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By Charl Bosch

Motoring Journalist

More aggressive looking Kia Sonet teased for the first time

South Korean automaker's smallest model will show its full self on 14 December in India.

Three years after making its debut, originally as a concept at the Delhi Auto Expo in February and then as the production model in August, Kia has released the first teaser of the facelift Sonet due to be revealed on 14 December.

Watch the teaser clip below

Teased by way of a video posted by Kia India on its YouTube page, the 20 second clip shows the Sonet as being the beneficiary of the same C-shaped headlights as the facelift Sorento, along with a redesigned Tiger Nose grille, a Carnival inspired bumper with new slim-line fog lamps recessed lower down, as well as a tweaked satin silver front skidplate.

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While a glimpse of the rear wasn’t provided, a fleeting glance of the interior showcases a revised central facia with a small display for the climate control located between the air vents that make-up the otherwise unchanged H-pattern design.


Sitting on top of the dashboard, the 10.25-inch infotainment system has also been updated with what appears to be touch-sensitive buttons at its base now that the side-mounted physical buttons have all been dropped. The final nuance is a Bose sound system that will be limited to flagship derivatives.   

New story about to be written as Kia starts teasing facelift Sonet
Physical buttons for the infotainment system have been dropped in favour of touch-sensitive items. Image: Kia India

In a related report, Autocar India claims a new digital instrument cluster will also be included, along with updated safety and driver assistance system comprising six airbags on all derivatives, plus trim level depended tech made-up of Forward Collision Warning, Lane Keep Assist, Lane Departure Warning and Autonomous Emergency Braking.

Same engine options

Up front, the Sonet’s current engine options are set to be carried over with no alterations relating to power or inclusion of electrification expected.

As such, the normally aspirated 1.2-litre petrol will continue to generate 61kW/115Nm and the bigger 1.5 an unchanged 85kW/144Nm. The top-spec 1.0 T-GDI will also retain its outputs of 88kW/172Nm.

Despite the implementation of the more stringent BS6.2 emissions regulations in India earlier this year, the Sonet will still offer a diesel engine option, the 1.5 CRDI rated at 85kW/250Nm.

Transmission will again consist of a five-speed manual on the 1.2, a six-speed automatic on the diesel and a six-speed manual or a CVT on the free-breathing 1.5.

For the 1.0 T-GDI, a six-speed clutchless manual called iMT or Intelligent Manual Transmission will be standard, with the option being a seven-speed dual-clutch currently the mainstay on the South African-spec Sonet Turbo.

South African introduction in 2024 expected

Its introduction set to come with a price hike over the current version, the facelift Sonet, despite not being officially confirmed, is unlikely not to come to market next year as it currently rates as one of Kia South Africa’s best-selling models with sales of 5 257 units between January and October.

As such, expect sales to begin early next year with pricing set to be dearer than the R338 995 asked by the entry-level 1.5 LX.

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