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HomeFeaturesEntry-level Kia Sonet owner’s review – The happiest I’ve been with a car

Entry-level Kia Sonet owner’s review – The happiest I’ve been with a car

TopAuto reader Dirk bought a new Kia Sonet just three months ago and it’s the happiest a car has ever made him.

We talk to Dirk about his love for the Kia and why he chose it over the many other wallet-friendly crossovers on the market.

Which model do you own?

I bought the Kia Sonet LX Automatic in September of this year, and have since done just over 4,000km.

It’s an interesting story as I wanted a Sonet with cruise control but the LX spec doesn’t have this, and I had no idea how difficult it would be getting one with the ability.

It took months of searching and many dealers saying they were completely out of stock, and one even offered to sell me a different crossover from another brand and was willing to throw in a new iPhone to sweeten the deal – I’m a Samsung man, so this was an easy no from me.

In the end, I got a call from an excited salesman who said an entry-level LX was available but since cruise control was a must, I was still hesitant. He said the dealership would be able to install this feature for an extra R10,500, and the Sonet was sold.

What do you like most about the Sonet?

What sold me on the Sonet is its interior design and finishes as this is where you spend most of the time anyway. The cabin feels very premium compared to similarly-priced crossovers I test-drove while shopping and where plastic is used, it has a refined look and does not rattle over bumpy roads.

That being said, I also find the exterior design to my liking, particularly the aggressive-looking front which helps to boost its road presence.

In my previous car I had to contend with an Aux cable every day, so wireless Android Auto in the Kia also makes connecting my phone for navigation or music one of my favourite features.

What do you like least about the Sonet?

None of the electric windows has a one-press up/down function, so if you want to open or close them you have to keep holding the button.

The fact that there’s no cruise control on the entry-level LX as well as plastic wheel covers that take away some of the good work the design team did with the body. Installing cruise control as an optional extra doesn’t see the upgraded leather steering wheel with the necessary buttons fitted, either, but rather another stalk on the side of the steering column.

The rear bench can also be a headache if you want to transport more than two or more passengers but also relatively large cargo as the backrests can’t fold individually or in a 1/3 or 2/3 split, it’s all or nothing.

What is the most challenging journey you have done with your Sonet?

We recently did a day trip through the Pilanesberg National Park, and as any recent visitor will tell you, its roads are a complete mess these days and in dire need of some TLC.

The Sonet handled them remarkably well, and we came through fairly unscathed, which is the biggest reason I wanted to upgrade to the high-riding crossover as I previously had a sedan that would not have made it through the park in one piece even if we only used the tarred roads.

It gave me confidence to book a holiday to the Kruger National Park this December and another short trip to Botswana shortly thereafter, albeit more on the rural roads around Gabarone and not any salt pans or serious 4×4 tracks, and I have no worries that it will bring me back home again.

Are you happy with your purchase and would you recommend the Sonet to other buyers?

This is the third car I have ever bought and it’s the one I am the happiest with, so it gets a resounding recommendation from me.

The Sonet offers great value for money with its wide range of features, comfortable seats, and smooth ride.

Being a grammar purist, there’s one thing I would’ve changed, and this would have been to add another “n” to the name so that it is spelled correctly.

I know the spelling difference was likely on purpose to distinguish the car from the poem with online searches, but the fact that Sonet is also a fairly-common Afrikaans name makes this the only thing I have been constantly mocked about by friends.


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