As the Hyundai Kona prepares to make its world premiere next week, Kia gets its reply in early with the unveiling today of a new European-inspired compact crossover SUV concept, whose geometric styling seeks to emulate the brand’s larger utility vehicles.
The Stonic – the name is a contraction of Speedy merged with Tonic – will slide in to the Kia lineup in between the Soul and the Sportage and aim to take on the Mazda CX-3, Toyota CH-R, Nissan JUKE, Honda HR-V and other segment heavyweights.
Kia’s bid to set itself apart from those competitors includes the offer of a large package of customization options, as well as such features as a uniquely designed roof rack, distinctive taillights, plus an ergonomic and techno-oriented interior highlighted by a “floating” HMI (human-machine interface).
No official launch date has been advanced by Kia, nor has the automaker even confirmed that the Stonic will be made available in North America. The company has announced it intends to bring the new crossover to market in Europe in the second half of 2017. It’s expected that a first look at the production version will be offered this summer, or else in early fall at Frankfurt’s International Motor Show, before the car moves on to the Los Angeles Auto Show in November.