Kia Stonic review

Category: Small SUV

Section: Performance & drive

Kia Stonic 2021 rear right tracking
  • Kia Stonic 2021 front
  • Kia Stonic 2021 rear right tracking
  • Kia Stonic 2021 interior dashboard
  • Kia Stonic 2021 interior rear seats
  • Kia Stonic 2021 interior infotainment
  • Kia Stonic 2021 right panning
  • Kia Stonic 2021 front right static
  • Kia Stonic 2021 front cornering
  • Kia Stonic 2021 headlight detail
  • Kia Stonic 2021 rear lights detail
  • Kia Stonic 2021 alloy wheel detail
  • Kia Stonic 2021 interior front seats
  • Kia Stonic 2021 boot open
  • Kia Stonic 2021 front
  • Kia Stonic 2021 rear right tracking
  • Kia Stonic 2021 interior dashboard
  • Kia Stonic 2021 interior rear seats
  • Kia Stonic 2021 interior infotainment
  • Kia Stonic 2021 right panning
  • Kia Stonic 2021 front right static
  • Kia Stonic 2021 front cornering
  • Kia Stonic 2021 headlight detail
  • Kia Stonic 2021 rear lights detail
  • Kia Stonic 2021 alloy wheel detail
  • Kia Stonic 2021 interior front seats
  • Kia Stonic 2021 boot open
What Car?’s Stonic deals
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In this section:
  • Engine, 0-60mph and gearbox
  • Suspension and ride comfort
  • Handling
  • Noise and vibration

Performance & drive

What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is

Engine, 0-60mph and gearbox

The cheapest Kia Stonic engine, which only comes with entry-level 2 trim, is the 99bhp 1.0 T-GDi. It’s a punchy performer that’ll officially get from 0-60mph in 10.7sec (11.7 if you opt for the automatic gearbox). It has a fair amount of shove once you get going, but is weaker at low revs, taking a while to get going.

For that reason, you’ll appreciate the mild-hybrid assistance the 118bhp 1.0 T-GDi receives from low engine speeds. It's slightly quicker from 0-60mph (10.4sec), and if you're tootling through town, you’ll rarely have to pass 1500rpm. The good news doesn’t stop there – it's also happy to rev away if you need a bit more oomph, and getting up to motorway speeds is no chore at all.

At motorway speeds, the Stonic fidgets a little on asphalt that looks perfectly flat. It’s not as stiff as the Mini Countryman but you'll experience an altogether smoother ride at all speeds in the Skoda Kamiq and the T-Roc.

Kia Stonic 2021 rear right tracking

Handling

Despite the fact that the Stonic is essentially a jacked-up Kia Rio, its raised ride height hasn't substantially affected its nimbleness. Indeed, it's actually one of the most agile small SUVs you can buy.

It responds surprisingly eagerly to steering inputs and stays upright through corners that would cause the Citroën C3 Aircross to lean over markedly. Even if you’re mid-corner and the road suddenly becomes bumpy, the Stonic remains composed.

The steering isn’t exactly feelsome, but it’s precise and well-weighted around the straight-ahead position, making it easy to stay in your lane on a motorway. The Puma is even more enjoyable to drive, with better steering and more front-end grip. If you’re dead-set on having four-wheel drive, you’ll want to take a look at the T-Roc or the Suzuki Ignis, Suzuki Jimny or Suzuki Vitara.

New car deals
Save up to £1,406
Target Price from £18,158
Save up to £1,406
or from £182pm
Swipe to see used and leasing deals
Nearly new deals
From £16,995
Leasing deals
From £201pm