2021 Kia Stonic SUV coming to Australia this year

Updated Kia Stonic revealed in Europe and due to land in Australia later this year.

An updated version of the Kia Stonic has been revealed with technology tweaks and some new engines. The facelifted crossover will launch in Australia later this year with a price starting from around $20,000 before on-roads.

The revised Stonic will be available in overseas market (Australia specs are yet to be announced) with an updated engine range featuring the car brand’s new Ecodynamics+ mild-hybrid petrol powertrain. The system pairs a turbocharged 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine with a starter-generator and a compact battery pack.

It comes with the choice of two power outputs – either 74kW or 88kW – although the maximum torque figure of the 88kW version rises from 168Nm to 200Nm.

The powertrain comes as standard with Kia’s new “clutch-by-wire” manual gearbox. This new transmission does away with the mechanical linkage between the clutch pedal and the master cylinder – swapping it for an electronic system to operate the opening and closing of the clutch.

Kia says the gearbox reduces CO2 emissions by around three per cent in real-world driving conditions, as the car’s ECU can disengage the engine and automatically coast in neutral with the clutch depressed whenever it sees fit. This system operates at speeds of up 125km/h.

The outgoing Stonic’s 84kW 1.6-litre four-cylinder diesel engine will not be carried over onto this facelifted model. In its place, Kia is expected to offer a new 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol unit without mild-hybrid assistance. It’ll be fitted with a conventional six-speed manual gearbox as standard and have an output of 74kW.

The Kia Stonic’s exterior styling is almost unchanged over the pre-facelift model. The only noticeable differences are a pair of redesigned LED headlamps and a new set of 16-inch alloy wheels. However, buyers now have a choice of two new paint options – Perennial Grey and Sporty Blue – as well as a few extra two-tone colour schemes.

Inside, the new Stonic now gets a larger, eight-inch infotainment screen as standard, along with a higher-resolution 4.2-inch digital instrument binnacle. There’s also a choice of two new interior colour packs, which swaps the dashboard and centre console trim for either blue or yellow replacements.

The new infotainment system offers support for both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto – and it now features a range of additional telematics features. So, the Stonic’s sat-nav will provide real-time traffic information, as well as up-to-date weather forecasts, information on parking availability and even fuel prices for the nearest service stations.

Driver assistance technology includes lane-keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, a driver attention monitor, an intelligent speed limit warning system and forward collision avoidance assist, which features pedestrian, vehicle and a newly introduced cyclist recognition system.

Luke Wilkinson

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