Life with Kia Sonet 1.5EX

Being a car journalist is as nice as you might imagine. Every week, a brand new car is delivered to your home with a full tank of fuel. In return, all you need to do is drive it and report it with a fair evaluation.

In a week or so, you can only get to know the car after using it for a long time. What happens on a daily basis if the smell of a new car disappears after playing with the touch screen?

I recently pondered this while driving Kia Sonet 1.5 EX.. The Korean brand was graceful enough to offer one over the extended test period during the December vacation. I ran over 2,000km and tried the pace in different settings and challenges.

The perceived build quality is best-in-class for solid materials. The EX model receives a leather-trimmed steering wheel and gear lever.

Usually my family and friends didn’t really care what I was driving, but SonetEX was intriguing to them. SUV de rigueur At the moment, this particular one is affordable, economical and practical.

We don’t admit that, but appearance is an important part of the car buying process. Sonet’s thick styling and elegant touch (such as the grill detailing and rear light bar) appealed to many who saw it.

The perceived build quality is great. Plastic can be a stiffer variety, a common theme in this class, but everything feels solid and screwed in tightly. I must have crossed a gravel road of at least 400km. There wasn’t even a mutter of protest from Kia. The plastic and interior did not rattle after some unpleasant and bone-shaking surfaces.

Kia Sonet
A cheaper LX model is also available. The retail price of the 6-speed manual is R285,995, and the price of the CVT-equipped model is R306,995.

Insulation is another plus. I remember how dirty the interior of a similarly priced rival was on the gravel after a few minutes. Kia also put in dust, but it was minimal.

There were rarely passengers in the back seats, but a friend over 1.8m was sitting behind me with plenty of room. The cloth-trimmed seats are comfortable and passengers in the back seats also benefit from a convenient armrest with two cup holders, a dedicated air supply and a convenient USB charger.

On the front, a convenient 8-inch touch screen provides Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. I found this useful, but I’ve always had problems connecting to my iPhone, but Android Auto worked perfectly. When it comes to equipment, I have everything I really need, so I don’t often complain.

All variations are powered by the same 1.5 liter naturally aspirated gasoline engine. The peak power is 85kW, while the torque rating is 144Nm.

Sonet has many safety features, including very important stability controls. To this end, we applaud Kia. Many cars at the end of the segment’s budget tend to avoid this important technology. Two airbags are standard, but I want a side airbag. Perhaps this is the job of a model change or a top spec model that hasn’t been announced yet.

The main draw card is its practicality. The 392 liter boots were handy when traveling to a grocery store, bringing Christmas gifts, and when you’re full of luggage to spend the weekend in a hurry. The rear bench folds, but the split rear seats are much more convenient.

Other important aspects are fuel economy and service. Manufacturers are often optimistic about fuel consumption claims and are often impossible to reproduce in real life. Kia seems to have been fairly conservative with a claim value of 7.0L / 100km. Overall average 5.8L / 100km. The worst thing I’ve seen was 6.9L / 100km with heavy traffic to the CBD. A 4-year / 60 000 km service plan and a 5-year / unlimited mileage warranty should alleviate maintenance concerns.

Kia Sonet
On the road, Sonet rides like a much larger SUV. It is equally effective on gravel where standard stability control is useful.

The level of comfort on the road is outstanding. Kia rides and copes well with road undulations. The 1.5-liter 4-cylinder powertrain certainly won’t win a performance award, but it’s sophisticated, energetic, and powerful enough for everyday driving.

When I first drove a Sonnet (a derivative with a CVT) last year, I was impressed with the perceived build quality, sophistication, and overall driving experience. In my opinion, it’s in this segment. Last month I just solidified my stance on this. I’ve added over 2,000 km, but Sonet isn’t skipping beats.

Kia has experience in manufacturing low-priced vehicles and large SUVs, but this is the first time that the two categories have been combined and it was worth the wait. Sonet offers all the compelling elements associated with an SUV: practicality, ride height rise, chunky aesthetics, and blends them with fuel economy, purchase price, and the daily ease of use of a budget hatchback. This is why Sonet continues to be the best compact crossover on the market, along with a rich level of standard kits.

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Life with Kia Sonet 1.5EX

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