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Kia Stonic 2021: small SUV hits Australia aiming to match Seltos success

1 month ago

The new Kia Stonic takes the fight directly to the Mazda CX-3 and Hyundai Kona – small SUVs that are a perfect fit for the cut and thrust of city driving.


Launching this week slightly behind schedule due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 Kia Stonic has arrived in Australia in three-strong range priced from $22,990 driveaway.

The new Kia Stonic is a small SUV that will compete in the ‘light’ crossover segment locally alongside the dominant Mazda CX-3 – a vehicle that accounted for a whopping 49 percent of sales in 2020 amongst the smallest SUVs on the market.

Kia Stonic 2021 Sport driving
The Stonic slots in beneath the uber-popular Kia Seltos in Australia.

Particularly small crossovers have found plenty of buyers in Australia thanks to their higher driving position and tight dimensions that make them easy to park, but commanding enough to take on a country road with confidence.

Size-wise, the Stonic sits in something of a sweet spot – at 4.14 metres in length, it’s 10cm longer than the tiny Hyundai Venue with which it shares some components, but usefully shorter than the 4.28m Mazda CX-3.

The new Stonic slots in beneath the popular Seltos small SUV in Kia’s lineup. Three types of Stonic will be available to Australian buyers, with the base Stonic S and Stonic Sport sharing one engine, while the Stonic GT-Line ushers in a flagship motor.

Kia Stonic 2021 GT-line front
Pictured: the Seltos GT-Line.

The Stonic S ($22,990 driveaway) and mid-tier Stonic Sport ($24,990 driveaway) run a 1.4-litre naturally aspirated petrol four-cylinder engine that produces 74kW of power and 133Nm of torque running to the front wheels via a standard six-speed manual transmission, or an optional six-speed automatic that will set you back $1,000.

But it’s the up-spec Stonic GT-Line ($29,990 driveaway) that offers the most desirable engine. While the 1.0-litre turbo three-cylinder in the GT-Line is a small unit, the turbocharger allows it produces a more flexible 172Nm of torque in a long plateau from 1,500-4,000rpm. 

The turbo Stonic GT-Line achieves 5.4L/100km and emits 125g/km of CO2, Kia claims, while they claim that the non-turbo Stonic Sport consumes 6.7L/100km and emits 155g/km.

Kia Stonic 2021 GT-Line interior
A tidy interior is centred around a standard eight-inch touchscreen.

The non-turbo 1.4-litre petrol needs 4,000rpm on the clock before it will make its lower peak of 133Nm of torque. Like the Sport, the GT-Line is front-wheel-drive, but the only available transmission is a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic.

With a 352-litre boot in five seat configuration, rising to 1,155 litres in two-seat mode, the Stonic will be one of the more practical vehicles in this segment. The Mazda CX-3 offers a paltry 264-litre boot, while the Volkswagen T-Cross eclipses the Stonic with 385 litres.

So, what do you get for your money?

Kia Stonic 2021 Sport rear
All Stonic grades are front-wheel-drive, but they are raised in height over the Rio.

All three Stonic grades get the following safety features as standard:

  • Forward autonomous emergency braking (AEB) with pedestrian and cyclist detection
  • Lane keeping assistance with lane following functionality
  • Driver attention alert
  • Reversing camera and rear parking sensors
  • Six airbags
  • Two ISOFIX baby seat positions

You can’t get features like reversing AEB, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert or junction AEB on the Stonic at any price.

The entry-level Stonic S ($22,990 driveaway) includes the following features:

  • 15-inch steel wheels with hubcaps
  • Eight-inch touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Bluetooth with multiple device connections
  • Six speakers
  • Automatic halogen headlights with halogen daytime running lights (DRLs)
  • Heated and electrically-folding mirrors
  • Cloth seats
  • Roof racks
  • Space-saver spare wheel
Kia Stonic 2021 GT-line rear
The GT-Line is available with four optional two-tone paint schemes.

The Stonic Sport ($24,990 driveaway) adds a number of extras:

  • Keyless smart entry to the front doors and boot
  • Push button start
  • 17-inch alloy wheels finished in a silver colour
  • Integrated satellite navigation (deletes wireless CarPlay and Android Auto)
  • Wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • DAB+ digital radio
  • Tricot cloth seat upholstery

As well as the turbo engine, stepping up to the Stonic GT-Line ($29,990) adds the following:

  • Silver and black turbine 17-inch alloy wheels
  • GT-Line body kit, radiator grille and rear diffuser
  • LED projector headlights with LED DRLs and rear lights
  • Optional black roof (for white, red, blue and yellow cars)
  • Sunroof (except with two-tone paints)
  • Black gloss mirrors
  • Premium seat upholstery
  • Satin silver and carbon-look interior trim
  • GT-Line sports steering wheel and alloy pedals
  • Single-zone climate control with auto defogger
  • Automatic wipers
  • Electrochromatic auto-dimming rear view mirror
  • Selectable drive modes (Eco, Normal and Sport)
Kia Stonic 2021 GT-Line boot
The 352 litre boot eclipses the cargo room of a Mazda CX-3.

The Kia Stonic is available in seven colours – white, silver, grey, black, red, blue, and yellow. On the GT-Line, white, yellow, blue and red cars can be paired with a black roof – though that results in the standard sunroof being deleted.

Like all Kias, the Stonic is covered by a seven-year warranty in Australia, while servicing is also capped in price for seven years.

Kia Stonic 2021: prices in Australia

Kia say the following all-inclusive driveaway prices are permanent for the Australian market.

  • Stonic S manual: $22,990 driveaway
  • Stonic S auto: $23,990 driveaway
  • Stonic Sport manual: $24,990 driveaway
  • Stonic Sport auto: $25,990 driveaway
  • Stonic GT-Line auto: $29,990 driveaway