Kia’s smooth and stylish compact SUV is a compelling option in the used car market. Here’s how to buy a good example.
GT Line gets black upholstery with red detailing; quality is top-notch.
GOOD FOR: Smooth engines, Feature-rich
LOOK OUT FOR: DCT gearbox, Suspension wear
The Kia Sonet entered the hotly contested compact SUV segment in 2020 and has made waves ever since. It is tight on rear seat space, but it’s a feature-packed, stylish SUV with refined engine options, making it worth considering in the used car market. However, here are a few things to note before you go ahead with the purchase.
Kia Sonet: engine and gearbox
The Kia Sonet comes with both petrol and diesel powertrains. These include an 83hp, 1.2-litre, naturally aspirated petrol paired to a 5-speed manual gearbox; a 120hp, 1.0-litre turbo-petrol available with either a 6-speed iMT (clutch-less manual) or 7-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox; and a 1.5-litre diesel unit that produces 100hp when paired to the 6-speed manual, and 115hp when paired to a 6-speed torque-converter automatic gearbox.
As for fuel efficiency on our test cycle, the Sonet diesel manual returned 15.4kpl and 20.8kpl in the city and highway, respectively, while the diesel-auto did 13.8kpl and 18.8kpl for the same. The turbo-petrol DCT, meanwhile, does 11.6kpl in the city and 16.5kpl on the highway, while the iMT returns 11.2kpl and 15.8kpl in the city and highway, respectively.
The diesel automatic is our pick of the Sonet bunch as it provides you with an effortless driving experience. This engine-gearbox combination works well together and neatly balances performance and fuel efficiency. However, if your running won’t be a lot, you can opt for either of the petrols. The 1.2 will be more frugal, while the 1.0 turbo-petrol will be peppier, and it also comes with the convenience of an automatic gearbox.
Kia Sonet: variants, features and warranty
The Sonet, at launch, was available in five trim levels – HTE, HTK, HTK+, HTX and HTX+ – in the standard Tech Line form. The sportier GT Line version, which is offered in only the fully loaded GTX+ trim, not only sports red accents inside-out, but also packs in additional equipment to set it apart. It’s also worth noting that Kia has given the Sonet mild updates periodically, giving it more features and Kia’s new badge in 2021, and launching a new range-topping X-Line variant in 2022.
Design is distinctive and stylish; red touches further its sporty intentions.
In terms of features, in HTX+ form, the Sonet comes packed with a sunroof, leatherette upholstery, ambient lighting, ventilated front seats, cruise control, an air purifier, a Bose audio system, a 10.25-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, ‘UVO’ connected car tech and a rear camera. On top of this, the top-spec GTX+ trim gets six airbags, ESC, front parking sensors, an all-black cabin and a wireless phone charger. Dual airbags, ABS and rear parking sensors are standard across the range. All variants are decently equipped for the price, but it’s better to opt for the mid-spec or higher variants for the feel-good features they offer.
The Sonet has proven to be a fairly reliable model, and in our resale study conducted with OLX, the Kia Sonet was among the lowest depreciate in the segment. So, while you’ll have to pay more upfront, you’ll be able to recover a good chunk of your money once you decide to sell it. The Sonet is also backed up by Kia’s network of service centres across the nation and spare parts are readily available as well. Furthermore, since you’re buying a fairly new model, you’ll also get the benefit of a warranty, depending upon the model year.
What to look out for in a second-hand Kia Sonet
Some owners have faced issues with the DCT gearbox overheating while driving in congested stop-go traffic. So, it’s worth checking out the health of the transmission before making the purchase as this could be an expensive fix. Ensure it gets off the line smoothly and doesn’t jerk while shifting.
A few owners have also noticed that the suspension bushings of the Sonet wear off a bit prematurely. Take the car out for a test drive and go through a rough patch of road and notice if it crashes excessively or makes noises as this is a sign of worn-out bushes.
Although not a common issue, there have been some cases where the Sonet’s infotainment system has faltered. Before buying, ensure the touchscreen works smoothly, your phone pairs with the system easily and the camera comes on when you put the car in reverse.
The Sonet isn’t the most spacious compact SUV at the rear, so that’s something to keep in mind if adults are going to use the rear seats. Furthermore, the turbo-petrol DCT version is quite thirsty in urban conditions and sensitive to driving style. So if low running costs is your priority, it’s best to opt for one of the other two engines.
Second-hand Kia Sonet price and resale value
Rs 7 lakh-11 lakh
There’s plenty of Sonets available in the used market at various price points. However, only look to spend anywhere between Rs 7 lakh-11 lakh, as anything more and you’d be better off buying a brand new one. You can also negotiate to bring the price down.
|Kia Sonet factfile|
|Price when new||From Rs 6.71 lakh (ex-showroom, India)|
|Engine||4cyls, 1197cc, petrol/ 3cyls, 998cc, turbo-petrol/ 4cyls, 1493cc, turbo-diesel|
|Power||83/120/100hp (D MT)/ 115hp (D AT)|
|Torque||115/172/240Nm (D MT) /250Nm (D AT)|
|Boot space||392 litres|
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