Kia Stonic driving

Kia Stonic review

The Kia Stonic is one of the most affordable compact SUVs you can buy. It’s stylish, practical and comes with a long list of standard equipment. Plus you can benefit from a seven-year warranty.

Pros

  • Well equipped
  • Seven-year warranty
  • Cost-effective to buy and run

Cons

  • Back seats less spacious
  • Key safety features optional for some models
  • Ride can be a bit bumpy

Summary

“Fun to drive and one of the most cost-effective compact SUVs.”

The Kia Stonic is a stylish and well equipped compact SUV that’s great value for money. 

It’s sportier to drive than many of its rivals, while a range of efficient engines means your  running costs can be inexpensive. You can also benefit from Kia’s seven-year warranty, giving you added peace of mind when buying a used Stonic.

Following an update in 2020, the Kia Stonic is more appealing than ever. Styling changes, more-efficient engines and a larger infotainment system are the highlights of the refreshed range.

What's the interior like?

“Comfortable interior with user-friendly tech and good space up-front.”

The interior of the Kia Stonic isn’t as interesting to look at as the exterior but it’s impressively solid and comfortable. 

The front seats are particularly supportive and its square shape gives you a clear all-round view. All versions come with a height-adjustable driver’s seat but the driving position can seem low compared with some small SUVs. 

The dashboard is fuss-free. All versions of the Stonic have a seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system with DAB digital radio, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It’s easy to use, but you’ll need to upgrade to the Stonic 3 or 4 for sat nav. A new eight-inch infotainment system and upgraded 4.2-inch digital driver’s display were part of the 2020 facelift.

Interior space is good in the front seats but less roomy in the back. Children will be fine but taller adults may feel a bit hemmed in. Boot space is about average for this type of car at 352 litres – that’s similar to what you get with small hatchbacks such as the Ford Focus and is enough for three medium suitcases.

What's it like to drive?

“Sportier than many of its rivals and easy to park.”

You sit lower in the Kia Stonic than in many of its rivals, which gives the car a sportier feel. This is something you’re likely to appreciate when you're darting through city traffic or driving on a country lane. The ride can seem a bit bumpier than in some rivals but the Stonic feels well controlled through corners and settled at higher speed.

The light steering, excellent views out and standard rear parking sensors come in handy when squeezing into a tight space, while some models benefit from a reversing camera. 

The 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine is the pick of the range, although the 1.6-litre diesel engine is great for long motorway journeys. A 1.0-litre turbocharged mild hybrid engine was introduced in 2020. It offers improved performance and fuel-efficiency.

Is it cost-efficient to buy and run?

“One of the most inexpensive cars of its type to own.”

If you’re in the market for a small SUV or crossover, the Kia Stonic is one of the most cost-effective options around. It’s very competitively priced and because it’s so well equipped you don’t need to go for one of the top-of-the-range models to get the kind of features you’re likely to want. 

The engines are efficient, with an official average of 49.6mpg for the 1.0-litre petrol engine. The newer mild hybrid version should nudge this over the 50mpg mark. The 1.6-litre diesel has an official average of 56.5mpg.

How reliable and safe is it?

“Good reliability record; some high-tech safety features available.”

The Stonic comes with a seven-year warranty, which means you’ll likely benefit from years of cover for a used model. Kia has a good reputation for reliability and generally scores highly in customer satisfaction surveys.

Top-spec models achieved the maximum five-star Euro NCAP safety rating. Lower-spec models don’t have those versions’ automatic emergency braking and lane-keeping assist features, so they earned just a three-star rating. These features were available as a ‘safety pack’ on some models when new, so it’s worth your looking out for that option when buying a used Stonic.

Which one is best for you?

Best for economy - Stonic 2 1.6 CRDi

Best for family - Stonic Connect 1.0 T-GDi

Best for fun - Stonic GT-Line S 1.0 T-GDi

Even the entry-level Stonic 2 comes with lots of standard features, including air con, alloy wheels and a touchscreen infotainment system with support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The 3 adds more safety features, sat nav and a reversing camera, while the 4 packs luxuries such as heated front seats and keyless entry.  

The 2020 update added new GT-Line, Connect and GT-Line S models. Not only does the GT-Line S look sportier than the rest, it also features a snazzy two-tone paint job.

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