Review - 2023 Kia Stonic

By Alexi Falson on 31 Oct 2023
image for Review - 2023 Kia Stonic
OnlineAuto Rating
out of 10
  • Undeniable value for money
  • User-friendly around town
  • Long warranty coverage
  • Fuel-efficient range-topper
  • Fails to inspire in overcrowded market
  • No blind-spot monitoring or rear-cross traffic alerts
  • Short service intervals for turbocharged GT-Line flagship
  • Underwhelming engine options
    • 45L
    • 155
    • 6000 / 4000
    • 5 star
    • Automatic
There’s no shortage of small SUVs here in Australia, meaning the Kia Stonic has a tough task to stand out from the busy crowd.

It enters the market in 2023 relatively unchanged, though it remains one of the cheapest compact SUVs available, offering buyers a significant value proposition.

Just how well does the Kia Stonic stand out from its fierce small SUV rivals? Let’s take a closer look to find out.

Kia Stonic Competition

Kia Stonic

Hyundai Venue
Mazda CX-3
Nissan Juke
Ford Puma
Renault Captur
Toyota Yaris Cross

Starting Price: $22,290

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How Much Does It Cost?

The Kia Stonic range is priced from $22,290 for the entry-level Stonic S manual, with prices rising up to $23,790 for the Stonic S automatic.

From here, prices move to $25,290 for the Stonic Sport manual and up to $26,790 for the Stonic Sport automatic, while the range-topping Stonic GT-Line automatic is priced at $30,790.

Keep in mind that these prices are subject to change and do not include on-road costs.

2023 kia stonic sport australia

How Much Can OnlineAuto Save You?

You could save money by getting one of OnlineAuto’s car buying agents to assist you in finding the greatest value model for you.

Kia Stonic (SPORT) Specifications

Model Date 2023
Make KIA
Series YB MY24
Variant SPORT
Transmission 6 SP AUTOMATIC
Drive FWD
Engine MPFI
Engine capacity 1368
Engine configuration VARIABLE DOUBLE OVERHEAD CAM / 16 valves
Engine RPM 6000 / 4000
Cylinders 4
Torque 133
KW 74
Fuel tank size 45.0
Fuel usage specs 6.7 / 0
CO2 155
ANCAP security rating 5

What Features Does the Kia Stonic Have?

Kia’s entry-level Stonic S comes riding on a set of 15-inch steel wheels, and receives automatic headlights, a rear-view camera with rear parking sensors, cruise control, heated mirrors, an 8.0-inch infotainment system with wireless Apple CarPlay & Android Auto and a six-speaker sound system.

Upgrading to the Stonic Sport adds a set of 17-inch alloys, power-folding mirrors, a sat-nav upgrade for the infotainment system and an upgraded gear lever and steering wheel.

Finally, the range-topping Stonic GT-Line picks up climate control, LED headlights, fog lights and daytime running lamps, GT-Line styling package, the option of a two-tone colour finish for the roof or a panoramic sunroof, a sports steering wheel and an auto-dimming rear-view mirror.

2023 kia stonic sport interior

2023 kia stonic sport fwd rear suspension

Range Features:

  • 15-inch steel wheels 

  • Automatic headlights

  • Cruise control 

  • Rear-view camera with rear parking sensors 

  • 8.0-inch infotainment system with wireless Apple CarPlay & Android Auto 

  • 17-inch alloys (Sport) 

  • Power-folding mirrors (Sport)

  • LED headlights, fog lights & daytime running lamps (GT-Line)

  • GT-Line styling package (GT-Line)

  • Two-tone roof or panoramic sunroof (GT-Line)

  • Sports steering wheel (GT-Line)

Is the Kia Stonic Comfortable to Drive?

There’s not too much to get excited about behind the wheel of the Kia Stonic, though it does make for a user-friendly package around town and a great first car option, too.

Power for the entry-level S and Sport variants comes supplied by a 1.4-litre four-cylinder pushing out 74kW of power and 133Nm of torque to the front wheels via a six-speed manual or automatic transmission.

2023 kia stonic sport wheels

Acceleration in the base models is particularly leisurely, meaning you’re unlikely to get any speeding fines around town.

Upgrade to the Stonic GT-Line and you pick up a 1.0-litre turbocharged three-cylinder producing the same 74kW of power, though the added torque premium of 172Nm and the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission gives it a more direct acceleration and added fuel economy gains.

For what it lacks in power, the Stonic makes up for when it comes to the ease of driving around town thanks to its compact wheelbase that makes parking a simple process.

2023 kia stonic sport taillights

The same goes for the steering rack, which stacks up as a featherweight for easy manoeuvring around town and some nimble handling while tackling car parks and tight traffic situations.

All up, it’s fair to label the Stonic as a little bit boring, though as a fit-for-purpose city car, it ticks all the important boxes to make life easy while driving in the urban jungle.

Is it Fuel Efficient?

One of the upsides of its distinct lack of power is that the Stonic offers some impressive fuel economy figures, particularly in the range-topping Stonic GT-Line.

2023 kia stonic sport engine

The base models return combined fuel economy figures of 6.7L/100km, which is pretty much on par for the compact SUV segment, while the GT-Line returns far more fuel efficient figures of 5.4L/100km.

Is it Practical and Spacious?

As we’ve come to expect from small SUVs, their limited footprint means that they’re not all-rounders in terms of space and practicality, though they remain a usable option for couples and those with young children.

In the front of the Stonic’s cabin, things are a very familiar affair, with Kia’s straight-forward layout offering all the ergonomics we’ve come to expect from the company, albeit in quite a bland format in the base model.

2023 kia stonic sport seats

Having said that, things are comfortable in the front of the cabin, even for tall drivers, with a decent amount of headroom, a set of comfortable seats up front and a heap of adjustment in the seating position and steering wheel.

The Stonic’s centre console houses a storage tray hiding behind the gear lever, a pair of cup holders, large door bins on either side of the cabin and some added storage inside the folding armrest.

Move to the rear and things get far more cramped for occupants, with just enough room for adults to squeeze in for short hops around town, though limited accommodation for longer journeys.

2023 kia stonic sport rear seats

As a result, we’d recommend squeezing in a pair of shorter legs in the rear of the cabin, only, with the second row bench offering a pair of ISOFIX anchors and top tether mounts for child seats.

The Kia Stonic has a boot measuring in at a decent 352L, giving it a slight edge over some of its rivals like the Mazda CX-3, with 60:40 split-fold rear seats to help accommodate bulkier gear in the 1155L of cargo space with the rear seats folded.

2023 kia stonic sport boot

Is it Safe?

The Kia Stonic has been awarded ANCAP’s maximum five-star safety rating from tests back in 2017.

The range picks up a fairly basic safety equipment list as standard, which includes autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection, lane-keep assistance, lane centring, a rear-view camera with rear parking sensors and leading vehicle departure alerts.

Unfortunately, super useful safety tech like rear cross-traffic alerts and blind-spot monitoring aren’t available for the Stonic.

Our Verdict: Is The Kia Stonic Worth it?

While it won’t set your heart on fire, the Kia Stonic offers a rock-solid platform for those looking for a simple and user-friendly town car.

Admittedly, the flagship GT-Line variant is quite pricey for the engine performance and lack of active safety tech, though Kia’s outstanding seven-year warranty for long-term peace of mind.

2023 kia stonic sport blue

If you’re tossing up your best options in the ever-growing world of small SUVs, be sure to reach out to one of our car buying specialists who can help find your dream car at the best possible price.

2023 Kia Stonic Sport video review from PerformanceDrive

Five Specs You Need to Know

  1. Seven-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty 

  2. Five-star ANCAP safety rating 

  3. 6.7L/100km fuel economy figures drop to 5.2L/100km GT-Line 

  4.  352L boot space

  5. 15,000km service intervals drop to 10,000km in GT-Line 


Alexi Falson

Alexi is an automotive journalist and road tester hailing from Byron Bay. He has an affection for both cars and motorbikes, a great admiration for the simplicity of old-school engineering, and a fascination of new technology making its way to modern cars. When he's not road testing, you'll find him surfing, hiking or helping people find their dream cars.

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