Review: 2021 Kia Stonic

Posted by Motorama in Vehicle Reviews

Kia has had pretty much all its bases covered with their vehicle line-up. From the small Picanto to the sporty Stinger, a large SUV in the form of the Sorento, through to a highly capable people mover with the Carnival. One position they hadn't filled was that of the compact city SUV. The Sorento is just a bit too big for that. However, that problem has been solved with the arrival of the Kia Stonic. We welcomed the latest edition to the Kia family and took it for a spin!

Initial Impression

Stepping into a popular segment as the compact city SUV is no easy task, and it's even harder to stand out. Leave it to Kia to do this right the first time with the Stonic.  They've managed to perfectly fuse the road presence of a larger SUV, with the agility of a compact city car in one. Unmistakably Kia, yet with a few unexpected curvy lines around the back, and a more streamlined grill then it's siblings. 

The Stonic looks athletic and fits perfectly within the urban landscape, proven by the fact how easy it is to park and maneuver around tight corners. The dual exhaust at the back gives away it's sportiness, while it's contemporary designed alloy wheels give it a great stance. Now let's see how it actually drives!


As you can expect from a compact SUV, the Kia Stonic is light on its feet and very nimble to drive around. The steering is light and responsive and its 1.4 litre four-cylinder engine's compact, yet powerful, putting out 74kW/133Nm. That's plenty even when you hit the highway and want to go for a road trip. Paired with either a six-speed manual for a more engaging driving experience, or a six-speed automatic that shift through the gears smoothly and without hanging in one for too long. If you want a bit more punch, you need to check out the GT-Line, which boosts a turbocharged 1.0-litre three cylinder engine that puts out 74kW/172Nm and is matched with a seven-speed twin-clutch automatic. Smaller in size, but more powerful because of the turbo and quicker on its feet because of the extra gear.

A great aspect of the two engines in the Stonic are that both versions can run on regular unleaded petrol, where some rivals insist on dearer, premium unleaded.

Fuel economy is good for both engines as well, with a claim of 5.4L/100km for the 1.4-litre on the combined cycle, and just 6.7L/100km for the turbo powered one, which is still very efficient. Standard safety features include Autonomous emergency braking (AEB) with cyclist and pedestrian protection, as well as Oncoming vehicle detection that will apply the brakes if it detects oncoming traffic when making a turn at a junction. Other tech includes Adaptive cruise control, Rear cross traffic alert, Lane following assist, Driver attention warning and a Blind-spot monitor.

ANCAP recently awarded the new Kia Stonic a maximum five-star safety rating, so you know you're in safe hands.


Starting in the drivers seat, the Stonic’s driving position is quite practical, with a clear view of the easily legible instrumentation from the very comfortable seat. All Stonic models come equipped with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which are easy to use via the 8-inch digital touchscreen. The materials in the cabin are modern, and the design surprisingly contemporary.  It's a durable interior that feels solid, and there are no squeaks or rattles even on corrugated roads.

Moving to the back seat, you'll see that there is enough space for another two adults, but they shouldn't be too tall. The Stonic is a compact car after all, but you don't have to worry not being able to fit your passengers. This could also include your kids, who's seats are easy to fit due to the two ISOFIX mounting points and three top tethers. If not carrying people, there's enough space for all your cargo thanks to the 60:40 split fold and low rear bumper and tailgate allowing for a low load height. The cargo area is good for this size car: 352 litres with all seats in position and 1155 litres when the rear seat is folded.


There are three models in the 2021 Kia Stonic range, with the base model S priced around $23k for the manual or $1000 extra for the automatic transmission. Moving on up you'll find the Sport, another $1k extra gaining a sensor key with push button start, embedded navigation, 17-inch alloy wheels, and electric folding mirrors.

From there it's a $5k jump to almost $30k to get a seat in the GT-Line, which comes with an automatic transmission only. You will gains a unique 17-inch alloy wheel design, LED headlights, sports seats, rear privacy glass, an auto dimming mirror, and the option of two tone paint or a sunroof.

And the flagship GT-Line tested here, from $29,990 drive-away as an automatic only.

Every variant in the range is covered by Kia’s seven-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty, along with seven-year roadside assist and capped-price servicing. With servicing, the Stonic needs to visit the workshop every 10,000km (or 12 months), and will cost $3299 over the first four years.


With the Stonic Kia has entered the market for compact city SUVs with a bang! It's a quirky, funky car that has plenty of power for around town and at the same time, is super capable on a long road trip with ease. It's passenger comfort for adults and kids is exceptional, and with the latest safety tech, you know there isn't a safer place to be.

With a sharp price point you can be sure the Stonic will be another hit from Kia, but you'll only know when you experience it for yourself at our Moorooka or Browns Plains dealership. Come & test drive one today!

Interested in a test drive?

Motorama Kia is the place to be - so make sure you come and see the Motorama Kia team in Moorooka or Browns Plains.

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