Two weeks ahead of its official global premiere, Kia Motors India today revealed the first official rendering of the new production-ready Kia Sonet compact SUV. The Sonet concept was unveiled for the first time at the 2020 Delhi Auto Expo.
Kia’s rendering of the Sonet emphasise the brand’s dynamic DNA, merging emotive design with a premium and youthful appeal to create a strong on-road presence. The bold design of the compact SUV combines Kia’s signature design traits, such as the prominent ‘tiger nose’ grille, with a three-dimensional ‘stepwell’ geometric grille mesh for a strong visual impression. Its aggressive stance indicates its rugged appeal, while showcasing the car’s India-inspired influences in Kia’s signature grille.
“With the new Kia Sonet, we had the ambition to give this compact SUV a strong and muscular character found only in much larger vehicles. With this in mind, we have designed what we believe is a great SUV with a uniquely sporty attitude, a confident stance and a dynamic silhouette. We also gave the new Kia Sonet an uncompromising attention to detail and a selection of colors and materials that could have only be inspired by the great cultural heritage that our designers found all over India,” said Karim Habib, Senior Vice-President and Head of Kia Design Center at Kia Motors Corporation. “As a whole we believe the new Kia Sonet will be a fantastic SUV with a very compelling and attaching character to our young and young at heart, always connected customers in India and beyond…”
The Sonet will be the second ‘made in India’ car from Kia, following the introduction of the Kia Seltos. The new model will appeal to consumers worldwide and will make its global premiere shortly, followed by its market debut in India during the upcoming festive season. The new Kia Sonet is targeted at a younger generation who are tech-savvy, aspirational and socially connected.
Kia Motors India says "Upon launch, the Sonet will stand out not only due to its eye-catching design, but also with its excellent build quality, class-leading features, connectivity innovations, choice of powertrains, and comprehensive safety equipment."
Targeting sale of 70,000 Sonets in first year
Kia Motors is pinning strong hopes on the success of the Sonet in India. As per the company's Q1 FY2020 results presentation released on April 24 and reviewed by Autocar Professional, Kia has chalked out a sales target of 70,000 units a year for the upcoming compact SUV in year one.
Interestingly, India will be the sole production base in the world for the Sonet and there's huge export potential for the snazzy compact SUV. Speaking to Autocar India earlier this year, Han-Woo Park, then president and CEO of Kia Motors, said: "When our global partners saw the Sonet, they got a shock. This is a model everyone wants to have. The Sonet will be the symbolic model for our exports from India.”
Compact SUV with a big mission
As the Sonet measures less than 4 metres long, it complies with India’s ‘small car’ regulations, making it Kia’s smallest SUV yet. Although the model will share its platform and basic mechanicals with the Hyundai Venue, the Korean carmaker has gone to great lengths in order to differentiate the Sonet compact SUV from its cousin (Venue), apart from the distinctive, and visibly more muscular design.
The Sonet will have three engine options – a 1.2 petrol, a 1.0 turbo-petrol and a 1.5 diesel – which are the same units seen in the Hyundai Venue. Gearbox choices are also expected to be the same as the Venue, with the 1.2-petrol getting a 5-speed manual, the 1.0-litre turbo-petrol and 1.5-diesel getting a 6-speed manual and the former will also likely get a 7-speed DCT automatic gearbox. The Kia Sonet is also expected to go one-up on the Venue with a diesel-automatic powertrain option. Additionally, the Sonet will also receive more equipment such as the Kia Seltos’ 10.25-inch touch-screen infotainment system, and a large sunroof is also a possibility.
According to Autocar India, Kia is expected to position the Sonet on the higher side of the compact SUV segment, with prices expected to be in the Rs 700,000-12 lakh (ex-showroom) bracket. Its rivals will include the Tata Nexon, Maruti Vitara Brezza, the Hyundai Venue, Mahindra XUV300 and Ford EcoSport.