Kia Motors India has announced the official launch timeline of the Sonet compact SUV. After a successful debut in the Indian market with the Kia Seltos SUV, the South Korean manufacturer is now aiming to target a relatively higher volume segment by entering the compact SUV segment. However, the launch timeline appears to have been made on the assumption that the currently prevalent Coronavirus epidemic will subside by that time; something that the entire country is hoping for.
The Kia Sonet will be the manufacturer’s third product in India, after the Seltos and Carnival. As a result, it has the responsibility to make Kia a household name. Both the Seltos and Carnival have managed to be successful in their respective segment. However, the Sonet is what will make the brand more accessible for Indian buyers.
Kia had showcased a near production-ready concept of the Sonet SUV at the 2020 Auto Expo in February. As a result. we have a fairly good idea of how the production version will look like. The front end will get a tiger nose grille, flanked on either sides by projector headlamps. Other design elements expected to be seen on the Kia Sonet SUV include a chubby bumper, blacked out A and B pillars, dual-tone diamond cut alloy wheels, squared wheel arches, a raked rear windshield and black plastic cladding.
Also Read: Kia Sonet unveiled at Auto Expo
The Sonet will share its platform and powertrain with the Hyundai Venue. It will thus come with three engine options – a 1.2 petrol, a 1.0 turbo-petrol and a 1.5 diesel. Gearbox options also will be carried forward from the Hyundai sibling. As a result, the 1.2 petrol engine will come with a 5-speed manual gearbox, the 1.0 turbo petrol and 1.5 diesel will get a 6-speed manual gearbox, while the turbo petrol will also be offered with a 7-speed DCT automatic. According to a few reports, Kia will also plonk an automatic gearbox with the Sonet diesel models. This will give the Kia compact SUV an edge over the Venue.
Thanks to its sub 4-m length, the Sonet classifies as a small car in India. Hence, it will be exposed to the lower excise duty slabs. We expect the Kia Sonet price in India to start from Rs. 7 lakh and go up to Rs. 12 lakh (ex-showroom). At this price, the Sonet will compete against the Maruti Vitara Brezza, Hyundai Venue, Mahindra XUV300, Ford EcoSport and Tata Nexon.