Mild-hybrid power is added to the Kia Stonic SUV range
The Kia Stonic has received a raft of significant upgrades to boost its position in the UK's compact SUV segment.
Along with more efficient engines, there is a new petrol 48-volt mild-hybrid version available.
The hybrid has a 1.0-litre T-GDI petrol engine that is mated to a 48-volt MHEV system.
Kia says that the EcoDynamics offering will recuperate electric power and the battery will help boost the engine's torque output.
The Stonic also features the firm's new 'clutch-by-wire' intelligent manual transmission. The offering works by removing the mechanical linkage between the master cylinder and the clutch pedal and instead uses an electronic system to open and close the clutch.
One of the big improvements from this system is that CO2 emissions will fall by around 3% because the car's operating system will disengage its engine. It will then coast automatically in neutral with the clutch being depressed whenever the ECU decides this is necessary.
The system, Kia says, will operate at speeds of up to 77mph.
There are also improved petrol engines that promise more economy and lower CO2 emissions including a new 1.0-litre 100PS T-GDI engine and a new 1.2-litre offering.
The engines are coupled to either a six-speed manual gearbox or a seven-speed DCT.
However, the exterior and interior of the Kia Stonic have been largely untouched, but there is a wider range of colour choices plus new body and roof colours.
Perhaps the only big difference for the facelifted model's exterior is that the LED headlamps have been redesigned and the 16-inch alloy wheels have a new design.
Drivers who buy or lease the Kia Stonic also now enjoy a bigger 8-inch touchscreen with sat nav which can also incorporate Kia's telematics features. Some models will have a 4.2-inch digital instrument binnacle with a higher resolution.
Among the safety kit improvements are smart cruise control, lane following assist, blind spot collision avoidance, forward collision assist with cyclist detection and intelligent speed limit assist.
The new versions of the Kia Stonic will go on sale in the autumn and will feature the firm's impressive seven-year or 100,000 miles warranty as standard on each model.
The specification and prices have yet to be announced.
Green Cars’ is the term used for zero, low and ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEVs) - with pressure being applied to lower global emission levels, the need for “eco-friendly” vehicles is on the rise. Many countries now have plans in place to abolish the use of combustion engines before the turn of the century and so more and more vehicles we see on the roads will be Electric, hybrid or very low emission petrol and diesels.
Although beneficial to the environment, ‘Green Cars’ are also beneficial from a taxation view. The lower a vehicle’s emissions banding, the lower the taxation placed against it. Many manufacturers have tapped in to this ever-growing market with their own offerings, however, Volvo were the first manufacturer to state that every one of their models will be either electric or hybrid options from 2019.