Production-spec Kia Sonet to be revealed on August 7
To retain most design and styling cues seen on the concept
Launch expected some time in September 2020
It was easily one of the biggest unveils at Auto Expo 2020, and now, it’s time to see the Kia Sonet evolve from a concept to a production model. Clearing the hurdles presented by the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing nationwide lockdown, Kia has confirmed the production-spec Sonet compact SUV will make its world premiere on August 7.
How similar will the production Kia Sonet be to the concept?
Entering one of the most lucrative spaces of the market has been high up on Kia’s priority list, and it’s well known that the carmaker's sub-four-metre SUV will share its underpinnings with its cousin, the Hyundai Venue. Kia, however, is set to pull out all the stops to distinguish the Sonet from the Venue.
The Sonet showcased at the Expo was a close-to-production concept, and the finished model will be largely similar in appearance except for the flush-fitting door handles, tiny wing mirrors and massive 18-inch wheels shod with 255-section tyres.Compared to the Venue, the Sonet looks chunkier and more hunkered down; Kia’s signature 'Tiger Nose' grille meshes well with the LED headlights, and the sculpted bonnet adds more visual muscle. At the back, the Sonet’s width is accentuated by large tail-lights linked by an LED light bar.
What features will the Kia Sonet have?
Unsurprisingly, Kia will load the compact SUV to the brim with features. Expected to be part of the Sonet’s feature list are a largest-in-class 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system (borrowed from the Seltos), UVO Connect connected car tech, a sunroof and a premium sound system from Bose, to name a few.
What about the Kia Sonet’s engine and gearbox options?
Engine options for the Kia Sonet will also mirror those for the Hyundai Venue – a 1.0-litre turbo-petrol, a 1.2-litre petrol and a 1.5-litre diesel will be on offer. In addition to a 6-speed manual gearbox, the Sonet is also set to get an intelligent manual transmission (iMT), which will debut on the Venue in July. The iMT is likely to be the second transmission choice for the Sonet 1.0-litre turbo-petrol, with the first option being a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox.
Interestingly, the Kia Sonet diesel is also set to come with the option of a 6-speed automatic transmission. Adding a 6-speed automatic (which will be expensive as it is imported) will likely take the price of the Sonet diesel-AT closer to that of the entry-level Seltos, but the company wants to offer the choice to customers who are willing to shell out the extra money. Expect the Kia Sonet’s price to be in the range of Rs 7-12 lakh (ex-showroom) when it is launched some time in September.
In its first full year of sales, Kia aims to sell over 70,000 units of the Sonet, and even sees great potential in the compact SUV for the export market. Preparing to scale up operations, Kia has previously announced an additional investment of $54 million (Rs 400 crore) at its manufacturing plant in Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh. The additional investment is expected to help Kia ramp up production capacity (currently pegged at 3 lakh units per annum) by around 1-1.5 lakh units, as it expects an increase in sales and exports after the introduction of the Sonet.
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