Hyundai has just revealed its new Kona compact SUV and here’s Kia’s equivalent, the Kia Stonic. It will join one of the fastest growing segments in the auto market, the B-segement SUV. Kia says that the segment currently accounts for 1.1 million sales in Europe each year – around 7% market share – and is forecasted to past two million annual sales by 2020.

“By volume, the B-SUV market is expected to overtake the C-SUV segment by 2020, when more than one in ten new cars sold in Europe will be from the Stonic’s segment. The segment attracts buyers from across the spectrum, with 21% of all customers upsizing from a supermini, and another 15% downsizing from family hatchbacks. Cars like the Stonic also appeal to those looking to replace their compact MPVs,” said Michael Cole, COO of Kia Motors Europe.

Kia says that the Stonic’s design is one of the brand’s most striking to date, but it’s significantly less radical than the Hyundai Kona. It’s immediately recognisable as a Kia thanks to signature design elements such as the “tiger nose” grille and rear lamps that resemble those on the bigger Sportage.

Designed in Europe in collaboration with Kia’s Korean design studio, the Stonic’s blends sharp horizontal feature lines with softer sculpted surfaces. The “Targa” style roof (Kia’s words) enables a two-tone paint finish, inspired by the design of the 2013 Kia Provo concept. There will up to 20 two-tone colour combinations in Europe, with a choice of up to five distinctive colours for the roof – individuality is key in this segment.

A range of downsized turbocharged petrol and diesel engines are available, each paired with a manual transmission. Buyers have the choice of a 1.0 litre T-GDI engine with 120 PS, as well as 1.25 or 1.4 litre naturally-aspirated MPI petrol engines. A 1.6 litre turbodiesel completes the range with the lowest emissions in the line-up. The Stonic is front-wheel drive only.

Kia says that the Stonic offers European-tuned steering and suspension designed to offer an exciting drive, with immediate handling responses and a stable ride.

The Stonic’s cabin is similar to the fourth-generation Rio hatchback it’s based on, but with a range of colour packs for buyers to choose from. The car’s touchscreen infotainment system gets Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard. Heated front seats, cruise control and keyless entry are all available. Kia claims class-leading shoulder room and generous leg- and headroom, while the 352 litre boot has a two-step floor.

Also available are active safety tech such as Autonomous Emergency Braking with pedestrian recognition and Forward Collision Alert; Blind Spot Detection with Rear Cross Traffic Alert; and Lane Departure Warning. Backed by a new fusion camera system, the Stonic also offers High Beam Assist and Driver Attention Warning.

In Europe, the Stonic will be sold with Kia’s famous seven-year, 100,000 mile (160,000 km) warranty. It will go on sale across the Continent in the third quarter of 2017.