The Stonic is easy to drive around town and quiet at a cruise but the diesel model sounds grumpy when accelerating heavily. However, the turbo petrol is more than suited for the job.
There is a choice of three engines available for the Stonic – two petrols and a diesel with power ranging from 99-120hp.
Your best bet is the 120hp 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol that’s quicker and cheaper to run than the 99hp 1.4-litre petrol. It feels nippy around town and can zip in and out of openings in traffic. It also gets pretty close to its advertised fuel economy of 55mpg – expect around 45mpg in the real world. However, load it up with passengers and it soon starts to struggle especially on steep hills.
The Stonic feels best navigating tight city streets but it’s also pretty relaxing out on the open road – just don’t expect much excitement
If you do plan to carry people and/or luggage regularly in the Stonic, the 1.6-litre diesel pulls strong and rarely feels out of puff. It’s also the engine to go for if you do lot’s of motorway miles because, it can get pretty close to it’s advertised fuel consumption of 67mpg.
The Kia Stonic feels great around town. The raised seating position helps with visibility and standard rear parking sensors make fitting into a tight spot pretty easy. Big mirrors and small blind spots also help with maneuvering. Top-spec cars also come with a reversing camera that is clear and has guidelines to help squeeze into really tight spaces.
The Stonic’s light and progressive clutch means even after hours in traffic your left foot won’t get tired out. But if you simply want an automatic, you’ll have to go for the Hyundai Kona that’s available with a seven-speed twin-clutch automatic.
The Stonic’s light steering is great around town but out on the motorway you need to make a multitude of tiny corrections to keep it going straight, and you also have to deal with some road and (in the diesel) engine noise.
The Stonic is a very relaxing way to travel the countryside, provided you keep your speed to reasonable levels. The suspension soaks up bumps well but there is quite a bit of body lean. Try to pick up the pace and the front loses grip, so it’s best to enjoy the scenery and drive the Stonic at a relaxed pace.
For the most peace of mind choose a top-spec model which get automatic emergency braking as standard. It slams on the brakes hard if it senses an imminent collision. Standard cars should be pretty safe too – they combine traction control and ABS into one system that can cleverly brake individual wheels to keep you on on the road during extreme manoeuvres. The Stonic hasn’t been tested by Euro NCAP yet but you can expect it to score well thanks to its modern safety systems.