Three-row Sonet will be manufactured in India and exported to international markets
Yes, you read right. Not Seltos, but Sonet 7 seater. The smallest car from Kia in India, is all set to get a 7 seater variant, reports Indonesian media. If we consider the existing 5-seater Sonet, the one in Indonesia measures 4,120mm in length. In comparison, India-spec Sonet belongs to the sub-4-meter SUV segment, measuring 3,995mm in length. Both variants are made-in-India products, manufactured at the company’s facility in Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh.
Kia Sonet 7-seater – key features
In terms of size, 7-seat Sonet is expected to have the same dimensions as that of existing 5-seat Sonet sold in Indonesian market. That means that it will be longer than the one sold in India currently. The interiors will be redesigned to accommodate a third row. The boot space may also have to be reduced to accommodate the additional row. Even then, it would be quite a challenging task.
We will have to wait for the unveil event to understand what changes have been introduced to make space for the third row seats. It remains to be seen if there’s adequate space for all passengers or if it will be a tight fit for second and third row passengers.
Apart from the new seating arrangement, 7-seat Sonet will be largely the same as existing 5-seat model sold in Indonesia. Some cosmetic updates can be provided to make the 7-seater distinguishable in comparison to the 5-seat variant. For example, new colour options may be added exclusively for the 7-seat variant. On the inside, rear AC vents could be added for third row passengers.
Three-row Sonet is expected to use the same petrol motor as is currently available with 5-seat Sonet in Indonesia. The 1.5 litre Smartstream, DOHC, dual CVVT, dual fuel injector motor is capable of generating 115 ps of max power at 6,300 rpm and 144 Nm of peak torque at 4,500 rpm. Transmission options include 6-speed manual and IVT.
7-seat Sonet could work in Indonesian market, as it will be targeted at the three-row compact MPV/SUV segment in the country. It will be positioned as a premium product in this space.
Kia Sonet 7-seater – India launch plans
It is not yet certain if 7-seat Sonet will be introduced in the Indian market. But considering the demand for SUVs and 7 seater cars, it is very much likely that the 7 seater Sonet will make it to India sooner than expected. Initially, Kia is expected to focus on exports for 7-seater Sonet.
The MPV segment in India is dominated by the likes of Maruti Suzuki Ertiga, Toyota Innova, Renault Triber and XL6. These are known for their spacious interiors, which would be difficult to match by Indonesian-spec 7-seat Sonet. Instead, Sonet 7 seater will offer first of its kind package to customers in India.