We first saw the 2020 Kia Sonet at the Auto Expo. Back in February, Kia officials confirmed 3 notable features for this sub-4m SUV. Now, let’s see what all it might offer in terms of features and engine-transmission options.
Get up close with our walkaround video of the Kia Sonet at the Auto Expo 2020:
Kia Sonet 2020 Engine Options
We already know that Kia and Hyundai jointly made the sub-4m SUVs for Indian buyers. So The Venue’s engine options are a given. So, expect the Sonet to get a 1.0-litre turbo petrol engine with a 6-speed manual transmission and a 7-speed DCT.
When the Hyundai Venue launched, it came with a 1.4-litre diesel engine, which later made way for the BS6-compliant 1.5-litre engine with more power and torque. In the case of the Sonet, it’ll start its life with the 1.5-litre diesel engine and a 6-speed manual transmission.
A 1.2-litre normal petrol engine is also available with the Hyundai Venue to keep its starting price reasonable. It’s unclear if the Kia Sonet will get the engine, as it has a modest power and torque rating and Kia may position the Sonet as a premium alternative in the sub-4m SUV segment. This normal petrol engine is only available in the lower 2 variants of the Venue and with a 5-speed manual transmission.
Kia Sonet Transmission Options
The 1.5-litre diesel and 1.0-litre turbo petrol will naturally get a 6-speed manual transmission. The Sonet’s turbo petrol will also get the option of 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. In addition, Kia officials have confirmed that the Sonet will get a clutchless manual transmission. Kia will brand it as the IMT - Intelligent Manual Transmission.
A little bit of research tells us that the next-generation Hyundai Elite i20 is also getting this transmission - at least in some countries. Official specs reveal that this transmission is only available with the hybrid versions of i20’s 1.0-litre turbo petrol engine. So, we expect the Kia Sonet to also keep the IMT exclusive to its hybrid 1.0-litre turbo petrol engine.
Kia India’s head of sales, Manohar Bhat, recently brought up the fuel efficiency gains with the IMT while speaking with a major media outlet. Bhat said that their clutchless manual transmission will return “very high fuel efficiency”. An automated clutch along with the mild-hybrid technology has the potential to become the fuel-efficiency leader among B2 segment SUVs.
In fact, we believe that a traditional 3-pedal manual transmission may not even be an option with the Sonet turbo petrol. We expect the IMT and DCT to take care of the manual and automatic transmission requirements of buyers.
This is a new piece of technology coming to the masses, for the first time, straight from the car manufacturer. This, along with an aggressive price tag, best-in-class fuel efficiency figures should help the Sonet stand out in the crowded B2 SUV segment.
Here are the expected engine specs of the Kia Sonet 2020:
2020 KIA SONET EXPECTED ENGINE-TRANSMISSION SPECS
1.0-litre turbo mild-hybrid
120PS @ 6000rpm
100PS @ 4000rpm
172Nm @ 1500 - 4000rpm
240Nm @ 1500 - 2750rpm
6-speed IMT/6-speed MT
Kia Sonet 2020 Features
Kia has also officially confirmed the following features of the Sonet SUV:
Over the air software update
Bose sound system
Besides these, the Sonet will also get the following features considering the segment it’s entering:
Internet-connected features similar to Hyundai Bluelink
Power adjustable and foldable mirrors
Auto-dimming inside mirror
Touchscreen infotainment with Android Auto and Apple Carplay
Machined finish for alloy wheels
Wireless phone charging
Kia Sonet 2020 vs Rivals in B2 Segment
Kia Sonet will go up against the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza, Hyundai Venue, Ford EcoSport, Tata Nexon, Mahindra XUV300 and Honda WR-V. The Toyota Urban Cruiser, which is based on the Vitara Brezza may also reach the showroom floors by the time Sonet does. The Sonet will go on sale a month or two before the festive season. So, expect the official launch to happen in August or September.
Take a virtual tour of Kia’s pavilion at the Auto Expo and get close to all the Kia cars at the auto show: