Special feature: Trippin' with the Kia Sonet
In our previous chapter, we took Kia's latest and youngest offering, the Sonet, on a special trip to meet some of the wild marvels of nature. It is during this trip that we learnt that the Sonet, which looks like nothing on the road in the segment it belongs to, can actually traverse over different terrain with great confidence. This is just one of the reasons why this young Kia is so popular with the younger generation who can't stop gushing over this compact SUV. And not just that, but even all of us at OVERDRIVE, who've been eyeing every single opportunity to get behind the wheel of the Sonet. To make sure that happens, we decided to take the Sonet on a weekend getaway under the cover of doing a travel feature, wherein the agenda was to spend an unplanned adventurous weekend with this compact SUV.
When there are multiple minds at work, a difference in opinion over almost everything is expected. This includes what route to take, what food to eat, and also, who's a better driver. But then what we unanimously agreed on is how good looking the Sonet is. While there are compact SUVs, which have been primarily conceived to just fit into the sub-4m category, we believe the Sonet's design brief was to ensure that it imbibes all the characteristic traits that Kia is famous for before neatly taking the shape of a compact SUV. However, there's more to this smart SUV than what meets the eye.
Nestled behind the Tiger nose grille of our Sonet is the 1.0 T-GDi petrol engine that makes 120PS of power. As they say, the proof of the pudding is in the eating, the only way to experience these impressive numbers of the Sonet is to head out from the cosy garage into the wild urban world interweaved with a vast array of highways running in all directions.
Charting the city in this SUV was a breeze, thanks to the light steering but the real joy is to take the SUV on the highways. Give the pedal a slight tap and the motor responds back with an immediate response, something that you feel in SUVs belonging to a higher segment.
Helping accentuate this further is Kia's iMT that offers smooth shifts and feels a lot better than conventional manual transmissions. Also, it does not take much time to get familiarised, considering that there's no clutch pedal. You know the thing with us automobile journos is that we get to drive different kinds of cars and SUVs almost every day. This raises our expectations in terms of performance and handling.
However, the Sonet didn't have any concerns in that aspect either. Even if you throw the Sonet into a corner at a decent speed, you will find you exit it with a smile. The compactness of its footprint helps in agility, while the confidence-inspiring steering also helps in maintaining its composure. In its agility, it's almost like our next vehicle. As random as this trip was, our plan was to head to a go-karting track. These bareboned four-wheeled creations with sticky slick tyres offer the confidence to tackle corners at speed, much like the Sonet.
But then its piddly motor and the comfort of nothing but open air and a modified seat made us ditch the karts and switch back to the Sonet. After all, who would not like to have an adventurous outing paired with comfort and convenience? You see once you are cocooned in the premium cabin of the Sonet and are spoiled by the ventilated seats, fresh fragrant air, wireless charging and music played on the Bose premium sound system, you can't settle for anything less even when it comes to choosing a place of stay for the evening. However, since 'wild and spontaneous' was the theme for this feature, we chose to conclude the day by camping far away from the city, right in the midst of nature.
This was a welcome change considering the concrete jungle we're surrounded by the rest of the week. Now that was a weekend spent right with the Kia Sonet, which scored impressively in all aspects, making it a great getaway car for the weekend.
Images: Anis Shaikh
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