While new to Australia, the Kia Stonic has been around for a few years launching in Europe in 2017 Kia Australia chose to prioritise the Seltos for this market, but the time has come for an even smaller “SUV” to hit the showrooms and it is the 2021 Kia Stonic.

Tuned for the Aussie market the Stonic comes in either a 1.4l or 1.0l engine with the latter GDI model offering 74kW of power and 172Nm torque.

When Stonic was first mooted we had a close look at it and made the decision that Seltos made a more attractive proposition for the Australian market _ a decision backed by the fact that at the time, there was limited Stonic supply available for Australia,” Kia Motors Australia Chief Operating Officer Damien Meredith said.

“With Seltos firmly established and very importantly, a significant increase in Stonic supply to accommodate our sales expectations, there is a much more compelling case for this sporty urban crossover with all the safety, value, style and practicality at the core of Kia’s DNA.

“What Stonic offers are all the touch points people find so desirable in an SUV-style vehicle in a practical, urban-sized package which is both affordable and easy to live with.”

Aimed fairly and squarely at the Mazda CX-3 and Hyundai Venue, Merideth told EFTM he saw the Stonic as a likely vehicle to expand that market overall, as well as of course taking some sales for their competitors.

But it’s not all over for the regular cars and Kia, the Picanto, Rio and Cerato remain despite this SUV takeover in showrooms.

In fact, the Kia Stonic is a Kia Rio with a different ride and suspension, as well as a vastly different look.

Though that does have me wondering about the price. The Stonic top GT line is a $5,000 premium on the Rio GT Line (this was $10,000 just a few days ago, so that Rio price is fluctuating nicely).

Are you willing to pay $5,000 for a slightly higher ride and a different look?

Kia is confident people are, pointing out that this is not a comparison to the hatch, more a comparison to others in the segment like the Mazda and Hyundai.

Prices start at $22,990 where you’ll get Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, though as is the case with the new Carnival, that’s not available in the upper spec models.

Safety is key with AEB including pedestrian and cyclist detection, rear parking sensors and cruise control.

It’s a great looking car that should turn heads and will draw people up to this Micro SUV market away from the hatch. In the end though, if it’s the space you want, the Kia Rio is a cheaper and just as awesome option for sure.

S Manual$21,490$22,990
S Auto$22,990$23,990
Sport Manual$24,490$24,990
Sport Auto$25,990$25,990
Premium paint$520