Having debuted as an almost production ready concept at the Delhi Auto Expo in February, reports from India have confirmed that the Kia Sonet will be debuting on 7 August before arriving on dealer lots from September.
As concept, the Volvo XC40-like Sonet will be positioned below the Seltos and rival the likes of the Ford EcoSport, Hyundai Venue, Toyota C-HR, Mazda CX-3 and Volkswagen T-Cross with motivation set to come from a normally aspirated 61kW/115Nm 1.2-litre petrol, the 88kW/172Nm 1.0 T-GDI from the Venue and the 85kW/260Nm 1.5 CRDI turbodiesel used in the Seltos. Depending on the engine, a choice of three transmissions will be made available; a six-speed manual, a conventional six-speed automatic and a seven-speed dual-clutch.
Despite the interior being withheld at the concept’s debut, reports are it will come with a 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system, an upmarket Bose sound system, panoramic roof, wireless smartphone charger and more than likely a digital instrument cluster display. What is unknown though is that the Sonet appears certain for South Africa given that it is setup for right-hand-drive and built at the same factory in Anantapur as the Seltos.
“[In the Sonet’s segment], you also have [the Ford] EcoSport which sells in big volumes in South Africa and we know that consumers would rather have a smaller SUV than a bigger hatch or sedan,” Kia Motors South Africa CEO Gary Scott confirmed earlier this year at the Seltos’ local market unveiling.
“When will it come? That is debatable, but hopefully this year. Where will the price point be? Hard to say but I would cheeky estimate it to be a small premium over Venue”.
In India, the Sonet is expected to retail from Rs 700 000 (R154 349), but in accordance with Scott’s comments, expect a starting price of around R290 000 to R300 000 given that the entry-level Venue Motion now retails from R285 500.