Kia’s Sonet subcompact SUV debuted in a concept format back at Auto Expo 2020
India’s automotive industry is currently going through troubled times due to COVID-19 and the subsequent lockdown. Almost all industries (except ‘essential services’) have been shut down to slow down the spread and ‘flatten the curve’. While manufacturing plants of major automakers operating in the country are losing crores each day, many dealerships are at the verge of going out of business.
The country’s automotive scenario reached this point at the same time when dealerships were trying to clear off their remaining BS4 stock ahead of 1 April 2020. This deadline was extended recently but not to the extent of bettering things. On the other hand, certain automotive plants and parent offices are still functioning with limited workforce and resources.
Automotive enthusiast Suresh Kumar shares with us pictures of two Kia Sonet test mules. The upcoming subcompact SUV (technically a crossover) was spotted near the South Korean brand’s manufacturing facility in Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh. As you can observe, the sub-four-metre crossover is still in its early stages of production.
However, one can grasp some design details such as the 5-spoke diamond-cut alloy wheels (seemingly 16-inch), silver roof rails, silver ORVMs, etc. Observe closely and you might be able to spot the raised infotainment screen layout albeit faintly. The other test mule seems to be a lower variant as it lacks roof rails and diamond-cut wheels.
Unlike some of its competitors, the Kia Sonet does not have rear disc brakes (at least in its current stage). It still remains to be seen how close it will be (visually) to its concept avatar that was showcased at Auto Expo 2020.
We had previously shared a detailed walkaround of a Kia Sonet test mule, including its interiors. It shares its platform with Hyundai’s Venue compact-crossover just like the case of Kia Seltos and Hyundai Creta. For the same reason, it is offered with three choices of powertrain: 1.2-litre NA petrol (82bhp/114Nm), 1.0-litre turbo petrol (118bhp/172Nm) and 1.5-litre diesel (99bhp/240Nm).
In the Hyundai Venue BS6, the base petrol variant comes mated only to a 5-speed manual. The higher turbo petrol motor comes with either a 6-speed manual or 7-speed DCT automatic. Finally, the diesel variant gets only a 6-speed manual. The 1.5-litre mill is a detuned version of the unit powering the diesel Seltos/Creta.
In Hyundai’s portfolio, it acts as a replacement to the BS4-compliant 1.4 and 1.6 diesel power plants. Prices for the Hyundai Venue BS6 start at around Rs 6.50 lakh ex-showroom. The figure would be slightly higher for the Kia Sonet.