The Indian automobile market has seen car manufacturers flood the mid-size SUV segment with numerous launches and now Kia has entered the race with the Sonet. Kia has a good base of customers with the previous hot launch, the Seltos and now is looking to expand it with the Sonet. The recently launched mid-size offering from the Korean brand competes with the likes of Maruti Brezza, Hyundai Venue, Tata Nexon, Mahindra XUV300 and Ford EcoSport. Since its launch on 18th September 2020, the brand has managed to sell 9,226 units in just 12 days and has beaten the likes of Maruti Brezza and Hyundai Venue in sales. Kia has left no stone unturned in terms of features with the Sonet and that might partly be the reason for the commendable sales figures that it has achieved. The baby Kia does look very appealing. I mean, who doesn’t love a car with bold styling and refreshing visual cues? The front fascia of the vehicle is dominated by the black grille and is flanked by the smart-looking headlamps with LED DRLs. The fog lamps are situated inside the sharp curves on the front bumper providing a snarly look to the front. The side profile of the car is a bit sober, but the big wheel arches and the ground clearance complete the mini SUV look. At the back, the LED taillamps give off a very premium vibe to the car which is then complemented by the faux exhaust vents and diffuser. Once you open the door and step inside the sub-4-metre car, you are engulfed in unexpected premium interiors. You either get dual-tone interiors or a full black theme with red stitching if you opt for the GT Line trim. The front seats are brilliant in terms of comfort and space. They do the job of keeping you squidged up nicely and are also ventilated, again a brownie point for the car. The steering wheel is quite similar to the Seltos and also features steering mounted controls. The dashboard has a niche look to it with the Mercedes-ish infotainment system design. Although, the buttons for the air conditioning unit are quite mediocre at best. The infotainment is smooth to use and functions with minimal lag and also features Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and AI voice commands apart from the basic Bluetooth and USB connectivity. Another advantage of such a feature-loaded car is that you can now listen to Spotify’s ad clearly with the Bose 7 speaker system. The Sonet also comes with 57 UVO connected car features with remote engine start. With the UVO feature, you can track where your car is in real-time using the UVO app on your mobile phone, the location of the car can be shared to your close ones, on a hot day or whenever you wish, you can turn on the AC and cool the car before even stepping in it, you can check the tyre pressures on your phone, you can locate the car by the remote honk and light-flash feature, you can geofence the car and if the car is driven outside of the specified limits, a notification will be sent to the UVO app and many more features are waiting for you to explore. You can also use the UVO app to turn on the air purifier in the car before you enter it. Oh wait, here’s a party trick, you can politely ask your car for the cricket score or you can ask it to set a pleasant AC temperature or close and open the windows or ask it about the weather information. Who needs a fellow passenger when you can talk to your car right? The Sonet is available with both petrol and diesel engine options. Of the two petrol engines on offer, the first one is a 1.2-litre naturally aspirated unit that pumps out 83 BHP and 115 Nm of torque. This engine can only be had with a 5-speed manual gearbox and is available on the lower trim levels. The second option is a 1.0-litre turbo-petrol engine that churns 120 BHP and 175 Nm of torque. You can either pair this engine with a 6-speed iMT gearbox (a clutch-less manual) or a 7-speed DCT automatic gearbox. The iMT doesn’t get a clutch pedal, instead, it has two pedals – accelerator and brake – like an automatic. But, you change the gear through a shift stick. To get moving with the iMT gearbox, you’ll need to slot the manual gearstick from neutral to first-gear while depressing the brake (like in AMT). In a very basic sense, the clutch pedal is removed and replaced with a hydraulic actuator that operates the clutch and pressure plate, thereby engaging or disengaging the clutch. Coming to the 1.5-litre, four-cylinder, turbocharged diesel engine, it produces 100 BHP and 240 Nm when mated to a 6-speed manual transmission. However, when it is paired with a 6-speed torque-converter automatic gearbox, it makes 115 BHP and 250 Nm of torque. At its price point, the Sonet is stuffed with tech and features so much so that it could give expensive cars a run for their money. The segment that the car has entered in is seeing a lot of competition and it’s only going to get more engaging as the Nissan Magnite and Renault Kiger are also expected to enter the segment by next year. The prices for the Sonet range from Rs 6.71 lakh and go up to Rs 11.99 lakh (ex-showroom, India). It is also to be noted that these prices are introductory prices and may increase after a certain period of time.