Launched earlier this month, the Kia Sonet has been off to a pretty strong start, with over 25,000 bookings made within a day of its launch. Also, the company registered a record number of pre-bookings on the first day of the opening of pre-orders. However, Kia Motor India is definitely not someone to rest on its laurels and has already an action -plan in place to keep the Sonet in the limelight.
It must be mentioned here that the Kia Sonet has gone on sale in 3 engine variants – 1.2-litre naturally-aspirated petrol, 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol, and 1.5-litre turbocharged diesel. Out of these, the Kia Sonet Turbo petrol only gets iMT and DCT gearbox options. However, we’ve now got to know that a manual transmission option could be added in the coming future. If you see, the iMT was introduced by Hyundai on the Venue, the donor model for the Sonet. Right now, the Venue 1.0 Turbo is available with three transmission options – 6-speed manual, 6-speed iMT and 7-speed DCT. Hence, it won’t be too much for Kia to borrow the manual transmission and start offering it on its sub-compact-SUV. Speaking on this, an official statement by the company reads-
“Kia is committed to providing customer-centric solutions, and if the market demands a manual gearbox with the 1.0 Turbo, we will not hold ourselves back from offering it. As of now, we will look at the response from our consumers.”
While it’s not clear why the 6-speed manual transmission option wasn’t rolled out at the time of launch, a reason for it could be the higher demand for DCT with performance-oriented small cars and the company’s attempt to avoid confusing the buyers with too many variants right from the onset. The Kia Sonet was launched at an introductory starting price of Rs 6.71 lakh (ex-showroom). Also, the company could decide on the exact timeline of the launch of the manual transmission on the turbo-petrol variant based on the market inputs it would collect. Hence, it’s quite clear that an imminent launch of this transmission variant is not on the cards.
Already, it’s being said that the GTX+ variant, which is available only with the 1.0-litre turbo-petrol with iMT and DCT options, is enjoying the maximum demand. However, we believe that adding conventional manual transmission to the kitty would only help the top-spec model bolster its position in the market. It’s important to mention here that while ours is the first car market to have received Kia’s first-ever sub-compact-SUV, it will be sold in many other markets. In fact, India will even serve as an export hub for the Sonet. In India, the Kia Sonet locks horns with the
While India is the first market for the company’s first-ever sub-4-metre SUV, the new model is slated to go on sale even in many international markets. In India, the Kia Sonet goes on to lock horns with the Maruti Vitara Brezza, Hyundai Venue, Mahindra XUV300, Tata Nexon, and Ford EcoSport.