|All- New Kia Stonic: Iconic, Athletic, and Meant to Astonish|
After almost a year of having no media-drives (car brand-sponsored test-drive events) at all whatsoever due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Kia Philippines thought out a well-planned, safe, and new-normal way to have the media test-drive the new Stonic. As to my knowledge, they are the second manufacturer to do so this 2021.
It all started with the unveiling of Kia Philippines’ stylistic urban drive, the Stonic, in October last year during a media exclusive online launch event. Flash Yellow was the color they chose to dress the launch vehicle in. If the main purpose in choosing that eye-catching delicious color was to grab our attention, it surely worked. It was an instant eye-candy feeling for me, and I was sure it would thoroughly whet the appetites of motoring enthusiasts, especially the younger set.
|Color-coordinated Car and Driver|
The Stonic with its young vibrant design and over-the-top features looked flawless on my 18-inch computer screen during the online launch, but the car enthusiast in me wanted to experience it face to face or more like face to grill. I wanted to see its stylish body up close, feel the power of its 1.5 liter CVVT engine, touch its flowing lines, and experience the quiet and comfortable ride Kia claims it had. That little thought would remain a dream till I got an email invite this February for a media event named "Kia Stonic Modified Media Test-Drive".
I called it the "Media Test Drive in a Covid-free Bubble". One media participant per Stonic unit. For our safety, nobody else was allowed to ride or drive my unit till the end of the day's event. We were limited to six media personalities per batch. Before the activities started, proper health protocols such as swab tests and social distancing measures were applied to all participating, their vehicles meticulously sanitized, including the destination to ensure the safety of everyone involved.
|All six Kia Stonics sanitized and ready to roll.|
Despite the stringent procedures, we excitedly enjoyed the road trip via the Stonic’s nifty offerings to Don Limone's Napa Grill, Tagaytay via its back door through the twisty mountain roads between Cavite and Nasugbu.
|The Kia Stonic takes control of the twisty mountain roads between Cavite and Nasugbu|
Known for the Style That’s Iconic, the Stonic is bound to turn heads and become everyone’s center of attention, starting with the youthful colors invigorating the overall award-winning design, the Tiger Nose Grille, Fin Type Antenna, Roof Rails, LED Daytime Running Lamps for the EX, Rear Combination Lamps, Rear Spoiler Garnish, and Projector Headlamps.
|Tiger Nose Grille, LED Daytime Running Lamps for the EX, and Projector Headlamps|
|Fin Type Antenna, Roof Rails, Rear Combination Lamps, and Rear Spoiler Garnish|
In navigating city streets, winding roads, and expressways on the way to Tagaytay, the Stonic warranted confidence among us driver participants, thanks to the high 185mm ground clearance on 16-inch alloy wheels, the Stonic still remained planted on the road.
|The Kia Stonic convoy passes through the Kaybiang tunnel en route to Nasugbu.|
I enjoyed the top-notch ride quality because of the Stonic’s 2,570-millimeter wheelbase, which also guaranteed excellent seating positions for its size.
|60:40 split-folding rear seats|
Also, its versatility (60:40 split-folding rear seats) enables the driver to carry massive cargo. With the rear seats folded flat, luggage space instantaneously grows up to 325 liters, to make sure you can transport everything you need for work and play.
On the road to a sumptuous lunch, the Stonic also proved its mastery in fuel efficiency—even in heavy traffic—with the 1.4 dual CVVT petrol engine matched to a 6-speed automatic transmission with Tiptronic shifting. The Stonic solidifies its position as a reliable ride during weekdays when traffic conditions in the city can be a nightmare.
|The 1.4 dual CVVT petrol engine matched to a 6-speed automatic transmission with Tiptronic shifting|
|Clean and elegant dashboard|
Aside from being fuel-efficient in all types of road and traffic conditions, the Stonic’s powertrain can also provide up to 100 PS and 132 Nm of torque. Injecting heaps of fun and control on the daily drive is the Tiptronic shifter which changes gears smoothly with utmost precision. It felt like I was driving a manual transmission without tiring my foot on a clutch. To really complete the driving thrill, I wish it had a Sport mode setting on automatic.
The Stonic was such a fun drive, I forgot it didn't have cruise control. Parking was even a happy chore. Steering was light and like child’s play, pulling up at the parking area was made easier with the help of a rearview camera. The need for keys when starting the engine or simply locking the door is now a thing of the past, as the Stonic is engineered future-proof with a Smart Entry and Push Start system for the EX variant.
The Stonic is as fun to drive as it is to ride, with it being generous with technological features—beginning with a decent sounding 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with six speakers that easily connects one’s mobile device via Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, a USB port, and a 12V socket to ensure that every mobile device is always charged-up.
|8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with six speakers|
Just as how Kia Philippines prioritizes building customer relationships through countless delightful means, the Kia Stonic also offers a host of safety features so occupants can focus on enjoying the trip, no matter what. Among them are Hill Start Assist and Electronic Stability Control for the EX grade for assured smooth navigation.
|Auxiliary USB port and a powerful 120W 12V outlet|
The nimble Kia Stonic is served up with the customer-centric five-year or 160,000-km warranty, as well as with a 24/7 Roadside Assistance FREE for five years which covers Emergency Towing, Personal Assistance, Minor Onsite Repair, Medical Assistance and Information Service for a secure, enjoyable, and worry-free ownership.
I'm astonished with such a one-of-a-kind design, features, and amenities that’ll inspire you to move and a fuel-efficient powertrain that’ll drive your day, the Stonic becomes your daily statement of style on the street.
He managed the motor pool for a limousine company in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. He is now based in Manila, Philippines, and is the President of BuildMeUp Corp, a multi-media and marketing communications company.
You may e-mail him at email@example.com
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