Dualdrive Car Review – Kia Stonic ‘2’ 1.0T GDI

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car review

Following on from our last review on the Kia Rio, we now look at the closely related Kia Stonic. This is pretty much the footprint of the Rio but with an increased height for a more commanding view of the road, a small SUV which is one of the fastest growing sectors in the new car market. We’ve got to say, we’re huge fans of the understated design, it looks the part and the design team at Kia (don’t forget they have one of the most enviable reputations here now in the industry) have done a great job and just done a mild refresh incorporating the latest Kia updates and badging. The Stonic has been one of our most popular cars so far in 2022 so here’s our thoughts.

So what’s it like inside?

For anyone worried about sitting too high up then we can say this isn’t the case. The Stonic almost feels a ‘halfway’ house between a standard hatch and an SUV. Granted you do sit a little higher up but this results in a commanding view of the road ahead. It’s easy to get comfy with plenty of adjustment to the seat and steering wheel and there’s an armrest, decent sized glovebox, shelf above the gearlever and decent sized cupholders for an Instructor’s odds and ends. Like the Rio, the cabin is bright and airy with slim A pillars and rear vision is more than acceptable with rear parking sensors to help with those tight places. The dashboard layout is intuitive and feels extremely well made, everything is to hand and you don’t have to go through the decent sized touchscreen to change your heating and ventilation for example. Apple CarPlay and Android come standard too. Space in the back is fine for day to day living, granted 3 fully grown adults may find it a tight squeeze though!

car interior

What’s it like to drive?

The engine on this Stonic model is the 99ps 1.0 petrol turbo. You can get a 120ps engine on higher spec versions but this engine feels absolutely ample for day to day driving. This unit is the tried and tested 1.0T which appears in many Kia/Hyundai product and pleasingly has ample low down torque for accelerating when you need it. It will happily drive at 30mph in 4th gear and the clutch and gearbox are light and easy to get on with. Granted it’s not rapid but it can keep up with motorway traffic and averaged 40mpg in a mixture of driving. The all important 0-60 time is 10.7 seconds, only 0.3 seconds slower than the more powerful version. The Stonic ‘2’ comes with 16inch alloys which are the smallest available, these gave a comfy ride and the car also handles as you’d expect, it’s not wallowy like you may imagine some SUV vehicles would be. It’s also pleasing to see a full raft of safety kit as standard including AEB, forward collision avoidance assistance, lane keeping assist amongst a full complement of airbags.

I know we keep banging on about reliability and downtime but these surely have to be top priority for an Instructor? Nobody likes niggles, issues and warning lights appearing which can lead to cancelled lessons and frustrations. If this did happen, which given Kia’s JD Power and reliability reputation you’d be unlucky to encounter, then you have Kia’s industry leading 7 year/100k warranty to fall back on. We’ve also found found, from many years experience, that the Dealer network are pretty helpful in getting cars back on the road.


Key Features of the Stonic ‘2’ our preferred model include:

  • Cruise Control and speed limiter
  • 16” Alloy wheels
  • Electric Rear Windows
  • Centre Console Storage Box and Armrest
  • Rear USB port
  • 8” Touchscreen display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • 4.2” Colour Cluster Display on dashboard
  • Rear sensors

If you want to experience the Kia Stonic for yourself get in touch with our expert team today.