Kia Stonic review 2019

Find out more about the Kia Stonic in the latest MOTORS Review

Average price
Make (any)
Model (any)
Min price (any)
Max price (any)
Out of 5


  • Good-sized boot
  • Lots of standard kit
  • Punchy petrol engine


  • Uninspiring looks
  • Firm ride
  • Interior not as characterful as rivals
Model Review

Kia has no shortage of crossovers and SUVs in its range, such as the Soul, Niro, Sportage and Sorento. The fifth model in this lineage was targeted at the small crossover sector.

Kia unveiled the Stonic in June 2017, boasting a stylish look and revised design language for the brand. It still showcased Kia’s distinctive tiger-nose front grille, but offered more customisation options than most of its siblings through a large offering of two-tone roof colour combinations – the two-tone look comes as standard on top-spec models.

Another emphasis of the Stonic was light weighting. A range of small petrol and diesel engines are offered, while the car has been fine-tuned in Europe to ensure it’s suited for drivers in this continent in particular.

The Stonic joined the fastest-growing new car market – the B-SUV sector – when it went on sale in October 2017.

It comes as standard with an excellent touchscreen, while top spec versions benefit from a number of advanced safety assists.

Latest model

Kia hasn’t made any styling tweaks to the Stonic since it first went on sale in 2017, although a few adjustments to the trim line-up have been made. At launch, you could get it in ‘2’ or First Edition grades, although the latter has since been re-shaped into the ‘4’, while a ‘3’ model has also been added to the range.

Value for money

The Kia Stonic isn’t the cheapest model in its class, although it’s good value for money when you consider the standard equipment offered. Features such as 17-inch alloys, a seven-inch touchscreen, rear parking sensors and automatic lights are all included as standard, which is great for the £16,540 starting price. High spec ‘4’ models can be on the expensive side, though, with prices topping £20,000.

At the time of writing, the Stonic had only been in showrooms for a year, although it’s proven to be a popular model, so there’s no shortage of nearly-new examples for sale. The cheapest example  - a 2017 ‘2’ spec car with around 5,000 miles on the clock - would set you back around £12,500, which is a bargain. Even delivery mileage examples can be bought with several thousand pounds off list price, which means the Stonic is a great used buy.

Looks and image

The Stonic is by no means the most stylish model in its class, but it’s quite a good-looking number. Standard-fit 17-inch alloys, LED daytime running lights and a gloss black and silver front grille make the Stonic quite an attractive model to look at from the front. Being a crossover, it also has the usual array of plastic cladding and bumper protectors on the exterior to give it a rugged stance, despite the model being next to useless if you did decide to take it off-road, partially thanks to it being front-wheel-drive.

Unfortunately, the interior is less stylish. The touchscreen is great, especially as it’s equipped with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, DAB radio and Bluetooth; but on the whole the interior design is lacking in character. A sea of grey and black plastics in the cabin does not help this impression.

Kia has put a lot of effort into ensuring the Stonic doesn’t weigh any more than it needs to, and that attitude has certainly paid off. It’s not sports car levels of fun, but it can be quite a rewarding model to drive. It’s based on the Rio, and despite its raised ride height, it manages to be more dynamic than you would expect. It’s quite agile, with a limited amount of body roll; far less than you would find in many of its rivals.

The ride quality isn’t the best, though, with this emphasis on sportiness and agility resulting in the Stonic often being harsh when the road isn’t billiard table smooth. It’s largely comfortable, but noticeably firm over bumps and potholes.

Video review

Space and practicality

Kia has cleverly packaged the Stonic, which results in the model having more interior space than you might expect. Front seat passengers will have no complaints in this department, and while there’s a good amount of headroom in the rear, an average adult wouldn’t describe the legroom as generous. A few more storage spaces dotted around the cabin certainly wouldn’t go amiss, though.

The boot space is quite average for its class, with 352 litres of capacity when all five seats are in place, or 1,155 litres with the back row down. It’s more than you get in most superminis, although rivals such as the Renault Captur offer more capacity. There’s also quite a high boot lip on 2 and 3 spec cars, which can make unloading heavy objects a bit of a struggle. The top spec model benefits from an adjustable boot floor, which can be particularly useful if you need a flat boot surface on occasions.

As the Stonic is structurally identical to the Rio hatchback, the Stonic was awarded an impressive five-star Euro NCAP safety rating, with a particularly high score recorded for its adult occupancy safety. This score only applies for models fitted with driver aids; the entry-level ‘2’ model only received a three-star safety rating. It’s downfall, however, was the safety assist category. The Stonic doesn’t come with any autonomous aids as standard, unlike most of its rivals. Mid-spec 3 models add autonomous emergency braking, lane-keep assist, a driver attention alert and high beam assist, which is good for the price, although it’s a shame these aren’t fitted as standard. Top-spec 4 versions add blind spot monitoring and rear-cross traffic alert.


Three engines are offered on the Stonic. The entry-level engine is a naturally aspirated 1.4-litre petrol unit, with 98bhp. It’s the weakest engine in the line-up, although it can accelerate from 0-60mph in a respectable 10.4 seconds.

Our favourite engine is the 118bhp 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol unit, which delivers a pleasant amount of punch and is quite fun to push. It’s able to accelerate to 60mph in 9.9 seconds, and will keep going to a top speed of 115mph.

The sole diesel option is the 113bhp 1.6-litre unit, which manages 60mph in 10.5 seconds, although it feels faster than this because of a high torque figure.

All engines come paired with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard, while a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic can be ordered with the 118bhp petrol unit.

Running costs

The diesel engine is particularly efficient, and can return a claimed 70.6mpg on the combined cycle, with CO2 emissions of 106g/km.

The petrol engines won’t be quite as cheap to run, with the economy figures on these ranging between 49.6mpg and 54.3mpg – the 1.4-litre unit being the thirstiest. CO2 emissions range between 130g/km and 132g/km.

Insurance groups range between 10 and 14, which is on par with the majority of its rivals. Servicing should also be affordable on the Stonic, with a first service costing £124; that’s great value for a new car.

Things to look for

The Stonic is still a new model on the market, although its reliability foundations are strong because its based on the Rio, which has proven to be dependable. With Kia’s excellent seven-year, 100,000-mile warranty, you should have very little to worry about with the Stonic in terms of reliability.


The small crossover market is a hugely popular sector, and because of this, the Stonic has no shortage of rivals. The best models in its class are the Seat Arona, and Renault Captur, while other worthy competitors include the Hyundai Kona, Mazda CX-3, Peugeot 2008, and Nissan Juke.


One of Kia’s downfalls tends to be its cars’ depreciation, and the Stonic doesn’t appear to be any different, with excellent discounts available off nearly-new and pre-registered models. That said, it makes the Stonic a great used buy, particularly as used buyers will still have the advantage of Kia’s class-leading seven-year warranty.


  1. Well-equipped for the price
  2. Simple-to-understand engine and trim level line-up
  3. Efficient diesel engine offered
  4. Good fun to drive…
  5. If a slightly firm ride
  6. Seven-year warranty
  7. Disappointing lack of standard safety equipment
  8. Uninspiring interior design
  9. Practical, if not class-leading interior
  10. A welcome addition to the small crossover market, but it’s not class-leading

Official sponsors of

British Motor Show logo