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Kia’s sub-four metre compact SUV concept will translate into a production model before the end of this year
Kia Sonet concept unveiled; to be launched later this year
Borrows underpinnings from the Hyundai Venue
Three engine options expected (two petrols and a diesel)
Will get 10.25-inch infotainment display and Bose sound system
Continuing its model onslaught Kia motors has taken the wraps off its Sonet concept. Codenamed QYi, the sub four-metre compact SUV is close to production and is expected to launch in this calendar year itself.
The Sonet borrows its platform and most of its underpinnings from the Hyundai Venue. However, Kia’s design embellishments make it stand out. The tiger nose grille in the Sonet gets a fresh design and looks sharper and gets a unique ‘stepwell’ pattern in the centre. Below it is the central air dam that is flanked by silver fog lamp inserts and air vents. Sleek headlights with integrated LEDs merge with the grille seamlessly and together with the high bonnet and muscular creases make it look very different from the Venue. The wheel arches are neatly filled up by the large alloy wheels and in combination with the window line that rises up sharply at the C-pillar, make for an arresting side profile. Concept car elements like the barely there wing mirrors, flush door handles and even the large section tyres will understandably not make it to the production version.
From the rear, the Kia Sonet grabs attention with elements like a sloping C-pillar and a sharply raked rear windshield with blacked out textured inserts. The sweptback taillamps are connected with a horizontal LED bar with the Kia logo in the centre. The Sonet also gets black plastic cladding on all sides, giving it a butch appeal.
Although, interior details haven’t been revealed yet, Kia has announced that the Sonet will get a 10.25-inch infotainment display and a Bose sound system, like the one seen on the Seltos. Also available will be front ventilated seats and Kia’s connected car tech.
Engine and transmission are expected to be the same as on the Venue. Expected are a 1.2-litre petrol, a 1.0-litre turbo-petrol, and a 1.5-litre diesel engine paired with manual and automatic transmission options. Kia motors also announced an iMT(Intelligent manual transmission) that will be available with the Venue. What that entails is unclear at this moment.
To be launched in a the second half of this year, the Sonet will find itself competing against the likes of the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza, Tata Nexon, Ford EcoSport, Mahindra XUV300, apart from Hyundai’s Venue. After the success of the Seltos and early positive signs for the Carnival, Kia’s Sonet is expected to target large volumes when it launches.