Kia South Africa has launched its repositioned Sonet that has an upgraded interior, exterior design styling changes and sees fewer 1,0-litre derivatives in the mix.

The new Kia Sonet continues to feature the 1,5-litre MPI and turbo-charged 1,0-litre GDi petrol engines. The success of the 1,5-litre powertrain has led to a broader variety of models with this engine, while the number of 1,0-litre T-GDi derivatives has been reduced.

The 1.5 MPI three-cylinder engine produces 85 kW of power at 6 300 r/min and 144 Nm of torque at 4 500 r/min, whereas the four-cylinder 1,0-litre T-GDi engine develops 88 kW of power at 6 000 r/min and 172 Nm of torque between 1 500 r/min and 4,000 r/min.

New Kia Sonet front view

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Customers can choose between a 5-speed manual transmission or CVT with the 1,5-litre engine, and a 7-speed dual clutch transmission (DCT) with the 1.0 T-GDi.

Kia has repositioned the Sonet range to provide the best package for customers upgrading within the A-SUV segment, while offering a feature-rich alternative to entry-level B-SUV options.

The Sonet now features a significantly updated exterior design and, according to Gary Scott, CEO of Kia South Africa: "With its sporty, eye-catching design, high-quality features and fun-to-drive dynamics, the Sonet has made Kia the brand of choice for trendy urbanites with big ambitions. Renowned for its engineering, quality finishes and big car attitude, the Sonet remains one of the most desirable small SUVs. With this update, we’re confident its popularity will only grow."

New Kia Sonet three quarter rear view

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In terms of looks, its exterior design follows the ‘Opposites United’ design philosophy, and the design update hones the sporty look, making it bolder and more futuristic. The front features a new light signature, bumper, iteration of Kia’s signature ‘tiger nose’ grille and revised fender and bonnet.

The rear sports redesigned taillights horizontally connected just beneath the rear windscreen.

Ride comfort is handled by a MacPherson strut set-up at the front and a coupled torsion beam axle at the rear.

Inside, it has an 8-inch or 10,25-inch colour touchscreen, depending on the grade. Black cloth and artificial leather seats are standard, while higher specification models feature full artificial leather upholstery.

Kia Sonet Urban interior

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The Sonet’s safety features include anti-lock braking with EBD, Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Hill-start Assist Control (HAC), ISOFIX child seat anchors and dual front crash bags as standard. Central locking with an immobiliser is also standard.

The Sonet LX comes with body-coloured bumpers, 16-inch styled wheels, black cloth upholstery combined with artificial leather, height adjustment for the driver’s seat, power windows, manual air-conditioning and automatic headlight control. An 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system includes Bluetooth connectivity, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, six speakers, and a USB port.

The Sonet EX builds on the LX model with rear parking sensors, rear fog lamps, roof rails, integrated indicator signal lamps, auto-folding side mirrors, and LED lighting upgrades. Inside, a storage box with an armrest, leather-clad steering wheel and gear shifter and conventional cruise control are added.

The Sonet EX Plus adds high-grade features such as a 10,25-inch touchscreen infotainment screen, a 10,25-inch TFT LCD ‘Supervision’ instrument cluster, full artificial leather upholstery, an electrochromatic rearview mirror, and a wireless charging pad. The EX Plus also has a differently styled 16-inch diamond cut alloy wheel.

The new SX grade offers the highest specification, including Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) that has Blind Spot Collision Avoidance Assist, Lane Keep Assist (LKA), Lane Follow Assist (LFA) and Forward Collision Avoidance Assist (FCA).


Kia Sonet 1.5 LX Manual:                               R 366,995

Kia Sonet 1.5 LX CVT:                                   R 391,995

Kia Sonet 1.5 EX CVT:                                   R 411,995

Kia Sonet 1.0 T-GDi EX DCT:                        R 436,995

Kia Sonet 1.5 EX Plus CVT:                           R 454,995

Kia Sonet 1.5 SX CVT:                                   R 484,995

All Sonet models have an Unlimited Kilometre/5-year warranty, inclusive of Roadside Assistance. In addition, a pre-paid 4-year / 60 000 km service plan is included.

Colin Windell