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UPDATE: The Stonic has now been officially revealed. Details and images here.


The upcoming 2018 Kia Stonic has been leaked online by Spanish media this week, giving us a first look at the company’s first compact SUV – though don’t expect to see it in Australia anytime soon.

Autodato.com published the images ahead of the Stonic’s official reveal at an event Amsterdam this week – timed very closely to the reveal of the Hyundai Kona, which made its debut just last week.

Unlike its Hyundai counterpart, however, the Stonic has a far more mainstream design. It bears quite a resemblance to the Rio light hatch, which it will also share numerous components with.

It’s a little more hatch-like than the Kona too, with fairly minimal black plastic cladding and clean lines. However, the flared wheel arches, large alloy wheels with fatter tyres and raised ride height give the Stonic a more versatile and capable look.

The Stonic will likely be pitched at a more youthful audience, like the Kona and numerous competitors like the Mazda CX-3 and Toyota C-HR, evident thanks to the bright orange contrasting roof colour and the matching interior highlights.

Additionally, the interior design is almost lifted from the Rio, much like how the Kona borrows much of its interior design from the new i30.

These new images come just a fortnight after the Korean manufacturer released design sketches of its new crossover (below), and the final design – if these pictures turn out to be correct – appears to stay true to the renderings.

Reports claim the Stonic’s engine range will largely mirror that of the Kona bound for Europe, including a range of small-capacity turbocharged petrol and diesel engines, mated to either a six-speed manual or seven-speed dual-clutch transmission (DCT). Front- and all-wheel drive are also expected.

Again, like its Kona sibling, the Stonic could spawn an all-electric version sometime next year.

Australia

Unfortunately for us, the Stonic bound for markets like Europe has been deemed unsuitable for the Australian market, according to Kia’s local arm.

Kevin Hepworth, communications manager for Kia Australia, told CarAdvice earlier this year that a different model – dubbed as a “proper CX-3 competitor” and is currently under development – will come to Australia, but not until 2019.

Going by Hepworth’s comments, it’s likely the Stonic is more Rio than Kona. If that proves to be the case, the other small SUV coming from Kia will be the company’s first global compact SUV in the same way the Kona is the first global model in the class for Hyundai. Stay tuned for more updates.

UPDATE: The Stonic has now been officially revealed. Details and images here.

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