The little SUV with plenty of city charm
It might be small, but the 2021 Kia Stonic GT-Line is an attractive, capable metropolitan champion, that's fun to drive, nimble and agile.
To put it through its paces, we made plenty of short trips around the eastern suburbs, dealing with cross city traffic before heading south. The Kia Stonic GT-Line proved itself quite capable and handled everything we threw at it.
Whether it was motorways, city driving, coastal tarmac or country roads, the compact SUV performed well in all driving conditions, thanks to Australian tuned suspension.
Powered by a three cylinder 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine produces 74kW of power and 172Nm of torque, the Stonic GT-Line looks great on paper. But that's part of the problem. In reality it feels underpowered, despite its dual clutch transmission.
Gear selection is a little clunky too, with the car clearly choosing a gear that was way too low, revving quite hard before finding its way to the right one. Likewise, there were times when the Stonic chose a gear too high, and was laggy at best.
Once the revs were right though, the Stonic reached peak power delivery quickly and feels comfortable and capable. Despite the DCT issues, this quirky little SUV still had us wanting to drive it and enjoying the ride.
Externally, Kia's small SUV presents as a sharp and dynamic looking, low riding crossover. The GT-Line body kit and wheels complement the urban look really nicely, and the addition of roof rails is eye-catching and looks particularly cool.
The colour range is on-point too and includes Perennial Grey (as tested), Clear White, Aurora Black Pearl, Signal Red, Sporty Blue, and Mighty Yellow. There are four additional GT-Line exclusive paint schemes as well.
These include Clear White, Mighty Yellow, Sporty Blue and Signal Red, all available with Aurora Pearl Black roof. Inside, the 2021 Kia Stonic GT-Line comes standard with some pretty cool tech, including an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system.
It features Bluetooth, smartphone connectivity, push button start, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and satellite navigation. The climate control air conditioning did a great job of keeping us cool too.
We loved the addition of the sunroof and found the seating very comfortable. The cabin space is a nice place to be and provides an enjoyable driving experience. There's lots of hard scratchy plastic materials though, which may irk some buyers.
Rear leg room for taller passengers is limited, particularly so with similar-sized occupants in the front seats. The range topping Stonic shares much of its underpinnings with the Kia Rio GT-Line too.
The cargo space in the city SUV is 1155-litres, with the rear seats down. It's also packed with such safety features as lane keep assist, lane following assist, a rear view camera with guidelines, LED daytime running lights and front fog lights, just to name a few.
Kia offers a 7-year unlimited kilometre warranty and 7-year road side assistance. The 2021 Kia Stonic GT-Line is available from $29,990 dive away.
Our test vehicle was provided by Kia Australia. To find out more about the 2021 Kia Stonic GT-Line, contact your local Kia dealer. Prices are Australian dollars. This story written by Scott Gravolin and first published on Exhaust Notes Australia.
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