The Kia Stonic remains one of the more popular entrants in the light SUV segment, but don’t expect an electrified powertrain anytime soon despite mild-hybridisation being available overseas.

    Speaking with CarExpert, general manager for product at Kia Australia, Roland Rivero, said the 48V mild-hybrid Stonic offered in markets like Europe and the UK is not on the cards for Australia.

    “No plans for a [Stonic] Mild Hybrid, stock is limited and will continue to be so – hence no plans for added complexity,” Mr Rivero said.

    The mild-hybrid Stonic in question offers the familiar 1.0 T-GDI three-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine in two states of tune, augmented by a 48V mild-hybrid system – encompassing a starter-generator unit and a lithium-ion battery pack.

    Revealed at the launch of the Stonic’s mid-life facelift in 2020, Kia claims the electrification tech – branded EcoDynamics+ – supplements the petrol engine’s torque output and extends the engine’s ‘off time’ when using the idle stop/start system.

    The mild-hybrid version of the 1.0 T-GDi three-cylinder engines retains the outgoing model’s available 74kW and 88kW tunes, available with both six-speed manual and seven-speed dual-clutch auto transmissions.

    Models fitted with the 88kW engine and DCT benefit from a 16 per cent torque boost, too, now rated at 200Nm. EcoDynamics+ models can also ‘coast’ by deactivating the petrol engine under low load to further enhance efficiency, operating at speeds of up to 125km/h.

    According to UK specifications, the MHEV setup quotes a nominal 0.3L/100km improvement in combined fuel efficiency on the WLTP standard. While a small gap on paper, that would likely widen in real-world urban use.

    It’s worth noting British and European versions of the Kia Stonic come out of the same Korean plant as Australian models.

    Currently, the Toyota Yaris Cross is the only vehicle in the segment locally that offers a hybrid option.

    The Stonic’s MHEV drivetrain is one of several features available in global markets that aren’t offered in Australia, along with adaptive cruise control and active blind-spot and rear cross-traffic assists.

    Year to date in 2023, the Kia Stonic has returned 6069 registrations as of October 31 – down 20 per cent on the same period in 2022, though retaining 13.6 per cent market share.

    Kia Australia has been battling severe supply restrictions on a number of its models throughout the course of the year, including the Stonic. The brand also axed the related Rio hatchback, which is being discontinued in its current form and being replaced by the K3 which won’t be built in right-hand drive.

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    James Wong

    James Wong is the Production Editor at CarExpert based in Melbourne, Australia. With experience on both media and manufacturer sides of the industry, James has a specialty for product knowledge which stems from a life-long obsession with cars. James is a Monash University journalism graduate, an avid tennis player, and the proud charity ambassador for Drive Against Depression – an organisation that supports mental wellness through the freedom of driving and the love of cars. He's also the proud father of Freddy, a 2019 Volkswagen Golf GTI .

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