Just like every other manufacturer that has gotten into the compact crossover game, Kia foresees that there will be huge growth in the segment (beyond what we've already seen) by 2020. In Europe alone there are 1.1 million B-segment SUV crossovers sold annually, and that is expected to double over the next 3 years. For this reason, Kia has launched the Stonic- their all-new contender in this fiercely competitive segment.
Because of the high popularity on Europe, Kia has decided to design it there in conjunction with their Korean design studio. It's a sharp looking car, and it is also most likely based on the same platform as the Hyundai Kona given that they will be fighting in the same segment. Shoulder-room in the Stonic is said to be class leading, along with bootspace that can fit 352 litres of luggage and a two-step boot floor.
Engine options are as you would expect in this segment. There's a 1.0-litre T-GDI turbocharged petrol engine as the option of choice, with 120 PS on tap, along with a 1.25-litre and a 1.4-litre petrol option, and a 1.6-litre diesel engine if buyers perfer an oil burner (which also happens to be the cleanest of the range). While the 1.0-litre T-GDI engine is similar to that of the Hyundai Kona, the Kona seems to have larger engine options available along with a 6-speed automatic transmission, while the Stonic seems to be available only in manual for now. The car's chassis and dynamics were tuned to suit European expectations with "immediate handling responses" and "stable ride" being goals in the development phase.
Ergonomics and technology are the centrepiece of the European-centric cabin, with plenty of personalization options on the inside to match the vivid colour options on the outside. Among the various infotainment systems implemented, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are both integrated for a more seamless experience. There are a number of options available like keyless entry and automatic cruise control, but naturally our local variants (if they come) will be offered with more specific trim levels.