What's the used Kia Stonic estate like?
One of the downsides of buying most used cars is that you don't have a lot of manufacturer's warranty remaining. That's not the case with Kia; the brand's used cars can even be topped back up to the full seven years if less than 18 months old when you buy, giving the Stonic – an excellent contender in the hotly contested small SUV market – another feather in its cap.
The engine range initially consisted of three choices: a fairly slow 98bhp 1.4-litre petrol; a thrummy but ultimately more impressive 118bhp 1.0-litre petrol, and a clattery 114bhp 1.6-litre diesel. In 2020, the line-up was revised with the diesel and 1.4 petrol being dropped, the latter being replaced with a 99bhp version of the 1.0. A facelift towards the end of 2020 introduced 48v mild-hybrid assistance to the more powerful 118bhp 1.0. All versions come as standard with a relatively slick six-speed manual gearbox, but you can also have a seven-speed automatic with the 1.0-litre petrol.
Even though the Stonic 2 is the entry-level model, it isn’t spartan. There's 17in alloys, rear parking sensors and a 7in touchscreen. You don't get sat-nav, but with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto standard, as is a 7in touchscreen, you can use your phone for navigation instead. Move up to 3 for climate control, sat-nav, a reversing camera and safety tech such as automatic emergency braking (AEB) and lane-departure warning. Top-of-the-range 4 brings leather trim with heated front seats and steering wheel, two-tone exterior paint and keyless entry.
As far as handling goes, the Stonic is up there with the best in the class in terms of nimbleness because it doesn’t roll all that much in the corners, and any surprise bumps that might appear mid-corner don’t upset the Stonic’s composure. The steering isn’t the last word in communication, but it is perfectly precise and well weighted.
However, the Seat Arona is nicer still to drive and it also manages to offer a more comfortable ride. The Stonic tends to fidget quite a lot over even relatively smooth surfaces no matter what speed you’re doing. This can be a little annoying on longer journeys and, when combined with the road and wind noise, means the Stonic isn’t the best motorway companion.
The interior itself is well screwed together and all the controls are logically laid out. There isn’t a soft-touch surface in sight, but this is the case with most small SUVs. If you want a luxurious interior, you’ll need to spend a lot more on an Audi Q2.
Space up front is perfectly acceptable and the adjustable central armrest is a nice touch. Taller children and adults will find the back to be a squeeze, and the Stonic doesn’t have a clever sliding rear bench like the Renault Captur to improve available space. The Stonic also trails the class best for luggage capacity, and you’ll have to step up to top-spec 4 versions to find an adjustable boot floor; otherwise, you’ll have to put up with a significant load lip to lift things over.
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