Kia’s newest SUV, the Stonic, will launch in Australia with a five-star safety rating… but not under the latest test protocols.

Instead, the Hyundai Venue and Mazda CX-3 rival will carry over the rating from the related Kia Rio city hatchback, which was tested in 2017.

The same carryover score is used by Euro NCAP, so Australia isn’t alone in getting a shared rating for Kia’s city-slicker twins.

The rating will initially apply to the Kia Stonic S and Sport, but the company also expects the Stonic GT-Line to earn a five-star rating based on the Rio’s score.

“Where there’s an opportunity to piggyback or carry over a rating, we’ll go that path first and foremost,” said Kia Australia general manager of product, Roland Rivero.

“Crash testing is not something that’s relatively simple to execute. It’s a big job, it’s resource-intensive.

“It’s not cheap, either. It’s quite expensive. We are at the midway point in the life of the Stonic, therefore as much as possible we’d like to launch it without having to spend another huge portion of dollars to get it through.”

There’s no guarantee the Stonic would score five stars if it was tested separately to the Rio in 2020, given it lacks the central airbag now required for top marks.

Unlike the related Hyundai Venue, even base Stonic variants have a more sophisticated ‘Fusion’ autonomous emergency braking system that uses a camera and a radar sensor. That means it’s capable of detecting pedestrians and cyclists, as well as vehicles.

When it was tested in 2017, the Rio scored 14.52 out of 16 for the frontal offset test, 16 out of 16 for the side impact test, 2 out of 2 for the pole test, and offered ‘good’ whiplash protection, while pedestrian protection was ‘acceptable’.

Pricing for the Kia Stonic will start at $22,990 drive-away for a manual S, and extends to $29,990 drive-away for the Stonic GT-Line.

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Scott Collie

Scott Collie is an automotive journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Scott studied journalism at RMIT University and, after a lifelong obsession with everything automotive, started covering the car industry shortly afterwards. He has a passion for travel, and is an avid Melbourne Demons supporter.

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