New 2018 Kia StonicKia at last has a small SUV rival to the Nissan Juke, Renault Captur, Peugeot 2008 and Vauxhall Mokka X – and the new car, which is now on sale, has been priced from £16,295. 

That’s a little more than entry-level models from rivals, but Kia isn’t worried, because even the ‘base’ Stonic is actually a mid-line ‘2’ variant, and thus comes with rather more standard equipment than some of its competitors. 

The entry-level Stonic 2 1.4 ISG duly includes as standard a haul including air con, 17-inch alloys, rear parking sensors, cornering lights, LED running lights plus Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity via smartphone apps – it’s controlled through the standard 7.0-inch colour touchscreen (which also has standard DAB radio). 

Kia’s also rolling out a higher-spec First Edition, a launch special that’s loaded with equipment. It has keyless go, climate control part-faux-leather upholstery (yes, they admit it’s not ‘real’ leather…), rear privacy glass, LED rear lights heated front seats, USB sockets in the front and the back, and a fancier D-shaped steering wheel.

The First Edition also gets autonomous emergency braking and lane departure warning, high-beam assist and rear blind spot detection. Kia’s given it two-tone paintwork as well: choose to have the roof, door mirrors and rear spoiler either in black, lime green, red or orange.

New 2018 Kia Stonic

Colours? Standard on the First Edition is Sienna brown with a black roof, and the 2 comes in Clear White, Blaze red, Graphite and Midnight black. The First Edition can be had in Clear white, Blaze Red or Zest yellow with a black roof, Midnight black with a red roof, Graphite with a lime green roof, or Urban grey and Satin silver with an orange roof. Got that?

Kia Stonic: the supermini SUV

New 2018 Kia Stonic

Kia cheerily admits the Stonic is derived from the Rio, because buyers in this sector “are moving into B-SUVs from superminis, small MPVs and three-door compact hatchbacks”. It’s 4,140mm long, marginally up on the Rio, and 70mm taller overall, with a 42mm ride height. Despite this stance, all versions are front-wheel drive: just 8 percent of buyers in this sector go for all-wheel drive, says Kia.

The base engine is a 98hp 1.4-litre that crawls to 62mph in 12.2 seconds and averages 51.4mpg. The alternative 1.0-litre T-GDI three-cylinder turbo will thus likely be a better bet; it costs £700 more, ups power to 118hp and cuts the 0-62mph time to 9.9 seconds. It averages 56.5mpg.

If economy is all, and you’re not deterred by the current anti-diesel vibes, the 1.6-litre CRDi averages 67.3mpg, produces 108hp and does 0-62mph in 10.9 seconds. All models have a six-speed manual gearbox

Kia Stonic: UK ambitions

New 2018 Kia Stonic

This is an important new model for Kia, which still has its sights set on strong growth in the UK. The Sportage is already its best-selling car, an enviable result for Kia UK given the profit margins in this £25,000-plus model. Having a smaller alternative will give it added firepower in the showrooms. 

Kia’s hoping to sell around 8,000-10,000 Stonic in the UK, out of a total of 100,000 sales across Europe. It’s thus a significant introduction, particularly as the appeal of the Rio (and many over superminis) starts to fade. Chuck in a seven-year, 100,000-mile warranty, Kia dealers will no doubt add, and what’s not to like?

Kia Stonic SUV: prices

Model Price
Stonic 2 1.4 ISG £16,295
Stonic 2 1.0 T-GDi ISG £16,995
Stonic 2 1.6 CRDi ISG £17,795
Stonic First Edition 1.0 T-GDi ISG £19,695
Stonic First Edition 1.6 CRDi ISG £20,495