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2020 Kia Stonic small SUV gains MHEV tech, coming to Aus late 2020

John Law

Kia’s small SUV assault continues with the new Stonic, a direct competitor to the Hyundai Venue, and it’s confirmed that a mild hybrid system will be on board, at least in Europe.

The compact crossover will slot in below the Seltos and arrive in Australia later this year, though exact engine options for our market are yet to be confirmed.

However, what is confirmed is that wireless Apple Carplay and Android Auto functionality will be standard, something usually reserved for the big German marques.

2020 Kia Stonic Blue Front
The Stonic is coming downunder later this year.

Outside the Stonic gets more customisation with this update in the shape of two-tone paintwork and some new alloy wheel options, though of course, it will be the first time this vehicle is sold in Australia.

It’s a popular market segment that is thriving at the moment, and the Stonic’s technology is going to have to be impressive to compete with the likes of the Hyundai Venue, Volkswagen T-Cross and Mazda CX-3

Another intriguing slice of the Stonic is the updated powertrain. Starting with a turbocharged one-litre three-cylinder T-GDi engine off-time, Kia has added a 48-volt mild-hybrid system which will allow the engine to perform start-stop cycles even faster and enable ‘sailing’.

2020 Kia Stonic Blue Yellow
The Stonic looks a but like a Rio from this angle.

Presumably, this cuts fuel consumption, but Kia has not quantified the savings. On offer will be outputs of 74kW or 88kW, depending on the state of tune.

That’s sent through either a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox or a freshly developed six-speed manual. Kia has developed an electronically activated clutch which works in tandem with the stop-start system for greater efficiency.

Kia will also sell the Stonic with the older one-litre turbocharged three-cylinder without the 48-volt system. The offer of an old-school naturally aspirated 1.2-litre four-cylinder with 62kW will likely be on the table for Australia.

2020 Kia Stonic Blue Interior
Kia’s interiors are surprisingly classy for the price.

Inside Kia boasts an eight-inch touchscreen, dual Bluetooth connections, the previously mentioned wireless smartphone mirroring and voice recognition. Also included is connectivity through the brands UVO app, which integrates fuel prices, weather updates and more.

As for the design, inside the Stonic will be familiar to those who have spent time in contemporary Kia products. A leather-wrapped wheel and that tablet-style screen can be set off by further colour customisation – blue highlights are pictured.

Active safety systems like active lane-keep assist and adaptive cruise will undoubtedly make it onto upper spec models. We hope now-necessary safety kit like rear cross-traffic alert and AEB with pedestrian and cyclist detection will make it onto every Stonic that comes to Australia.

2020 Kia Stonic Blue interior
And it looks like there will be colour customisation inside, too.

Kia Australia has confirmed that the updated Stonic will be arriving in late 2020, however exact details as to which engines and when they will land are still up in the air.