It’s the Iconic Kia Stonic

The steering wheel is pocked with intelligent controls that allows you to take charge of the 8-inch infotainment system without having to lift your back from the soft comfortable seats.


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I have had no test drive events, or almost no physical event, for the last 12 months. No, it is no joke, I have been cooped up in my personal health safety bubble for 12 months and even when I do go out, there is almost no interaction with anyone for fear of contracting the dreaded Covid-19 virus. So I have been restless, feet itchy, and arms jittery to get myself some human interaction and socialization.

the Iconic Kia Stonic

This was my situation when Kia gave me a call and asked me if I wanted to join a short drive event to check out their new Stonic. Guess what my answer was? Of course I said yes! I’m tired of being scared of the virus. I have always placed my belief and trust in our Lord and strictly practiced health safety protocols, so I told myself I should go out now. And I did.

Now, Kia’s President Manny Aligada made sure that everyone who joined this media drive was safe from the virus, so instead of us gathering in one place to get our test units, he had the units delivered to us, sanitized and disinfected, a couple of days before the event. It was our own personal bubble for the test drive.

Not only that, it came with a shirt and a pair of new Onitsuka sneakers, just so we have something untouched to wear during the drive. It was a true blue, no touch, no contact event.

the Iconic Kia StonicI got the Flash Yellow with black highlights model and it really sparkled in my garage. And because I had it for two days, I managed to sneak in an expressway drive to Subic just to get the feel of the subcompact SUV. It was a doll to have. The new Stonic is powered by a 1.4 litre dual CVVT gas engine that carries 100PS of power and 132 Nm of torque.

Not so much you would say. But it is on a small and light body and the 6-speed automatic transmission allows it a large power band that gives you enough ooomph to get it to speed. Hitting 100kph on the northern expressways was not a hard job for the Stonic. Going faster was against the law, but it could, easily.

Because the Stonic has a longer wheelbase, 2,570 millimeters says Kia, the interior is allowed a roomier cabin, which in turn guarantees excellent seating positions, surprising for its size. And the materials inside the cabin are of enough high grade quality that it actually feels luxurious.

The dashboard is intuitive. You get all the information you need with a quick glance, no need to be flipping your eyes or turning your head to find a button or a hand lever, its all there. Which goes to my next point, the steering wheel is pocked with intelligent controls that allows you to take charge of the 8-inch infotainment system without having to lift your back from the soft comfortable seats.

Plus, with Apple Car Play (or Android Auto if you must) you can let go of the mobile device and answer calls or play music from the safety of your hands on the steering wheel. The console has USB and power plugs to keep your device juiced up and a nice compartment below the shift stick to stash your mobile phone, keys and some pocket change.

As for the drive, the Stonic handles very well in fast highway, tight traffic driving or zigzagging roads. The body is stable enough to remain calm and steady at 100kph, although there is that bit of wind noise audible enough to disturb at high speeds. The steering is very responsive, not exactly point and shoot, but nearly close enough to make me confident at the turns.

Also read: The Kia Stonic injects ‘5S’ in the urban driving lifestyle

Before the drive event, we were required to undergo an antigen test, after which we proceeded to the gathering point in Bonifacio Global City, all the time staying in the safety and comfort of our assigned units. Our destination was Batangas, which was far enough for a good drive, but close enough to keep us within the bounds of safety.

As for the Kia Stonic, for a new car buyer I would definitely recommend this. Kia offers a 5-year or 160,000 kilometer warranty, quite generous if you ask me. They also have a 24/7 Roadside Assistance service which is free for 5-years.

I guess with all these nice treats one could really say the Kia Stonic is iconic.


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Ira Panganiban
The author is a certified motorhead and has been a journalist for the past 30 years. He will be a journalist all his life. He thinks he is famous and his mother agrees. His father has another opinion on that matter. Email him at irapanganiban@wheelsph.com

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