The Kia Stonic’s interior is easy to use, but alternatives offer more space and a more interesting design
The Kia Stonic’s interior has enough room for tall people up front but those in the rear won’t be so happy on a long journey. There aren’t many soft materials used in the construction but the dashboard’s layout is easy to understand even at a glance.
If you’re looking for a car that’s genuinely stylish inside, the Citroen C3 Aircross is the one to go for. However, if you want a stress free environment, the Stonic’s control layout is much easier to learn and use than the quirky Citroen’s.
Entry-level Stonic models come with silver trim inserts that do little to lift up the bland atmosphere inside. Top-spec models come with two-tone exterior paint, coloured pieces of trim in the centre console, coloured piping on the seats and matching contrast stitching that makes it just about acceptable inside.
Plastic quality is also just about acceptable, but, on the upside they seem sturdy and you do get some soft-touch plastic on the centre of the dash.
The half-leather seats on top-spec cars are soft at least and look quite smart with their contrasting stitching. However, their small bolsters don’t hold you in place in tight corners and there’s no electric adjustment. Instead you yank a lever so finding your exact driving position isn’t that easy.
The Stonic compensates for its bland design with durable materials and comfy seats
Which of the two infotainment systems you get depends on which model you go for.
Entry-level cars come with a seven-inch screen, DAB radio and MP3 compatibility. There are also USB and AUX ports for playing music and charging your phone. All models get a multi-function steering wheel so you can adjust the stereo on the move without having to take your hands off the wheel. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard across the range – it mirrors your smartphone’s screen and you can use its internet connection for sat-nav or music streaming.
Top-spec models retain the screen size but add touchscreen functionality, a built-in sat-nav system with traffic re-routing and a much quicker processor for fast route calculations. Navigating the menus is simple and easy while parked but exceedingly tricky while on the move – the rotary control in a Mazda CX-3 is easier to use while driving.
Even if you go for the top-spec system, the sound quality remains acceptable but nothing impressive. For more oomph, the optional Krell stereo adds an amplifier and a subwoofer but even it doesn’t have the rich sound you get from the Beats Audio system fitted to a Volkswagen Up.