Kia Stonic Update: Why Order Books Are Closed and What to Expect in 2024

2024-01-10
Kia Stonic Update: Why Order Books Are Closed and What to Expect in 2024 banner

Kia Australia's popular lights SUV, the Kia Stonic, is facing a temporary halt in dealer order books due to overwhelming consumer demand for the naturally-aspirated S and Sport variants. With a pending model year update expected in the first half of 2024, Kia aims to manage the demand surge and prevent backlogs from affecting the updated model's rollout. This move suggests more than just a routine model year rollover, hinting at potential significant upgrades in terms of cosmetics and specifications, making it a noteworthy development for fans of the Mazda CX-3 rival.

Reasons Behind Order Book Closure

The decision to temporarily close the order books for the Kia Stonic stems from a combination of lengthy delivery times and preparations for the impending model year update. Kia Australia is keen on avoiding a situation where the existing backlog carries over into the updated model, which could likely come with a price adjustment. The move suggests that the update may go beyond the ordinary and could potentially be considered a second facelift for the popular lights SUV.

Expected Updates

While specific details about the forthcoming updates remain undisclosed, there are indications that the Kia Stonic might receive more than just cosmetic changes. A meaningful upgrade is anticipated, possibly including enhancements to the safety suite with additional driver-assistance features. Drawing inspiration from the European market, where such updates are already in place, Kia could introduce features that further elevate the Stonic's appeal in terms of safety and technology.

Powertrain Continuity

In terms of powertrains, no major changes are anticipated. The current lineup features a 1.4-litre four-cylinder petrol engine generating 74kW/133Nm, and a 1.0-litre turbo-petrol triple with 74kW/172Nm, exclusive to the flagship GT-Line. Power is delivered through a six-speed manual or automatic transmission for the former and a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic for the latter. While a 48V mild-hybrid version of the GT-Line engine is a possibility, it is unlikely to affect supply, specifications, or pricing parity for the base models.

Sales Performance

The Kia Stonic has enjoyed considerable success in the Australian market, with 6584 units delivered year-to-date (November). This achievement represents a robust 13.4% share of the light SUV market segment, positioning it second only to the Mazda CX-3, further underlining its popularity among consumers.

As Kia temporarily closes dealer order books for the Stonic, anticipation builds around the significant model year update expected in the first half of 2024. The move not only addresses current demand challenges but also hints at a refreshed Stonic that goes beyond the ordinary model year changes. With the possibility of enhanced safety features and continued success in the Australian market, the Kia Stonic's evolution promises to keep fans and potential buyers eagerly awaiting its return.

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