Kia Sonet facelift revealed in India ahead of 2024 launch

Published Dec 21, 2023


One of South Africa’s best-selling compact SUVs, the Kia Sonet is getting a refresh for 2024 to keep it on top of its game.

The facelifted model has just been revealed in India, where it’s built, ahead of going on sale there in February 2024, but there’s no word yet on when it will reach South African shores.

The SUV has been redesigned at both ends, with the front receiving new LED headlights surrounded by clamp shaped DRLs that run into the widened grille. Essentially it has taken a leaf out of Kia’s new “Opposites United” design book while still remaining recognisable as a Sonet.

At the back the Kia Sonet gets a complete refresh, with new vertical taillights connected by a horizontal bar, because according to nearly all modern car designers, taillights need to be connected. Not that we’re complaining.

New 16-inch “crystal cut” alloy wheels round off the exterior design changes and the new model is available with three design packages: GT-Line, X-Line and Tech-Line.

The cabin retains its familiar architecture, but the electronics are new. These include an instrument cluster that’s now fully digital as well as a new high definition 10.25-inch (26cm) central touchscreen that replaces the previous 8.0-inch unit.

In addition, top models receive a Bose Premium Sound System, four-way power adjustable driver’s seat, electric sunroof and 360-degree camera.

The Indian market Sonet also ships with a slew of “Level 1” driver assist features, including Front Collision-Avoidance Assist with cyclist and pedestrian detection, Lane Keep Assist and Leading Vehicle Departure Alert. We’ll assume the upgraded model was designed during the pandemic, given that it comes with a new air purification system with virus and bacteria protection.

It remains to be seen which of these new premium features will be fitted to South African models. Same goes for the engine line-up, although given that the Indian model carries over unchanged, it’s almost certain that our line-up will remain intact too.

As a reminder, local Sonets are offered with the choice of a normally aspirated 1.5-litre petrol engine (85kW) and a 1.0-litre turbopetrol (88kW).

Interestingly the base engine in India is a normally aspirated 1.2-litre, and our 1.5 motor is not offered there. There is however a 1.5-litre turbodiesel (85kW) on offer abroad, which would no doubt find a local fan base were it to be offered here.

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