What is like driving the 2023 Kia Stonic GT-Line?
I almost don’t even want to write this section, because it isn’t favourable to the Stonic.
Look, it handles really well. Kia have worked their magic and tuned this thing to be great around a corner. It has minimal body roll, without the suspension being crashy.
Speaking of, around town, the suspension is great. It isn’t overly stiff, and takes bumps quite well and is a great car to cruise around the city streets.
It has a basic torsion beam setup in the rear, but who cares – it’s cheap. Cycle through the driving modes, and you can add some extra weight to the steering wheel and (strangely) have quite a bit of fun around the twisties and backroads as we did in our full review.
Try and give it some sauce though, and it almost feels like you don’t move. Okay, it’s not quite that bad. But we recorded our slowest ever 0-100km/h time for the Kia Stonic GT-Line of 14.5 seconds. To be fair, we had both Jacob and I as we gave it some sauce, but we do so in every car we test.
The engine itself is actually okay. Yes, it has no power, but it pulls relatively confidently and never seems to stutter.
To bad, the 7-speed dual clutch is… too bad. It’s a dry clutch – meaning the clutch packs aren’t submerged in oil – and that helps reduce powertrain loss. That is generally worse for longevity, though only time can tell on that one.
The issue is its calibration. It is extremely lurch-y when you are driving at lower speeds. If you need to reverse up a hill, good-luck – it will do it, but not before scaring you as it first rolls down the hill while it lazily engages the clutch.
The worst part though is when you combine it with it’s euro-emissions compliant start-stop system. When you come to a stop, the engine turns off. Usually, I don’t mind this feature – it’s good for the environment. But put your foot down, and we counted an ENTIRE SECOND before the car began to move. More than once we got beeped with cars behind us thinking we weren’t watching the road. We were, the car just wouldn’t go. Watch our full review to see this in action.
That aside, the drive is unremarkable. But it is probably one of the more disappointing drives – if not the worst – in the entire Kia range. Which is unusual, they make some of the best driving – pseudo luxury – budget friendly cars out there.
@Kia, please give it a V8 (just kidding, but I wouldn’t complain…)