Kia is about to join the sub-4-meter SUV category with the Sonet, which will make its world debut on August 7. This has been spied experimenting several times under cover and we suspect it will have the same engines as its twin of Hyundai Venue. It does seem, though, that by adding a diesel-automatic option it will be one-uping its sibling.
The engine choices for the Sonet would be the Seltos / Creta 1.2-liter petrol, 1.0-liter turbo-petrol and 1.5-liter detuned diesel. The natural-aspirated petrol will only be sold with a 5-speed manual while the turbocharged model will be granted the option of a 6-speed manual, 6-speed iMT (Intelligent Manual Transmission) or a dual-clutch 7-speed automatic. Its diesel engine is already available with a 6-speed manual in the Venue but the Sonet might introduce the option of an automated 6-speed torque converter which is also the diesel-AT choice for the Seltos and Creta.
Currently the Tata Nexon and Mahindra XUV300 which use an AMT are the only diesel-auto options in the sub-4 m SUV range. The Sonet may be the first in this category to deliver a traditional automated torque-converter with a diesel engine. It would not only contribute to the unique selling proposition of the Sonet but would also match its role as a luxury option. Since inofficial reservations have already started for the Sonet, some dealerships have reportedly begun accepting pre-bookings for a diesel-automatic which reaffirms our expectation that a 6-speed AT will be offered for the 1.5-liter diesel unit.
The Sonet will be available in both Tech Line and GT Line models, such as the Seltos SUV, based on spy shots from the interiors. It has a common dashboard in its higher trims, where the instrument cluster stretches to the dashboard to accommodate the 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system with UVO Connect technology. The Sonet is also supposed to include apps such as front parking sensors, which may be the first in the market to provide a 360-degree parking system.