While we wait for Kia North America to bring in its newest Stonic mini crossover, the South Korean automaker is expanding its Stonic portfolio in Europe with the newest GT Line. It features a host of sportier visual upgrades along with a new 48-volt mild-hybrid system – the latter of which is offered for the first time in the new Stonic.
The 2021 Kia Stonic GT Line is already on sale in the UK and other European markets, with base prices starting at £18,195 or around $23,700. But the Stonic we really like is the GT Line and GT Line S trim. It has a new Smartstream turbocharged 1.0-liter three-cylinder gasoline engine with a Mild Hybrid Starter Generator (MHSG) and lithium-ion battery pack.
The MHSG offers additional push during hard acceleration, while it switches to ‘generator’ mode in certain driving conditions to replenish the batteries. The result is stronger performance, lesser emissions, and superior fuel economy – all the factors you want in a small crossover vehicle. What’s more, the powertrain generates 118 horsepower and 127 pound-feet of torque, which is brilliant for what is conceivably a smallish gasoline motor.
The new Kia Stonic GT Line has a standard clutch-by-wire iMT six-speed manual transmission, a type of electronic manual gearbox that makes do with mechanical linkages from the pedal to the clutch. It also works with the mild-hybrid system to switch off the engine during stoplights.
If you don’t like manually rowing gears, the 2021 Kia Stonic GT Line also comes with an optional 7-speed dual-clutch automatic. In this configuration, Kia tuned the engine to offer more torque, topping out at 148 pound-feet. However, the Stonic is strictly a front-wheel-drive vehicle as opposed to the Seltos’ mightier all-wheel drivetrain.
On the styling front, the Stonic GT Line has contrasting two-tone paint, unique 17-inch wheels, and a redesigned front bumper. Also standard are skid plates that can be ordered in six main colors. According to Kia, the Stonic GT Line rushes to 60 mph in 10.4-seconds and has a top speed of 115 mph in both manual and automatic configurations.