The smallest SUV from Kia, the Stonic sits below the Seltos (also available at the Experience Centre), taking on the likes of the Hyundai Kona, Nissan Juke, Volkswagen T-Cross, and Renault Captur, all also available at the Experience Centre.
While it’s no large family SUV, the back seats are relatively capacious for a 4140mm long vehicle, as the image of six-foot-tall Paul Maric should show. It's fine for kids, and adults will be comfortable enough for all bar long road trips.
The boot capacity is 352 litres, 27L more than a Rio. This is sufficient for two big suitcases and backpack as shown, though only the CX-3 (264L) has a smaller boot in this class.
The dimensionally-smaller Hyundai Venue has a 355L boot, the Nissan Juke 422L, a Toyota Yaris Cross 390L, a Suzuki Vitara 375L, a Ford Puma 410L, and a Volkswagen T-Cross 385L.
There’s a space-saving temporary spare tyre under the loading floor, and of course those back seats fold down to liberate extra storage capacity.
There are two engines available on the Stonic range. The Sport uses a 1.4-litre, naturally-aspirated petrol engine making 74kW of power and 133Nm of torque, mated to either six-speed manual or automatic transmissions, and front-wheel drive (FWD).
The GT-Line featured here swaps this for a 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbocharged unit with the same 74kW of power, but a meatier 172Nm of torque (pulling power).
It’s mated to a fuel-conserving and quicker-shifting seven-speed dual-clutch automatic, and again is only FWD.
All Kias get a fantastic seven-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty.
2021 Kia Stonic models with the 1.4-litre require servicing every 12 months or 15,000km, whichever comes first. The GT-Line requires servicing every 10,000km though.
Kia offers seven years of capped-price servicing. The GT-Line has an average service cost of $471 over seven years, while all other Stonic models have an average cost of $421.
Overall, for a starting price of around $25,000, the Kia Stonic presents a pretty decent case for a first car and certainly worth a test drive if you're in the market for a small city-friendly SUV.