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April 8, 2021

Kia Managed to Cram 7 Seats into Their Smallest SUV, the Sonet

Who would have thought that Kia could engineer a 7-seater out of their smallest SUV, the 2021 Sonet? Well, that’s exactly what happened when they introduced a new variant of the Sonet for Indonesia called the Sonet 7.

Small 7-seater SUVs are big in Indonesia so much so that every brand has got one be it the Toyota Rush, the Honda BR-V, the Mitsubishi Xpander Cross, or the Suzuki XL7. Naturally, Kia wants a piece of that pie. However, instead of waiting for a more dedicated platform, Kia Indonesia decided to cram a third row between the Sonet’s 2,500 mm wheelbase. Of course, the result is a very compromised third row with adult knees already brushing the back of the second-row seats.

With the exception of having to re-engineer the second-row to integrate a 60/40 flip-up mechanism (for ingress/egress into the third row) and cutting the fuel tank from 45 to 35 liters to accommodate the third row, the Sonet 7 is practically the same as its five-seater counterpart. It’s rather small at 4,120 mm in length, 1,790 mm in width, and 1,615 mm in height—making it about the same size as the Philippine market Stonic.

Powering the Sonet 7 is the same powertrain as its 5-seater counterpart—a 1.5-liter Smartstream 4-cylinder with 115 horsepower at 6,300 rpm and 144 Nm of torque at 4,500 rpm. Transmission options are either a CVT or 6-speed manual.

Creature comfort features include ventilated front seats, a 10.25-inch infotainment system with 6 speakers, wireless charger, cruise control, and more. It also has up to 6 SRS airbags, ABS with EBD, stability control, and three-point seatbelts for all passengers.

The Sonet was originally announced as Kia’s developing market SUV, aimed for markets such as India. However, during its launch there, it was immediately announced as a global model with Indonesia also benefitting from the move. No word if Kia will develop a left-hand drive version or whether it will be built at another location (say, Malaysia).

Pricing for the 2021 Sonet 7 starts at IDR 199.5 million (P 665,500) and goes up to IDR 296 million (P 987,000).

1 comment:

  1. This reminds me of when Kia announced that they would release a "Philippine version" of the Soul by making it a 7-seater. I remember they were going to announce it at PIMS 2016, but I'm not sure if it made it to production (they probably realized it would be too tight). Curious to see how much passenger and trunk space this smaller Sonet has.


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