Kia Composes Sonet for Global Compact SUV Market

Red Kia Sonet Teaser Kia Sonet | Manufacturer image

South Korean automaker Kia has released a teaser image of a new compact SUV that it plans on unveiling soon for global markets, giving it the apparently intentionally misspelled name Sonet. The all-new Kia Sonet will initially be built and introduced in India, but will eventually be seen in countries around the world — but whether the U.S. is one of those places, Kia didn’t immediately say.

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Slated to come in below the also-produced-in-India Seltos compact SUV in Kia’s lineup, there’s no word yet on how the Sonet would fit into a showroom that already has three compact crossovers in it. But looking at the Kia showroom pricing, it becomes a bit more obvious where a Sonet might fit. The entry-level Soul starts at $18,610, including a destination charge, but the next crossover up the pricing ladder is the $23,110 Seltos compact SUV. Above that, you have the $25,110 Sportage compact SUV. That leaves a $4,500 gap between the entry level Soul and the Seltos — and a nice spot where a roughly $20,000 Sonet might fit.

“With the new Kia Sonet, we had the ambition to give this compact SUV a strong and muscular character found only in much larger vehicles,” said Karim Habib, senior vice president and head of the Kia design center at Kia Motors Corp., in a statement. “With this in mind, we have designed what we believe is a great SUV with a uniquely sporty attitude, a confident stance and a dynamic silhouette. We also gave the new Kia Sonet an uncompromising attention to detail and a selection of colors and materials that could have only been inspired by the great cultural heritage that our designers found all over India. 

“As a whole we believe the new Kia Sonet will be a fantastic SUV with a very compelling and attaching character to our young and young at heart, always connected customers in India and beyond. …”

We should know sometime next year whether the Sonet will be arriving on our shores and where else it ultimately might be built (our guess would be South Korea, like the Seltos, and not India).

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Detroit Bureau Chief Aaron Bragman has had over 25 years of experience in the auto industry as a journalist, analyst, purchasing agent and program manager. Bragman grew up around his father’s classic Triumph sports cars (which were all sold and gone when he turned 16, much to his frustration) and comes from a Detroit family where cars put food on tables as much as smiles on faces. Today, he’s a member of the Automotive Press Association and the Midwest Automotive Media Association. His pronouns are he/him, but his adjectives are fat/sassy. Email Aaron Bragman

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