Monday, August 17, 2020

Is Kia Philippines Going to Source the Stonic from China?


Thirty or odd so minutes after we posted our analysis based on Kia Philippines’s 15-second Stonic teaser, they sent two official PR photos (see top and below). Based on this, we could be looking at yet another sub-compact SUV sourced from China.

Admittedly, I should have noticed this sooner, but it took a while for my brain to register where I last saw this rather unique LED DRL placement. Going through the Kia China website, I happen to find the exact photo that Kia Philippines used which adds fuel to the fire (see comparison with the cropped photo the one that Kia Philippines sent):


If the Philippine market Stonic is indeed sourced from Kia’s joint-venture partner with Dongfeng (the Soluto is sourced from there too), this is in line with a prediction I made way back in 2019. Now, while it’s worth noting though that since then, Kia Philippines has said that they won’t be sourcing any more models from China, but the benefits of the existing free trade agreement are just too hard to ignore.

Anyhow, if the Philippines will be getting the Chinese market Stonic it makes guessing what the powertrain combination is since China only offers one engine variant. The KX1, as the Stonic is known in China, is powered by a normally-aspirated 1.4-liter making 100 horsepower and 132 Nm of torque. This engine is mated either to a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic. Top speed is quoted at 173 km/h for the slush box, and 170 km/h for the manual. Fuel economy? Up to 17.24 km/L based on Kia’s internal figures.

Moreover, the China market Stonic gets only one wheel size option—16-inchers with 195/60R16 tires. Ground clearance? A healthy 185 mm.

Okay, that leaves us to deduce what sort of spec the Philippine market Stonic will get. In China, it’s offered in four variants.

Because we know that the local Stonic is fitted with a two-tone roof and the boomerang-shaped LED DRLs, this automatically means we’re either getting the top-grade “Sport” or the just-below-the-top-grade “Fashion.” If that’s the case, expect a nice list of standard features including a push-button start/stop, leather seats, 6 airbags, and an 8-inch infotainment system (Kia Philippines has so far confirmed rear backup sensors with reverse camera, stability control with hill start assist, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto).

As for price? The Kia Stonic Sport and Fashion carry the exact same price in China: RMB 82,800. Directly converted to Philippine peso, that’s around P 580,410. Using the Soluto’s pricing as basis, it’s priced at RMB 68,900 or P 482,850 in China. Locally, it’s priced at P 755,000 or a 36 percent premium. Applying the math directly, the Stonic could be priced at around P 800,000. If this computation’s correct, Kia’s going to have a killer vehicle on their hands.

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