The Kia Sonet, closely related to Hyundai Venue, perfectly embodies the sub-compact SUV concept with its stylish design and substantial features.
Compact SUVs have experienced remarkable popularity in the United States, ranking high among sought-after vehicle segments after pickup trucks. Combining size, versatility, and practicality, C-SUVs provide spacious and comfortable cabin space, ample cargo room, and a raised seating position that enhances road confidence. This adaptability attracts a diverse range of buyers, including families, young professionals, and adventure enthusiasts.
Kia has introduced excellent compact SUVs like the Seltos in the U.S., amassing a strong customer fan base. While the Kia Sonet hasn’t yet arrived in the U.S., it has been successful in international markets such as India, the Middle East, and Latin America.
Originally developed for the Indian market in 2020, the Kia Sonet shares similarities with the Hyundai Venue and fits below the Seltos in Kia’s lineup. The Sonet boasts an aggressive appearance with Kia’s signature ‘Tiger Nose’ grille, prominent headlamps housing LED DRLs, and a connecting light bar for the LED tail lamps.
Considering the possibility of introducing the Sonet to the U.S. market, the subcompact crossover SUV is built on the Hyundai-Kia K2 platform, shared with the Hyundai Venue. Its diverse engine options cater to various preferences, including a 1.2-Liter naturally aspirated gasoline engine with 82 horsepower and 84 pound-feet of torque, a 1.0-liter turbo gasoline engine producing 118 horsepower and 126 pound-feet of torque, and a 1.5-liter diesel engine delivering 99 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque.
Kia offers multiple transmission choices, such as a five-speed manual, a six-speed manual, a six-speed torque converter automatic, a seven-speed DCT, and a six-speed iMT. Additionally, a six-speed automatic option is available for the diesel engine.
The exterior design of the Kia Sonet reflects a premium feel with meticulous touches throughout. The top-of-the-line GT Line variant adds striking red inserts for a dynamic look. The grille features a sleek and chrome-free design, while the LED-equipped headlamps provide a modern and sharp aesthetic. The fog lamps come in elegant piano black housings.
The side profile highlights muscular elements, with eye-catching 16″ alloy wheels. Kia’s exceptional craftsmanship in wheel design elevates the overall appeal of the vehicle. The Sonet’s exterior design combines premium elements and rugged charm, particularly in the GT Line variant, offering a visually captivating and distinct option in the compact SUV segment.
Inside, the Kia Sonet boasts a premium ambiance. Depending on the trim, you can enjoy a dual-tone interior or a sleek full black theme with striking red stitching in the GT Line variant. The ergonomic and user-friendly dashboard design resembles that of the Seltos, creating a sense of familiarity. The front seats provide exceptional comfort and ample space, featuring well-designed bolsters for adequate support during long journeys. However, the rear seats may lack sufficient space for taller passengers, though legroom is comparable to the Venue.
The Kia Sonet includes an impressive 10.25-inch HD screen on its dashboard, offering UVO connectivity options with live traffic information and OTA map updates, enhancing navigation capabilities. A wireless smartphone charger with cooling function ensures convenient charging on the go.
Notably, the Sonet features an Air purifier with Virus protect technology, reflecting Kia’s commitment to passenger well-being and comfort. The vehicle offers a comprehensive feature set, including a seven-speaker Bose sound system, ventilated front seats, Tire Pressure Monitoring System, and cruise control.
While the Sonet doesn’t include a 360-degree camera, it boasts a one-touch sunroof for added luxury. Despite spatial constraints, Kia ensures passenger comfort with thoughtful amenities like dedicated AC vents and a USB charging socket. The Sonet’s premium interior and passenger comfort make it an appealing choice in the compact SUV segment.
The Sonet’s success lies in replicating the winning formula of its larger sibling, the Seltos, in a more compact form. It shares almost all the Seltos’ features, many of which are rare at this price point. The diesel automatic variant, in particular, stands out as the best powertrain, offering a smooth and efficient performance, making the Sonet feel more premium and larger.
Despite its strengths, the Sonet has some limitations, including its back seat lacking spaciousness compared to some rivals and a slightly choppy ride. Additionally, the handling dynamics may not be as engaging for some drivers. Nonetheless, the Kia Sonet strikes an impressive balance among compact SUVs, offering a loaded feature set and outstanding versatility. For those seeking a compact vehicle with various capabilities and abundant features, the Sonet remains a top choice.