The surging demand for SUVs in India is getting stronger. Most SUV OEMs are reporting strong sales as well as bookings for their recently launched models. Kia Motors India, which opened bookings for its first compact SUV – the Sonet – on August 20, has reported receiving over 50,000 bookings since then.
The Sonet was officially launched on September 18 at an introductory price of Rs 671,000 (ex-showroom all India). The crossover comes in six trim levels, spread across Tech Line and GT Line variants, and while the diesel trims are priced between Rs 805,000 to Rs 1,199,000, ex-showroom, the turbo-petrol ranges from Rs 949,000 to Rs 1,049,000, ex-showroom. Kia has reserved the prices for the top-end GTX+ turbo-petrol DCT and the GTX+ diesel automatic, and says those will be announced at a later date.
In September 2020, the Sonet sold a total of 9,266 units. This debut performance in fact betters that of the Seltos, which has sold 9,079 units last month.
Multitude of powertrains
The Kia Sonet rides on Kia’s strategy with the bigger Seltos of carpet bombing the segment with a plethora of engine and transmission options to cater to almost every kind of buyer in the market. The crossover gets options of an 83bhp 1.2-litre four-cylinder petrol that comes mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox, a 1.5-litre four-cylinder diesel which gets a 6-speed MT (100bhp) or a 6-speed AT (115bhp) option and last but not the least, the 120bhp 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbocharged petrol or as it is christened as turbocharged gasoline direct injection (TGDi) in Kia-speak, which is paired to a 6-speed iMT clutchless manual transmission.
The Kia Sonet claims a tested fuel-efficiency rating of 18.2kpl for the 1.0 petrol iMT; 18.4kpl for the 1.2 petrol MT; 19.0kpl for the diesel AT and 24.1kpl for the diesel MT. Of the engine variants, the 1.0 and 1.2 petrol account for 60% of the 50,000 bookings, with the balance taken up by the 1.5 CRDi.
The new Kia Sonet goes head to head against the likes of the Maruti Vitara Brezza, Hyundai Venue, Ford EcoSport, Mahindra XUV300 and the Toyota Urban Cruiser.