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Over the past year, it would be virtually impossible to pick up an issue of BusinessCar magazine and not see an SUV feature in it at some point. Particularly compact SUVs, which Kia is predicting will double in sales to 2.2 million a year by 2020 globally.
The SUV is available in petrol and diesel powertrain guises, though petrol, like most of its competitors, is expected to be the fuel of choice here. Buyers can decide between a 100hp 1.4-litre unit and a three-cylinder turbocharged engine with 120hp.
The sole diesel option is a 1.6-litre unit with 110hp that boasts impressive running-cost figures and comes with just an £800 premium; however, it's unlikely to be a popular choice here and it can be a little noisy when accelerating and is not especially refined.
It's the 1.0-litre petrol that is our pick of the range; it's eager to rev and is the quickest of the models, completing the 0-62mph benchmark sprint in a fraction under ten seconds, while offering some good running-cost figures. It's not perfect, mind - at lower speeds, it gets a little too vocal and when on the motorway sometimes struggles to gain momentum.
Mated to the engine is a slick six-speed manual. No automatic option is available from launch, but a seven-speed twin-clutch DCT will follow in 2018 alongside a lower-powered 100hp 1.0-litre petrol engine.
On the road, the Stonic is easy to drive and offers neat handling and sharp steering, giving it an overall sportier drive then some in this class. Ride quality isn't as good as most of its rivals, however, with the suspension struggling at times to iron out potholes and bumps.
Slip behind the wheel of the Stonic, and you'll be greeted by a well-proportioned and simple interior. Materials are good quality, for the most part, with only a few cheaper plastics scattered around the cabin, while the standard 7in infotainment system looks a little dated and doesn't offer the crispest of graphics. However, it is easy to navigate around.
Buyers have a choice of just two trim levels here in the UK; 2 and First Edition. Standard equipment is pretty generous across both trims, with all cars coming equipped with Bluetooth, rear parking sensors, Apple CarPlay and 17in alloys.
There is a distinct lack of standard safety kit, though. You'll need to move up to First Edition models to get the likes of blind-spot monitoring, high-beam assist ordriver-fatigue detection, while autonomous emergency braking and lane-departure warning are only available as an option on cars in the 2 trim level.
Based on the same platform as the Rio supermini, the Stonic shares the same 2,580cm wheelbase, but is 70mm taller than its hatchback sibling, which means there's more than enough room for four adults to sit comfortably, while inside the cabin there are plenty of practical storage options. Meanwhile, the boot offers 352 litres of room, smaller than a large proportion of rivals; however, still practical enough for what most of family life has to throw at it.
On the whole-life costs front, the Stonic is very competitive with its rivals. Residual values are not as good as the Seat Arona, but are better than the Nissan Juke and Renault Captur, while this engine's low running costs mean fuel bills and BIK tax bills stay in line with the competition.
The Stonic is a good all-rounder in the small crossover category, but never really tops the class in any of the key areas - its rivals are more practical, offer better costs and come with more stylish interiors. In a segment that is bursting at the seams with personality, you can't help but feel that the Kia Stonic is a little too forgettable.