REVIEW: Kia Sonet Turbo offers style, performance and practicality

Published Jan 20, 2023


By: Justin Jacobs

Pretoria - The Kia Sonet finds itself in the ever-changing B-segment alongside some stiff competition. The Sonet, however, since its introduction, has been a favourite within the segment, offering much in the way of features and value. Now though, Kia has added a turbocharged motor to the line-up. We gave it a go.

The Kia Sonet incorporates Kia’s DNA of emotive styling, along with a premium and youthful appeal, to create a strong presence on the road.

The Sonet showcases a range of styling attributes that sets it apart from its competitors, including a fresh interpretation of Kia’s signature ‘tiger-nose grille’, with a stylish front skid plate underneath.

Its sporty silhouette is enhanced by the unique design and structure of its C-pillars, matched with a wrap-around rear windscreen. The profile, meanwhile, has a strong, sporty character, thanks to the shape of the bonnet and bumpers, with the strongly raked A-pillars and rounded roofline imparting greater road presence.

Is the Kia Sonet practical?

Contributing to the Sonet’s unmistakable SUV stance is its size. At 4 120 mm long, sitting on a wheelbase measuring 2 500 mm, it’s one of the largest and most spacious vehicles in the B-SUV segment, ensuring that there is more than enough space for all passengers – and everything that’s needed on the journey.

Inside, the Sonet offers a sophisticated cabin with a smooth, flowing dashboard to appeal to young-at-heart and always-connected consumers. Keeping the comfort of the driver and passengers in mind, intelligent packaging has liberated plenty of legroom, headroom and shoulder room, and created a large luggage area measuring 392 litres.

All the tech you expect

Taking centre stage on the dashboard is an 8.0-inch HD touch-screen infotainment system that incorporates a reverse camera with dynamic guidelines, a standard fitment throughout the range.

The set-up offers Kia’s intuitive and friendly voice-control technology and sports wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality. Additionally, the digital instrument cluster presents important information to the driver in vivid clarity.

About that engine

Supplementing the critically acclaimed Sonet range, powered by a naturally aspirated 1.5-litre engine in entry-level LX and mid-tier EX specification, the new Kia Sonet 1.0 T-GDi options build on the current range and offer a new flagship in EX+ specification.

The 1.0-litre, 3-cylinder turbopetrol engine is mated with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. You can expect 88kW and 172Nm of torque. The combination of engine and transmission also allow for an impressive fuel-consumption figure.

Safety-wise, the Kia Sonet is equipped with six airbags, ABS with EBD, ESC, hill-start assist, and rear parking sensors. It also gets a driver fatigue alert system, and a rear-view camera with dynamic guidelines.


In conclusion, the Kia Sonet Turbo offers a great combination of style, performance and convenience, and it is a great option for those looking for a relatively affordable SUV. It is well-equipped with a host of tech and convenience features, and it comes with a generous list of safety features.

If you’re looking for an affordable and feature-packed SUV, the Kia Sonet is definitely worth considering. It’s a popular car which, we believe, will become even more popular thanks to the addition of this 1.0-litre turbocharged variant.

The Kia Sonet Turbo is priced between R379 995 (1.0T EX) and R409 995 (1.0T EX+).

Follow Justin Jacobs on Instagram: @TheJustBin

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