also upgraded the current petrol engines, including the entry-level 83 bhp 1.2L to make them more eco-friendly. And for customers choosing the 99 bhp 1.0L non-hybrid petrol version, the standard gearbox is now a six-speed manual rather than the old five-speed gearbox.
Kia has also upgraded the interior, giving it an 8" touchscreen infotainment system as standard which offers 'Phase II' UVO Connect telematics system.
The new services include a host of features such as live traffic information, weather forecasts, fuel prices and details about parking in the area. The driver assistance systems are also updated to include autonomous emergency braking to detect an impending collision with another vehicle, pedestrian or cyclist.
A lane-following system will keep the car central within its lane while a blind-spot monitoring system maintains a third eye on spots the driver cannot see.
Not much has changed outside, with the design remaining the same, although there are some newly designed LED headlights.
Kia is offering buyers more personalisation options such as some new 16" alloy wheels, Storm Grey & Azure Blue paint jobs and the addition of Zest yellow paint for the roof to set the car off against its competitors.
UK buyers will have to wait until the last quarter of 2020 to buy their new car with the new UK specifications. Model line-ups and pricing will be announced nearer the time.