May 31, 2021 By Kevin C. Limjoco Photos by Andréas N. Delos Reyes

2021 Kia Stonic EX

X-factor Frugality

Though dimensionally almost equal to a 2nd generation Kia Soul, the all-new Kia Stonic, despite having a longer wheelbase, is a slightly smaller and lighter subcompact crossover. To be clear, the Stonic does not outright replace the successful Soul model, however in markets like ours, it is the more affordable option.

It is another strong design from Peter Schreyer but with more subtlety.  For a high-quality well-built and affordable crossover, the Stonic, in its top-spec EX variant seen here in Prime Red with painted gloss black roof, is compelling. I’m glad that the modest 1.4-liter gasoline engine was mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission so you can maximize the powerplant. Kia Philippines did the best they could to balance equipment levels to make the Stonic model line-up as affordable as possible with reduced compromises, but the EX is definitely the model that I would recommend as it has the very best value proposition in the range.

Aside from the aesthetic nuances, the EX-model comes with rear disc brakes instead of drum, it uses a smart key with ignition button, it comes with additional stability control and hill-start assist, LED DRL, and rear parking sensors for P90,000.00 more than the LX automatic variant.

Frustratingly, the Stonic is not the “Speed-Tonic” that it looks like. It could have been, but it is not a hot hatch. Instead, it is a good-looking, safe, and fuel-efficient daily commuter. The comfort levels are definitely above average and the fit and finish is good. I really wished that Kia Philippines would have included standard LED projector headlights though for the EX-model instead of the halogen units. It rides a little taller than the larger Hyundai Kona. And its most formidable direct competition is the new Hyundai Venue 1.6 GLS. The good-looking alloys are wrapped with 195/60R16 89H Nexen NPriz AH8 tires.

The standard 8-inch infotainment system functioned fairly well with the inclusion of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto but the 6-speakers lacked depth and range. The steering wheel comes with good remote switchgear but does not have cruise control.  Ultimately, the Kia Stonic is still the best in its class but with the narrowest of margins now as the segment has become even more competitive.

Specifications

Engine

Engine Inline-4
Displacement 1368 cc
Cylinder Head dohc 16V
Fuel Injector Multipoint Injection, D-CVVT
Max Power (bhp @ rpm) 98 bhp @ 6000 rpm
Max Torque (lb/ft @ rpm) 97 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm
Transmission 6-speed AT

Performance

Top Speed 176 km/h (110 mph)
0-100 km/h | 0-62 mph 10.2 sec.

Fuel consumption and CO2 emissions

Fuel Milage (km/l) 10.8 km/L Overall

Ratings

Price as Tested (PHP) PhP 925,000.00
What's Great Well designed, fairly balanced packaging, versatility and comfort, smooth and efficient.
What's Not So Halogen headlights, no cruise control, and a tepid audio system. Wish it had the 1.6-liter turbodiesel
C! Editors Rating 9/10
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