Three years on from its debut, the Kia Stonic gets updated for the 2021 model year with new powertrain options and safety systems. The B-segment crossover gets a new EcoDynamics+ mild-hybrid petrol powertrain, here pairing a new Smartstream 1.0 litre T-GDI direct-injection turbo petrol engine with a 48-volt mild-hybrid system comprised of a lithium-ion polymer battery and a mild-hybrid starter-generator (MHSG) unit.

The Smartstream engine produces the same power as the previous Kappa engine, says Kia, available in two output levels of 100 PS or 120 PS, though with slightly higher torque figures depending on transmission. The 120 PS version paired with the seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox gets 16% more torque at 200 Nm, the company says.

In addition to the seven-speed dual clutch automatic transmission, the 2021 Stonic with EcoDynamics+ engines can also be specified with the firm’s intelligent manual transmission (iMT) with a clutch-by-wire system. Here, the clutch is operated electronically, and integrates with the MHSG to enable swtiching off the engine when coasting to a halt.

Both the dual clutch and iMT gearboxes allow engine-off coasting at speed of up to 125 km/h, and in the case of the iMT, the engine is restarted when the driver depresses either the accelerator, brake or clutch pedal.

In addition to the EcoDynamics+ powertrain versions, the 2021 Stonic is also offered with a choice of internal combustion Smartstream engines. The first is a 100 PS 1.0 litre T-GDI turbo petrol unit, and the second is a 1.2 litre naturally aspirated engine rated at 84 PS. The 1.0 litre T-GDI mill is paired to either a six-speed manual or the seven-speed DCT, and official performance and efficiency figures will be announced at a later date, says Kia.

Inside, the 2021 Stonic gets an eight-inch touchscreen as standard, offering display audio or optional satellite navigation depending on specification; the driver gets a 4.2-inch display within the instrument cluster. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is supported, and Bluetooth multi-connection allows two mobile devices to be connected at once; one for phone and media use, and the second for media playback only.

Kia’s ‘Phase 2’ UVO Connect telematics system offers services including live traffic information, weather forecasts, points of interest (POIs), fuel prices, and details of potential on- and off-street parking such as pricing, location and availability. The telematics services can be accessed via voice command, and cloud-based real-time and historic traffic data enables more accurate prediction of time-efficient routes, says Kia.

An available UVO mobile app for both Android and Apple mobile devices additionally offers a host of new ‘Phase 2’ features, including last-mile navigation after the driver has parked their vehicle. This aims to help the user navigate in towns and cities where parking locations are often a distance away from destinations such as shops, cafés and restaurants, according to the automaker.

Additionally, a user profile transfer function lets users back up their vehicle preferences to the cloud, and transfer their preferred setting from one compatible vehicle to the next.

On the safety front, the available advanced driving assistance systems suite includes forward collision avoidance assist with pedestrian, vehicle and cyclist recognition, lane keeping assist, driver attention warning, blind-spot collision warning and blindspot collision avoidance assist, intelligent speed limit warning, smart cruise control (SCC) and lane following assist (LFA), in addition to rear cross-traffic collision avoidance assist as well as front and rear parking sensors.

Lane following assist works with smart cruise control to control acceleration, braking and steering, depending on the vehicles and road conditions ahead. This system employs a camera and radar sensors for the vehicle to maintain distance from the car ahead, while monitoring road markings to keep the Stonic centred in its lane, and is operable at speeds below 180 km/h.

Once parked, the Stonic also has a new rear occupant alert system to ensure no passenger or pet is accidentally left behind. Passive safety features in the Stonic includes six airbags and ISOFIX child seat anchor points.

The 2021 Kia Stonic goes on sale in the third quarter of this year, and will be available in two new exterior colours – Perennial Grey and Sporty Blue – for a total of nine paint finishes. The revised range of colours for the crossover’s body and roof offers up to 20 contrasting paint colour combinations, with 33% of all European customer opting for the two-tone finish, says Kia.