The facelifted Kia Stonic crossover is gaining a raft of fuel-saving, driver-assistance and infotainment upgrades for 2020.
A new ‘EcoDynamics+’ mild-hybrid petrol powertrain pairs a 1.0-litre turbocharged three-cylinder petrol with a 48V lithium ion battery and belt-integrated starter-generator (BISG). Energy is recuperated under deceleration to supplement the torque output of the combustion engine and extend ‘engine-off’ time when coasting.
It is available with 99bhp or 118bhp, and the higher-powered version’s maximum 148lb ft torque output is 16% higher than that of the current, non-electrified 1.0-litre option.
The EcoDynamics+ motor can also be paired with a six-speed manual gearbox and Kia’s new ‘clutch-by-wire’ system. Swapping a mechanical linkage for an electronic actuator, the system allows the engine to shut off sooner when coasting to a stop, reducing emissions and saving fuel.
Elsewhere, the Stonic’s existing petrol engines have received “major revisions” in the name of efficiency. On offer are a 99bhp 1.0-litre turbo petrol and a naturally aspirated 1.2-litre with 83bhp, while the five-speed manual gearbox option has been replaced by a six-speed.
The cabin gains a larger 8.0in central touchscreen and smartphone connectivity as standard, and Kia has rolled out its latest live telematics functionality. The resolution of the 4.2in digital display cluster has been upgraded, while new interior customisation options include new blue and yellow trim highlights.
A new ‘User Profile Transfer’ function allows drivers to save their preferred system settings to the cloud and transfer them to other Kia models equipped with the system. The brand says this will be of particular use to fleet drivers who often switch between vehicles or families with more than one Kia model in their household.
The crossover’s exterior design remains largely unchanged, save for the addition of new LED headlights, but buyers can choose from an expanded range of nine colour choices – including new grey and blue options – and can specify a new 16in alloy wheel design.
A contrasting roof remains an option, and Kia says 20 two-tone colour combinations are now available. Of the 154,659 examples sold since the Stonic was launched in 2017, 33% have been painted this way.
Prices and specifications for the UK market will be revealed when the Stonic arrives in dealerships later this year.