As per our source, Kia Sonet will be occupying the premium end of the sub-4m SUV market, with a relatively high starting price of Rs. 8 Lakh.
The sub-4m SUV segment has had plenty of entries by every major carmaker in India, and the ones that haven’t introduced one yet are planning to do so very quickly. The sub-4m SUV space is the most hotly contested segment in the Indian car market, but it is also the most popular one. One of the most anticipated vehicles in this class is the upcoming Kia Sonet, which is expected to launch in August this year.
Although the company has been tight-lipped about its upcoming sub-4m SUV, IndianAuto has managed to discover some new information about the Sonet. According to our dealership-level sources, prices of the Kia Sonet will begin from Rs 8 lakh (ex-showroom) and go all the way to Rs 13 lakh (ex-showroom). While this seems like quite a high price, it should be noted that Kia will be positioning itself as a premium player even in the entry-level SUV segment and therefore, the higher price makes sense. Also, keeping the Sonet in the premium end of the spectrum will reduce internal competition with its cousin, the Hyundai Venue, with which it shares its platform and engines.
Kia Sonet revealed at Auto Expo 2020 (Hindi) | Rivals Maruti Brezza and Tata Nexon
Although car sales are currently not going strong, the market seems to be recovering slowly but steadily. Also, Kia Motors has previously performed exceedingly well in the Indian market, despite the sales slump that was plaguing the auto industry since last year. As such, Kia won’t be delaying the launch of the Sonet, but rather stick to its previous launch schedule.
"We intend to go with our pre-existing idea of launching it in the festival season irrespective of Covid issues. Our vendors, our suppliers, everyone is on track for us to come out with the vehicle in the festive season which is August-October period"
Head of Marketing and Sales, Kia Motors India
To justify its higher price tag, Kia will offer plenty of premium features on the Sonet. The most significant of these will be the intelligent manual gearbox (iMT), which is a manual transmission with an automated clutch. As such, this gearbox will be clutchless in operation, but will still require manual gear shifts. In essence, it will be closer to an AMT with manual mode. It will be interesting to see how Kia’s system will fare against the traditional AMTs, CVTs, and torque-converters that are currently being offered in other cars in this segment. The sub-compact SUV will be even available with a high-strung 1.0-litre turbo-petrol motor along with a dual-clutch transmission. It could even have a largest-in-segment 10.4-inch infotainment screen, along with bits like UVO connected apps suite, wireless smartphone charger, premium sound system and more.