Designed in Europe, the Stonic is Kia's first competitor in the European B-segment SUV class, which the company says accounts for 1.1 million sales in Europe or around seven per cent of the overall market. This segment, Kia forecasts, will grow to around two million cars by 2020.
The interior of the Stonic looks to be lifted straight from Rio hatch, although body colour highlights are available. Given that, the Stonic is likely more closely related to Kia's light hatch than to the recently revealed Hyundai Kona.
Despite being visually similar to the Kia Rio, the Stonic seems to feature completely unique exterior body panels and detailing, including wheel arch protectors and a new interpretation of the company's 'tiger nose' grille.
Kia will offer the Stonic with up 20 two-tone colour combos, including five different hues for the roof.
Under the bonnet, European versions of the Stonic are available with three petrol engine choices: 62kW 1.25-litre and 73kW 1.4-litre naturally aspirated engines, and an 88kW/172Nm 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbo. A 1.6-litre turbo-diesel will also be available.
Although it has a taller ride height and crossover body, the Stonic will be available purely in front-wheel drive format. A manual transmission is standard, and there's no mention of self-shifting options.
On the safety front, the Stonic is available with autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian recognition, forward collision warning, blind spot monitoring, high beam assistant, driver attention warnings, and lane departure checking.
The Stonic goes on sale in Europe from the third quarter of this year, but the small crossover will not be making the journey to Australia.
Kevin Hepworth, Kia Australia's head of communications, informed CarAdvice earlier this year a different model, currently under development, will come to Australia from around 2019. This crossover is expected to be more closely related to the Hyundai Kona.