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Old 8th December 2020, 23:07   #1
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Default My Kia Sonet GTX+ (Petrol DCT) Review

Hi,

This is the ownership review of my Kia Sonet GTX+ (DCT) (purchased in November 2020), how it came to be, and how it's working out for me.

My requirements

My earlier ride was a 2009 Hyundai i10 Magna 1.2 that was showing its age and I needed a change. My requirements where:

Fuel: Petrol
Gearbox: Auto
Variant: Top-End
Safety features: As many as I could afford (12-15 L on road, Bangalore)

Body Types

While I had some flexibility on the budget, my wife was dead set against sedans. As I was moving on from a hatchback, I wasn't too keen on the segment, and Tata Altroz (the only contender I half considered) was quickly shelved as it was unappealing to my wife. My mind was already set on the Nexon anyway, and I didn't really object to this unceremonious ejection, save a few feeble remarks on the new design language. Turns out the design was what she took offence to, and that was that. I'm still hoping to revisit the Altroz in its EV avatar, as and when that happens.

That left me with CSUV's, the SUV's, and pseudo SUV's. An auto gearbox was non-negotiable to me, and I was only looking at the highest variants. Given my budget, my list quickly boiled down to CSUV's.

To get to this point, I considered and discarded the following cars for the reasons stated below:

Ford EcoSport: It felt outdated in 2020 for what it offered. Ford's exit plan was known, and the EcoSport never made its way to the test drive stage.

Hyundai Venue: If memory serves me right, the auto gearbox was offered in the SX(O) variant and not the SX+ (in 2020), and came with 2 airbags instead of 6 in the Sonet. In any case my wife and I checked out the Venue, and we both preferred its newer avatar in the Kia Sonet. Thus, the Venue was discarded as well.

XUV 300: I know I said Petrol, but I wanted to TD the XUV 300 as well, given its stellar safety record. When my wife and I visited the M&M showrooom, the Thar had just been launched (this was around September 2020), and no one at Mahindra wanted to actually sell the XUV 300. I was promised a TD at home and follow up calls that never materialised. This, the lack of Petrol, the AMT, and all that biege inside sealed the deal for the XUV 300. To add to all that, in my personal opinion, the inside of the XUV 300 simply did not feel as premium as the Nexon or the Sonet.

Nexon v Sonet



Thus, I was left with the gorgeous BS6 Tata Nexon, and the Kia Sonet (the latter being included solely to provide some competition to the Nexon). You see, this was Nexon's fight to lose, for I loved the way it looked, impressed by the safety it offered, attentive to the rave reviews it has received, and admittedly slightly biased towards the home grown brand.

However, things did not quite go as planned!

DISCLAIMER: I suspect more than a few will end up choosing between these two. Please note these are my thoughts and observations on these vehicles and as such, are inherently personal in nature. Any other person may drive the same vehicle from the same dealership and arrive at a different conclusion, based on what one is looking for.

Now that that is done, here we go!

The Fight

I was looking at the Nexon XZA+ (O) and Sonet GTX+ (DCT) alone, and this writeup and resultant comparison is from that perspective alone.

To aid my decision, I took multiple test drives of these on the same roads at the same time of the day, including highway runs, peak city traffic, and non-existent village roads around Electronic City. I will start by listing the things that mattered to me, and how each vehicle scored on that front.

Suspension / Ride
The Nexon has the better suspension setup, in my humble opinion. The Sonet has a stiffer ride setup, which, at slow speeds, makes the road felt in the cabin.

Score: Nexon.

ICE and the Head Unit
While the Sonet's ICE may seem fancier owing to the big head unit and all that BOSE branding, the Nexon's setup (from a music perspective alone) is again, the better one. If one were to look at the whole unit, the Sonet has a bigger 10" unit that is brighter, easier to use, and generally better, as opposed to the 7" one on the Nexon. However, as I have discovered much to my displeasure, it can get distracting as it is just so damn big.

Score: Sonet.

Looks
This is as subjective as it can get. Try this for a tricky one - my wife loved the way Sonet looked on the outside and the way the Nexon looked on the inside. I think each looks amazing, and each has elements on the back I am not a fan of. On Nexon, it would be those tail lights. On Sonet, it would be those gill like plastic insert after the C pillar.

My wife felt the Sonet looked younger and more exciting, and I could live with the gill shaped inserts.

Score: Sonet.

Interiors
My wife felt the Nexon's interiors were sparse (compared to the Sonet), and I felt the Nexon's interior was better. Woah. Why? Well, for one, I think the Nexon's plastic insert in the dashboard with the tri-arrow design looks spectacular. The Sonet has a nice upmarket interior, sure. The Nexon's just felt better to me, with one giant fly in the ointment. The instrument cluster.

I drive myself, and I could not come to terms with the Nexon's instrument cluster - especially when it was compared to the (significantly) more visually pleasing one in the Sonet.

Score: Sonet, just for the instrument cluster!


Driving Experience

I did multiple extensive test drives of the Nexon and the Sonet in urban and semi urban conditions. To those familiar with Bangalore, my route included the traffic around Diary Circle (Nexon) and Lalbagh (Sonet), the Electronic city Expressway and onward on Hosur road till Chandapura (Both), under the Electronic City expressway (Both), and the semi urban roads / mud roads in the interiors of Electronic City.

The Sonet has the DCT, and the Nexon the AMT. The Nexon is nice to drive. The Sonet is FUN. The Nexon will get the job done, ambling along. The Sonet will leave you smiling and yearning for more. The turbo petrol engine with the DCT is almost addictive in its response and to me, was simply better of the two.

Score: Sonet.

Safety

The Nexon was crash tested and scored a stellar 5 stars. Neither the Sonet no the Venue were crash tested. This was before the Seltos crash test results were published. The Nexon came with 2 airbags, the Sonet 6. This was a gamble.

I told myself that though the Sonet was untested, it (the GTX+) had a myriad of safety features that would provide a comparable outcome in the event of a collision. If you look at my post history, you will realise that Seltos results were published about 2-3 days before I was to take delivery of my Sonet, and after all the paperwork was processed. If one were to extrapolate Sonet's crash test performance from the Seltos's result (leaving aside the efficacy or legitimacy of such extrapolation), the Sonet would be inferior to the Nexon's proven crash test worthiness.

As we do not know how the Sonet will perform in a crash test, the Nexon, in my opinion, wins in this criteria.

Score: Nexon.


The Tally

The driving experience and safety features are, in my opinion, paramount (in that order).

Why, then, would I choose the Sonet, if safety features were important to me? Like I said, it was a gamble, and was before the Seltos results were announced. Would I make the same choice in 2021? Maybe. I may have increased my budget and considered other vehicles as well - such as the Kushaq or the Harrier twins. As this is entirely hypothetical and the choice has been made, I will expend no more energy on what ifs. I am quite happy with my purchase, and that's all that matters.

Each of the vehicles I considered had tradeoffs. To me, the Sonet ticked most of my boxes, with the notable exception of Safety. As I had no knowledge of the Seltos test results, and I was aware of the extensive safety features of the Sonet, I took a leap of faith.

Last edited by Coyote : 29th August 2021 at 11:15.
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Old 27th July 2021, 13:21   #2
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Default re: My Kia Sonet GTX+ (Petrol DCT) Review

Booking and Delivery



The Booking and PDI

Once my mind was made up, and my wife concurred, we decided to proceed with the Sonet. As my test drives were from Advaith Kia Lalbagh, and they were quite helpful, I went ahead and booked the vehicle from them. Further, as luck would have it, they had a White GTX+ 7 DCT in stock.

My sales representative had no issues with me doing an inspection and I had informed him that the loan would not be processed without it. So, after booking, and before loan disbursal, I went to their stockyard off Bannerghatta road (shared with Naara Kia) to do a extensive inspection which went well. My sales representative had no issues with the inspection, even allowing me to start and check if the controls and electronics were working, so long as I did not actually drive the vehicle. As this was a reasonable request, I obliged and was quite happy. I clicked a few pictures, including of the chassis number so I could cross match the data the dealer would fill on the RC forms and the invoice / extended warranty documents.

I suppose I had this much leeway as they had only one GTX+ DCT in stock, and I knew this was the vehicle I would drive home, if I were satisfied. Interestingly, I saw about 7-10 white GTX+ DCT Sonets at the stockyard, belonging to Naara Kia. As I was happy with my interaction with Advaith Kia, and the vehicle I inspected, I did not reach out to Naara Kia.

Finally, the insurance and interest rates through the dealer were competitive, which meant that the entire process from booking to delivery was done in about 3 weeks.

The Delivery

The dealer obliged and delivered the vehicle on the day/date we requested, albeit without the plates as that would take a few more days. When we arrived, the vehicle was in their delivery bay, cleaned and prepped. I insisted there be no ribbon of any sort, and they were happy to comply. We finished up the paperwork, I inspected the chassis number with the documents including the extended warranty, and went about removing all the plastic off the seats. The dealer offered me free mudflats which were left in the trunk for me. The showroom folks setup the UVO, and walked me through the app. A couple of quick photographs followed, including using the 'frame' we had selected. I gifted my sales advisor with a pen and some chocolates, and off we went!

My Kia Sonet GTX+ (Petrol DCT) Review-first-pic.jpg

Although my wife and I are not very religious, this was an important step in our married life, and we decided to head to ISKCON at Rajajinagar with the car, just for the long drive from Electronic City, if nothing else.

What followed were several late night runs to the drive through McDonald's on Kasturba Road with our dogs in tow. We did this so often, it became a ritual for us!

Last edited by Coyote : 29th August 2021 at 11:14.
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Old 5th August 2021, 17:04   #3
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Default re: My Kia Sonet GTX+ (Petrol DCT) Review

Initial Euphoria and Accessories



I absolutely loved the first few weeks, poring over the detailed User Manual and the UVO app, figuring out all the things I could. I was like a child with a toy!

As the GTX+ comes equipped with almost all the things I need, and I am not a fan of aftermarket customisation / installation of any sort, I kept things stock and simple. In fact, there were only three purchases that have been made for the Sonet - first, a seat cover for the rear seats so that the dogs can chill without being able to get to the door pads. As it's just my wife and I, this seat cover is almost never removed, save for the services and cleanings. The one I purchased is pictured below:

The second purchase was the 3D Cabin and Boot Mats from Kia, purchased at the dealer level.

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The mats are alright, but there are a couple of issues I have faced.

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The boot mat for instance, leaves little place for your hazard lights.

If it were not for the boot mat, the hazard light bag would be fixed on the floor of the boot using the velcro. However, due to the plastic finish of the 3D boot mat, the hazard light bag can no longer be fixed, save for on the thin strip of fabric at the top, or on the seat itself, at an angle, and against gravity. As that would be foolhardy, the kit is presently on the thin strip. The issue is when luggage is placed, it has to be placed on the hazard lights, which I am wont to do. While it isn't a major concern by any stretch of imagination, it does make me feel the boot mat could have been better designed, especially given that it is an official accessory.

The other issue I am facing in the interior 3D mats is that significant dirt and dust gets collected on the footrest, which is again exposed. This leads me to believe that the next floor mat I go for should cover the floor entirely, such as the Dual layer mats offered by Kia.

These kind of mats is what I would recommend:
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SOURCE: Some images are from the Kia website.

The final purchase I made was a USB cable for the Android Auto. As I mentioned, I am largely for leaving things factory finish, and have almost no inclination to really add any aftermarket feature or accessory. The exceptions to this would be a dash cam (I really need to get on that), and paddle shifters from the 2021 Sonet (Kia already turned me down on this).

Last edited by Coyote : 29th August 2021 at 11:13.
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Old 5th August 2021, 17:27   #4
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Services and Trips



First Long Drive, First Service

Within a couple of weeks of taking delivery, my wife and I had to attend to some work in Hyderabad and Guntur. This meant that my vehicle would finish the running in on the highway (I had done about 500 kms in Bangalore at this point), and I couldn't be happier.

I went to the showroom on a Sunday to get the number plates fit, along with the complimentary mud flaps which were left in the trunk. Even though the service section was on holiday, my sales advisor found a couple of guys to install the flaps and plates. I got home, filled up on washer fluid, placed umbrellas in the doors, and we were set!

This drive is quite special, and I set quite a few firsts in it.

This drive allowed me to finish the first 1000 kms in style, passing by the Kia factory en route. This drive saw me load the vehicle to the hilt, with 5 passengers (including the driver), and a full boot. This drive saw me use the in-built navigation system and understand the limitations thereto. This drive saw me struggling in Hyderabad traffic, resulting in the first scratch thanks to an errant Santro lady who simply could not care less. This was also the drive I realised how much of a distraction the massive head unit can actually become.

I was happy to note that the Sonet behaved impeccably, and every kilometre reinforced my decision to purchase the car. As expected, the brakes took some time to set, but set they did.

We finished up the trip, and got the first service done at Bangalore. Fortunately for me, the service centre folks were able to remove the scratch entirely, leaving me a very happy owner.

Second Long Drive, Second Service

I had the opportunity to attend a workshop near Castlerock on the Karnataka - Goa border, and this time around, it was just me and one of the dogs. I packed up for a 2 week trip, and left with Loki, our Terrier giving me company.

My Kia Sonet GTX+ (Petrol DCT) Review-otg1.jpg
Here we are at a random bio break stop for Loki.

The workshop was held at a beautiful little farm aptly named 'OFF THE GRID'. The place is, as the name suggests, completely off the grid, nestled right on the edge of the tiger reserve.


My Kia Sonet GTX+ (Petrol DCT) Review-otg-2.jpg


My Kia Sonet GTX+ (Petrol DCT) Review-otg3.jpg


My Kia Sonet GTX+ (Petrol DCT) Review-otg4.jpg

The paths were through the forest and thick vegetation, on mud roads complicated by a recent bout of rain. There were a couple of times where I had to use the 'Terrain Modes' and while it did help, to a small albeit noticeable extent, I wouldn't really seek out spots to have fun with the terrain system banking on it to get me out. The Sonet is, and remains, a FWD vehicle with some gadgetry that help to a small extent.

The conclusion of this trip brought up the 5000 kms mark and with the second service due up at 6 months / 5000 kms, I was happy to get that out of the way. The service was pretty uneventful, the vehicle was performing fine, and I had no major issues to sort.

Last edited by Coyote : 29th August 2021 at 11:23.
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Old 28th August 2021, 20:02   #5
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Default re: My Kia Sonet GTX+ (Petrol DCT) Review

Initial Ownership Impressions



I am presently at around 8000 kms on the ODO in about 9 months of ownership. I had planned a Bangalore-Bombay-Goa-Bangalore trip for March 2021, which had to be shelved on account of the second wave. I'm hoping I can get round to this soon, contingent on the now ever present Covid-19 situation.

That being said, I think I have enough driving experience to actually sit down and pen this report, and I hope it may shed light on others contemplating this purchase. I will start with the negatives, elaborate a bit, and then move on to the positives.

DISCLAIMER: What follows are my personal observations and my personal take on the said observation. I concede that others may not have enough of an issue with things on this list to even bother writing them down. I may even seem like I am nitpicking. However, as this is my personal take, I will be taking a few liberties My apologies, in advance, if you feel my dislikes listed below do not merit being on such a list.

Things I dislike
  1. The absence of crash test rating.
  2. The inconsistency of Sport mode (Elaborated below).
  3. DCT's inclination to get into D2 (Elaborated below).
  4. TPMS error (Elaborated below).
  5. Headlights aren't great.
  6. Auto AC does not support footwell ventilation (Elaborated below).
  7. Centre armrest concerns (Elaborated below).
  8. Lack of a request sensor button on the passenger door.
  9. Exposed fog lamps.
  10. The glove box is not very big.
  11. Lack of wireless Android Auto (GTX+ has the wired one).
  12. Single tripmeter.

Sport Mode in Traffic

The sport mode is designed to hold on to gears longer. This keeps the engine on the boil, and makes the vehicle feel responsive and, for lack of a better term, alive.

Now, the issue I am facing is this: If I am accelerating in Sport mode from say, standstill to about 60, with decent throttle inputs, the vehicle progressively upshifts, eventually ending up in D 5/6. This is fine, and nice. Now, if I were to brake, on account of an obstacle, a cow, an errant driver, what have you, the vehicle drops down to the incorrect gear, ie, the 3rd/2nd gear, and holds on to the gear for longer, revving hard, even with calm throttle inputs. I find myself having to use the tiptronic to manually upshift, or change out of sport mode and toggle back to it for it to find the right gear again. Paddle shifters would significantly help here. Unfortunately, mine is the 2020 Sonet which does not come with paddle shifters.

Essentially, the vehicle, in sport mode, finds the right gears from standstill, but when forced to downshift quickly, struggles, and is reluctant to upshift to the right gear. This behaviour is not observed in the normal mode. I do not use Eco mode at all, so I do not know if it holds true there as well. This behaviour is observed during even with normal throttle inputs / average driving patterns post deceleration, let alone aggressive driving, where it may be expected.

For instance, I have seen D3 being held till about 75 kmph, in Sport mode, as a result of sudden deceleration. Normally, in Sport mode, or even in Normal mode, the gearbox would have shifted to D5/6 at these speeds.

This gets annoying fast because at the end of the day, this is a small 1.0 litre turbo petrol and the noise it makes in D2/D3 while revving hard at high speeds, as a result of rapid deceleration and the resultant acceleration, is simply not pleasant. The FE takes a nosedive. Also, I simply don't like revving this much in lower gears. I am unsure of the longterm adverse effects.

This is becoming so much of an issue that I am forced to generally use Normal mode in the city over the Sport mode. I plan to speak to the service centre guys at the first annual service on this, though I do not know if anything will come of it.

DCT, D2, and the brakes (First 6-7000 Kms)
The creep speed in D1 is set to 7/8 Kmph. In normal mode, and with light accelerator inputs, the DCT, presumably in the interests of FE, upshifts to D2 fairly quickly. This results in the vehicle picking up more speed. Now, in the course of normal driving, this is well and good. If however, you are driving a very short distance, such as, for instance, to find a better parking spot, or are coming up to a bigger road from a side road, you are moving faster than one would like, and would need to brake harder than one would like. The travel distance for the brake to bite, and the resultant, small judder is what I specifically have an issue with. You see, this takes some getting used to, and even then, can sometimes take you by surprise.

Why is this a problem? My father drives a manual, has driven a manual all his life, and this took him by surprise. Fortunately, we were in the basement of my apartment so no harm there. Same issue with a friend, who also drives a manual. Same issue with my spouse as well. I think, the reason for this is the dissonance between the speed you think you are at, given the short distance driven, and the speeds the Sonet actually manages to get to.

UPDATE: This judder seems to have been resolved, I'm guessing as a result of the brakes having finally been run in. Took about 5-6000 kms. I have taken so long to write and upload this review, the problem has resolved itself. However, I will still leave this up so it may be of use to others. Besides, the point still stands that this is something new drivers and new to Sonet drivers may expect from the vehicle.

TPMS Error
The TPMS is generally accurate to 1-2 psi and I have had no issues save one instance. When I started, the vehicle showed me 29 psi on a couple of tyres and 30 in the other two. At a fuel station, I filled up to 32 psi on all tyres. Quite quickly afterwards, I was greeted by a warning on the tyre pressure being low on one of the tyres, which started blinking rapidly and the reading was 29 psi. Now, at this point, the tyre reading were 29 psi, 29 psi, 30 psi and 31 psi. However, only one tyre was blinking, which went to be permanently lit. This was followed by two other tyres throwing up the same warning, eventually being completely lit as well. I tried filling up to 33 psi again, but the warning remained. The reason this was alarming was I have had 29 psi readings earlier, which have never prompted a warning and have gone away upon filling up to 32/33 psi.

My Kia Sonet GTX+ (Petrol DCT) Review-tpms-aligned.jpg
This is the icon displayed on the MID. I forgot to click a picture of the actual screen at the time.

I checked the owners manual, and a permanently lit tyre indicated a TPMS error, with the manual advising owners to drive to the nearest service centre. So, off I went, thinking there was a software issue and the error needed to be rectified. The service centre guy took one look at the problem, and filled up the tyres to 35 psi each, with the engine running, before bringing them down to 33. Turns out this is a standard issue in Kia TPMS and the solution is to literally fill air (within the threshold) till the warning goes away and bring it back down (if desired).

Funnily enough, my friend with the iMT GTX+ had the same issue crop up, the same week as me. At my suggestion, he too headed to the service centre and obtained the same resolution. This makes us suspect that an OTA software update was rolled out. This is, of course, pure speculation.

Climate Control and Footwell ventilation
The default airflow in the auto ac mode is the through the vents on top. Most times, I prefer my feet be cold as well, and redirect the airflow to the vents there as well as the ones on top. However, if you redirect the airflow, the Sonet disables auto ac and you have to manually set the fan speed. This can be quite irritating, as I do genuinely like the ac in the footwell.

My Kia Sonet GTX+ (Petrol DCT) Review-auto-off.jpg
Changing the airflow direction turns auto AC off. My apologies for the quality of the images.

My Kia Sonet GTX+ (Petrol DCT) Review-auto-.jpg
Auto AC on.

Centre Armrest Concerns
I have concerns over the longevity of the centre armrest / air purifier lid. While driving, if on the highway, I generally rest my left elbow on the centre armrest. Sometimes, my wife (front passenger) rests her right elbow on it too. Even if it is just me, I have felt the armrest creak/move ever so slightly. It is important to note that this is not an audible creak, but one that is felt. The movement is not enough to be an issue, yet enough for you to notice. This may be because there is a bit of a projection on the armrest, with only the back bit supported by the base where the air filter is.

I suspect I may be putting more weight on the thing than it can handle, but, I would have definitely appreciated better engineering here. My concern is that the small give / creak I feel will increase over time, eventually requiring a replacement of the unit at around the 3-4 year mark. Of course the air filter is part of the unit so it may just be an expensive replacement.

Things I really like
  1. The turbo petrol engine and the gearbox combo. It makes me smile every time.
  2. Excellent FE if one is patient enough. This can be hard.
  3. Comfortable highway cruiser.
  4. Cruise Control, Ventilated Seats, drive modes. I regularly use all three and honestly will absolutely need them in my next upgrade.
  5. Remote Start through the App and through the key. Again, used all the time, and what a boon it is in the summer.
  6. The safety features.
  7. Nifty things like programmable number of lane shift indicator blinks.

As all the things on this list are self-explanatory, I am not elaborating further.

Last edited by Coyote : 13th September 2021 at 15:53.
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Old 29th August 2021, 11:22   #6
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Default re: My Kia Sonet GTX+ (Petrol DCT) Review

Small and Significant Things




In-built Navigation
The Sonet comes with an in-built navigation system that can be used by voice or by typing on the touchscreen. I generally use the voice activation by using the term "Hello Kia", or pressing the button on the steering wheel.


My Kia Sonet GTX+ (Petrol DCT) Review-button.jpg
The button is the one on the top-left.

The command used is "Navigate to XYZ", or "Find XYZ near me". The system uses an inbuit SIM card and I have found that it processes the commands about 7 out of 10 times. If it does not, you see a 'No response from Server' message pop up on the screen, along with audio outputs to match.

Does it actually work?

Mostly. I have used it successfully I'd say about 7/10 times. It is nowhere near as accurate as Google Maps. However, if you don't want to be bothered connecting your phone, or the landmark is fairly well known, it works. For reference, I have used it successfully in Guntur, to navigate to a restaurant and then on to a hotel. I have also used it unsuccessfully in Bangalore.

A very nifty feature is the Petrol Pump Finder. When the vehicle is running low on fuel, you have a message pop-up on the MID warning about low fuel, and a message on the touchscreen as well. The message allows you to search for petrol pumps nearby, which is done using the in-built navigation system. Some drivers may appreciate it if you are in unfamiliar sorroundings. I have used the feature a couple of times and it has worked perfectly well.

My Kia Sonet GTX+ (Petrol DCT) Review-low-fuel.jpg
This is the low fuel warning that comes up on the touchscreen, which allows you to navigate to the nearest pump. There is also a popup on the MID warning about low fuel.

My Kia Sonet GTX+ (Petrol DCT) Review-pump-1.jpg
If you choose yes, the in-built navigation shows you a list of pumps. Choosing one starts navigation.

My Kia Sonet GTX+ (Petrol DCT) Review-pump-2.jpg
Another picture of the navigation.

Voice Activated Features
You can also use voice activation to roll down driver window, open the sunroof (2021 Sonet), make calls, to navigate, and a few other features. It does work most of the time, though I use it for navigation and little else.

Last edited by Coyote : 13th September 2021 at 15:59.
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Old 30th August 2021, 16:33   #7
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DCT issues, My thoughts, Fuel Economy



Why is this listed separately? I see many members echoing concerns on the DCT. There are several posts on this forum where T-bhpians have expressed reservations on the onslaught of dual clutch gearboxes in India, courtesy Hyundai, Kia, VW and Skoda.

So I am setting out a separate post on my thoughts and experiences with my 7DCT.

My thought process
There are quite a few vehicles offered by Hyundai and Kia in the Indian market that have the 1.0 litre turbo petrol engine mated to the 7 speed DCT. There's the i20, the Venue, the Sonet, and the Verna. I believe the same 7DCT is also used in the Seltos and the Creta albeit mated to the 1.4 litre turbo petrol.

Given such widespread usage, I hope that the chances of something terrible happening are statistically low. My intended usage period for this vehicle is 5-7 years. With the extended warranty till the 5th year, I should be okay. If I wish to retain the car beyond 5 years, I am likely to know by the 4th/5th year, about the gremlins lurking under the hood. It is thus, a calculated risk. Some people may not have the appetite for even this risk. That's okay. Some do. That's okay too.

DCT overheating/malfunction
I have had no issues of the DCT overheating or malfunctioning. I stay in Bangalore, so the vehicle does see some city miles too, including bumper to bumper traffic. I slide into N when I need to wait, and avoid being stationary in D. To put it simply, if I am not moving, I am in N.

Fuel Economy
This is a small turbo petrol engine. Naturally, the FE is going to depend entirely at your driving pattern, and the traffic, and a few other factors. For me, the displayed FE in the city (Bangalore) is about 12-14.

On the highways, sustained enthusiastic (around the speed where the beep is continuous) driving results in a displayed FE of about 14. Largely relaxed driving (95 - cruise control) with limited bouts of enthusiastic driving (max 110) results in a displayed FE of about 17.5.

Very relaxed driving at about 90 (cruise control), results in a displayed FE around 18. The difference in displayed FE and actual FE is about 1-1.5 kmpl, based on my experience. The difference between displayed speed and actual speed is about 4 Kmph. If your display shows 84, you're actually going about 80.

I have not seen higher figures on my MID but I have no doubts believing that I can easily achieve actual FE of more than 20 kmpl if I am patient and drive with a light foot.

Do I have the ability to do so? Sure. Will I? No.

The engine + gearbox combination is so fun and peppy, especially in Sport mode that triple digits are easily achieved on the highways. The vehicle feels solidly planted at 100, and you can easily take it to 130, should you so desire, without breaking a sweat. So I compromise, drive enthusiastically when I feel like it, cruise at around 90 for a while, and try to get an actual FE of 16. To me, this is the best of both worlds.

I will end this with my average FE over the 10 odd months of ownership.

My Kia Sonet GTX+ (Petrol DCT) Review-accumulated-info.jpg
This is a few weeks old, but still serves the point.

It is pertinent to note that the accumulated info resets after 10000 kms, which I have recently crossed. So my next updates will be after the 10k service, which requires a change of engine oil, oil filter, tyre rotation and wheel alignment, per the owners manual.

Till then, thank you for reading the ridiculously long wall of text above.

Last edited by Aditya : 15th September 2021 at 21:12. Reason: More appropriate word used
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Old 14th September 2021, 07:50   #8
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Thread moved from the Assembly Line to the Reviews section. Thanks for sharing!

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Old 14th September 2021, 10:57   #9
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[h3][b]

DCT overheating/malfunction
I have had no issues of the DCT overheating or malfunctioning. I stay in Bangalore, so the vehicle does see some city miles too, including bumper to bumper traffic. I slide into N when I need to wait, and avoid being stationary in D. To put it simply, if I am not moving, I am in N.
That's a nice write-up!
Congratulations on your new acquisition.


Back to the topic, in general, coming over from D to N, relieves all stress on the Clutch.
That's the key to the DCT's well being. Well done.

On a side note, I have heard that in some DCTs & CVTs, if brakes are firmly pressed when stationary (in D), then the Gearbox automatically 'disengages' the Clutch.
Once brakes are released, the Clutch is re-engaged.

Do you feel this kind of thing happening?
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Old 14th September 2021, 12:25   #10
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That's a nice write-up!

On a side note, I have heard that in some DCTs & CVTs, if brakes are firmly pressed when stationary (in D), then the Gearbox automatically 'disengages' the Clutch.
Once brakes are released, the Clutch is re-engaged.

Do you feel this kind of thing happening?
Thank you! I have not felt this happening, but then again, I haven't actively tried doing this. Over my ownership, I have been in D while stationary only 2-3 times, basically when I forgot to switch to N, or was stressed about something that it slipped my mind.
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Old 14th September 2021, 12:34   #11
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Congratulations on your new acquisition.

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Initial Ownership Impressions



...
TPMS Error
The TPMS is generally accurate to 1-2 psi and I have had no issues save one instance. When I started, the vehicle showed me 29 psi on a couple of tyres and 30 in the other two. At a fuel station, I filled up to 32 psi on all tyres. Quite quickly afterwards, I was greeted by a warning on the tyre pressure being low on one of the tyres, which started blinking rapidly and the reading was 29 psi. Now, at this point, the tyre reading were 29 psi, 29 psi, 30 psi and 31 psi. However, only one tyre was blinking, which went to be permanently lit. This was followed by two other tyres throwing up the same warning, eventually being completely lit as well. I tried filling up to 33 psi again, but the warning remained. The reason this was alarming was I have had 29 psi readings earlier, which have never prompted a warning and have gone away upon filling up to 32/33 psi.
I don't think it is issue with TPMS. When I tried to fill up in any petrol pump (even some well maintained COCO pumps), it did not match. Reason, I feel at least for my Selto's 17 inch tyre, if you drive the car for a KM or two it raise the pressure 1~2 psi due to temperature (e.g when cold it's 30psi, by the time you reach petrol pump its 31~32psi). So when you fill, you need to fill it 34psi, so in normal temperature it comes down to 32psi. But then the pressure gauges are not calibrated. So you never know.

I completely stopped going to petrol pump now for last 1 year. Bought AmazonBasics tyre inflator with auto cut. So I can fill air when it is in normal temperature. From experience I can see, if I set pressure 1 psi more than required, it shows exactly the pressure I need. Like, if I want to fill it to 33psi, I set it to 34 psi, the system auto cuts at 34.5psi giving you some buffer for pressure escapes when you open the nozzle. TPMS shows 33psi. The inflator is consistent and no issue whatsoever.

Hope this helps.
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Old 14th September 2021, 12:59   #12
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Congratulations on your new acquisition.

I don't think it is issue with TPMS. When I tried to fill up in any petrol pump (even some well maintained COCO pumps), it did not match. Reason, I feel at least for my Selto's 17 inch tyre, if you drive the car for a KM or two it raise the pressure 1~2 psi due to temperature (e.g when cold it's 30psi, by the time you reach petrol pump its 31~32psi). So when you fill, you need to fill it 34psi, so in normal temperature it comes down to 32psi. But then the pressure gauges are not calibrated. So you never know.

Hope this helps.
Thank you.

I still think it is a TPMS issue as before this error popped up with the permanently lit symbol, I had observed lower psi in the tyres on the same TPMS. Further, after the error in question popped up I visited another pump to correct the pressure, and they confirmed it was indeed at 32/33, which was not being recorded by the TPMS. Both of these were after considerable running. Finally, when I went to the service centre, again the pressure displayed on the air pump was 32/33, but differed on the TPMS.

In any case, I am happy to have faced this only once till now. Thing is, the owner's manual advises a visit to the service centre for resolution of the permanently lit icon, so people may not take a chance and just follow the advise., as I did.
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Old 14th September 2021, 14:23   #13
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Default Re: My Kia Sonet GTX+ (Petrol DCT) Review

The final purchase I made was a USB cable for the Android Auto.

Hi. Congratulations on your new ride. It sure is a looker. I am myself enjoying every bit in my sonet diesel AT GTX+.
Can u please help me with Android auto as I have tried everything and it just doesn't work. All the YouTube tutorials are for the wireless ones. Cheers.
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Old 14th September 2021, 16:44   #14
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Can u please help me with Android auto as I have tried everything and it just doesn't work. All the YouTube tutorials are for the wireless ones. Cheers.
Try putting the cable in the middle USB slot, the other slot is only for charging. Also if this doesn't work then try downloading Android Auto app and try again.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...ction.gearhead
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Old 14th September 2021, 16:49   #15
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Default Re: My Kia Sonet GTX+ (Petrol DCT) Review

Undoubtedly the Sonet is one of the gems in this segment! Kia has done a commendable job with their product array so far and the Sonet is no exception to that!

This so happens to be the first Sonet that I have seen in White Colour. Just curious, I heard from a colleague of mine who owns a Sonet too that the only thing he would wish to change is the numerical speed display as it is sometimes tough to read due to the font and excessive largeness of the display. Is that something that rings true for you too?

Regardless, congrats on the lovely car and looking forward to more reviews!
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