Kia Stonic Review & Prices
The Kia Stonic is an affordable small SUV with funky looks and an industry-leading warranty, but alternatives are roomier and have posher-feeling interiors
Find out more about the Kia Stonic
Forget the Da Vinci Code. If Dan Brown wanted to write a book about mind-bending conundrums, he should have tasked his characters with choosing a new compact SUV, such as this Kia Stonic. There are dozens of these jacked-up hatchbacks on sale, from the diminutive SEAT Arona to the comfortable Volkswagen T-Cross and the roomy Dacia Duster.
Under the skin, the Stonic shares many components with the Hyundai Kona. They’re basically the same shape, as well, but the Kona’s style is a bit more distinctive. Still, you can jazz up the Stonic with optional multi-tone colour schemes.
You can go further than that because you can also deck the Stonic’s interior out with colourful inserts and details. These certainly help make the cabin easy on the eye, but they can’t disguise the fact that many of the interior trims are made from hard, cheap plastics.
Much nicer to touch is the Stonic’s standard touchscreen infotainment system. Like the T-Cross, it comes with smartphone mirroring as standard, but the screen can be tricky to use when you’re driving.
Unlike many other small SUVs, the Kia Stonic’s jacked-up body doesn’t result in it having a particularly practical interior
The Stonic also can’t match the passenger space of cars like the (slightly) larger Ford Puma. Sure, you have space to stretch out in the front, but lofty passengers will wish there’s more head and legroom in the back.
There isn’t as much space in the Stonic’s boot as you get in the Puma either. But the car is easy to drive in town thanks to its raised seating position and large windows that give you a good view out.
The 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine (with mild hybrid assistance in most models) feels perky and has the muscle to tackle long motorway journeys. But the Stonic isn’t as much fun to drive as the Puma or SEAT Arona. The Stonic’s tyres produce a fair amount of noise at speed, which could become tiresome on motorways, but other noises like wind and engine roar are well suppressed.
You can also get some upgraded driver assistance features for extra peace of mind, including automatic emergency braking. But these features are standard on many other small SUVs.
This theme runs throughout the Stonic. It’s neither the most spacious, nor the most stylish small SUV on sale but it is easy to drive, relatively cheap to run and comes with a reassuring seven-year warranty.
If that’s an important consideration for you when buying a car, head over to our Kia Stonic deals page to see how much you can save, or check out a range of used Kia Stonics available from our network of trusted dealers. You can also browse other used Kia stock, and use our Sell My Car service to help you switch cars.
The Kia Stonic has a RRP range of £20,720 to £25,770. However, with carwow you can save on average £2,002. Prices start at £18,557 if paying cash. Monthly payments start at £267. The price of a used Kia Stonic on carwow starts at £9,690.
Our most popular versions of the Kia Stonic are:
|Model version||carwow price from|
|1.0T GDi 99 2 5dr||£18,557||Compare offers|
Getting your head around the Stonic range is really simple. There are four trim levels to choose from: 2, GT-Line, 3 and GT-Line S. They all have a 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine. In the 2 and GT-Line it has 100hp. In the others, you’ve got 120hp to play with and there’s a mild-hybrid system to improve fuel economy and CO2 emissions. All options have a choice of manual or automatic gearbox.
Looking at the lowest prices, the Dacia costs considerably less than the Stonic and the Puma costs a few thousand pounds more. But all these cars are ultimately in the same price ballpark, especially if you’re planning on taking out finance and paying monthly for your car.
The Stonic is a pleasant car to drive that’s nippy around town and capable on the motorway, but the engines aren’t the fastest and it’s not a car built for driving entertainment
The Stonic’s small size makes threading along narrow urban streets an absolute doddle. The only thing that might throw you off is the fact that, despite technically being an SUV, you actually sit quite low down in the Stonic. In fact, your eyes will be roughly level with those of Ford Fiesta drivers. That means you don’t get the lofty view of the road that’s central to the appeal of SUVs.
You have a good view out of the Stonic, nevertheless, both to the front and back. You can see exactly where the back end of the car is, which really helps when reversing into a parking space. Rear parking sensors are fitted as standard on the Stonic and all but the base model have a reversing camera, to make your life even easier.
The driver’s seat and steering wheel have a wide range of adjustment, so pretty much anyone should be able to find a position that works for them. The driver’s seat is rather comfy, too, and the ride is a bit firm, but you don’t get bounced around.
The engines are a tad unresponsive if you’re trying to make a quick getaway but feel quite perky once you’re moving. And the clutch and gear lever feel light and slick.
On the motorway
You might not expect a car of the Stonic’s diminutive size to be perfectly happy spending all day cruising along a motorway, but it really is. It feels stable and smooth, only being unsettled by really big bumps and expansion joints. The tyres are a bit noisy, but otherwise the interior is nice and quiet. Comfy enough to spend a full day in there, too.
You’d think the more powerful, 120hp engine is the better bet for hauling up to 70mph. But, in practice, its acceleration times aren’t much quicker than those of the 100hp engine. The 120hp option would still be our choice, though, because it comes with the higher-spec trim levels.
On a twisty road
If you need to get a shift on driving along a winding country road, the Stonic will oblige. The steering is precise, there’s little body lean in corners, it’s stable over bumps and the manual gearbox allows for smooth and fast shifts.
That’s all great if you want to go at a slower pace, too. Not much will ruffle the Stonic’s feathers, so you can relax and enjoy the scenery. If you do enjoy getting a shift on, though, there’s not much fun to be had. The Ford Puma provides that entertainment, indeed it’s the best small SUV to drive generally.
The Stonic is practical enough for single people and couples, but families should look elsewhere
If you’re under six feet or so tall, you’ll find plenty of space in the Stonic’s front seats. Leg and headroom is pretty generous, the latter especially so if you lower the height adjustable seat as far as it’ll go. Being a narrow car it’s short on shoulder room, but it’s easy enough to get comfortable.
There’s a reasonable amount of storage space: door bins that can hold a litre bottle, cubby hole under the centre armrest, cupholders in the centre console, phone tray in front of the gear stick, glasses holder in the ceiling, glovebox that can hold the owner’s manual with not much else.
Space in the back seats
Space is at a premium in the back of the Stonic. There’s just about enough legroom for an average height adult to sit behind someone of similar stature. But if anyone tall is in the front, rear legroom might barely suit a child. At least there’s reasonable headroom for someone about six feet tall. There are two sets of ISOFIX mounts, but it won’t be easy to install a child seat. For storage, you have door bins with integrated bottle holders and a pocket on the back of the front passenger seat.
The Stonic has one of the smallest boots in the small SUV class, with a capacity of 352 litres. For comparison, the Vauxhall Crossland has 410 litres of space and the Ford Puma has 456. The Stonic’s boot does, at least, have a wide opening that makes loading stuff easier, and the loading lip is quite low. The boot floor lifts up to reveal a useful extra storage space, or you can take the floor out entirely and take advantage of the extra few inches of depth the boot then has. The back seats also fold down if you need to take anything bigger and bulkier with you.
With the back seats in place, the Stonic has enough boot space for a family’s weekly food shopping or a couple’s holiday luggage. With them folded down, you could just about get a washing machine in.
Everything is simple and easy to use inside, but the cabin is a bit plain and dominated by dark materials
The Stonic’s interior looks a bit plain and dark, though you can jazz it up with some colourful trim inserts available from the options list. The layout is simple and clear, so you can find whatever button or knob you’re looking for without taking your eyes off the road for too long. Everything feels solidly put together, but the plastics feel hard and cheap. The Peugeot 2008 has a much more interesting, higher quality interior.
An 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system is fitted as standard on all Stonic models. On the base model, it just has DAB radio and Bluetooth but you can connect your phone via Apple CarPlay or Android Auto to use your preferred navigation and entertainment apps. Higher-spec models have built-in sat nav which works well enough but, again, you’ll possibly just connect your phone. The screen itself looks crisp and responds promptly when pressed.
Other standard features on all Stonic models include air con, cruise control, rear parking sensors and four electric windows. Higher-spec models also have a reversing camera and privacy glass, and even heated front seats and steering wheel on the top-grade GT-Line S.
The Stonic’s fuel economy is pretty much exactly average for this type of car. The 100hp version of the 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine can do an average economy of 51mpg, according to the official numbers, and the 120hp mild-hybrid version can do 50mpg. Driving in the real world, you should easily get mid-40s from both of them.
CO2 emissions of 125-127g/km are also almost exactly average for a small SUV. Vehicle excise duty costs £165 per year after the car turns one year old. The emissions would usually count the Stonic out for a company car driver, but its low prices mean benefit-in-kind rates aren’t too bad.
Car safety expert Euro NCAP gave the Stonic a three-star rating, or a full five stars when it’s fitted with some optional safety features. Happily the Stonic now has those features as standard, so the five star rating now applies across the board on new models. Those features include automatic emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection, lane keeping assist, driver attention monitoring and a handful of airbags.
Kia has a well-founded reputation for building cars that are reliable. The Stonic upholds that tradition, putting in strong showings in owner satisfaction surveys. So it should be dependable and a pleasure to own. There haven’t been recalls for it, which is always reassuring. And you get Kia’s industry-leading seven-year/100,000-mile warranty. So if anything does go wrong, you’ve got back-up from the manufacturer.
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*Please contact the dealer for a personalised quote, including terms and conditions. Quote is subject to dealer requirements, including status and availability. Illustrations are based on personal contract hire, 9 month upfront fee, 48 month term and 8000 miles annually, VAT included.