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Old 26th January 2022, 13:39   #1
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Default My Intense Red Kia Sonet HTX 1.0L iMT Review

My Intense Red Sonet HTX 1L iMT Review:

Hello BHPians! I have been stalking this forum for years and have always wanted to write an ownership review of my own. Well, the time is finally here! I am a diehard car guy, and this is my first ever post on Team BHP and it’s the ownership review of our Kia Sonet. I hope the readers enjoy it and am looking forward to writing many more reviews in the future.

I’m writing this review after two months of owning our intense red Sonet that we took delivery of on 25th November 2021. The hunt, or rather the itch that led to the hunt, began earlier this year after our amazing (pun intended ) Honda Amaze S i-Dtec had spent 6 years with us and clocked over 65k km. Looking at how the cars had evolved in the relatively affordable price range in the last 6 years, we decided it was time to upgrade to a car that offered a little bit more of everything without breaking the bank.

We are a family of 3 (Mom, Dad, and me), and we decided on a few ground rules before looking into the options:

First: It had to be a sub 4 meter. Our daily commute takes us through some narrow and very congested roads and driving something larger than required would just make the drive more unpleasant. A budget of 13L was decided and we were fine with extending it to 15L if necessary.

Second: It had to be a petrol. The transmission options weren’t a deal breaker as we were fine with either an MT or some form of proper AT. The cars we owned before the Amaze all had petrol hearts. But, with my dad’s daily running mileage creeping beyond 60km, we decided that diesel was the right route, and it was. The Amaze consistently returned stellar efficiency figures between 17-18kmpl within the city (which constitutes to about 97% of our total use), and around 27kmpl on those very rare highway drives. We were extremely satisfied to say the least, but all of us did miss the absolute silence, refinement, and smooth operation of a petrol engine. The pandemic brought down our daily running to about 20-25km. So, it was decided that we would make the switch back to petrol.

Third: It had to have most, if not all, of the latest convenience and novelty features. This included key less entry with push button start, Android Auto, Automatic Climate Control, Automatic Headlights, Cruise Control, a Sunroof, etc.

Options Considered:

XUV300: This is the first car we went to have a look at. I was smitten by the XUV300 ever since it launched. It was a welcome departure from the spartan Mahindras we were used to (barring the XUV500 and the Marazzo). We test drove the petrol manual and were impressed by the engine’s pull. There was a hint of turbo lag lower down, but nothing that the Amaze made me accustomed to. Although a petrol, it was more noisy than I expected, and it was also a tad hesitant to rev. This was probably due to the engine being based on a diesel block. The gearbox could have been smoother, I found it more notchy than usual. Then again, it could be due to the TD car being abused (It had 18k on the odo if I’m not mistaken). The Stop/Start feature cut the engine out at a traffic signal as expected but did not fire back up when I depressed the clutch. The SA said it was because I didn’t depress the clutch pedal all the way, but I’m pretty sure I did. The ride was good, and the steering, although heavy in sport mode, didn’t possess much feel (the Amaze’s steering, although heavy at low speeds, has pretty good feel and feedback). The rear seat space was a let-down, and the boot was an absolute disappointment. To be fair, we don’t use the boot much often, its only for those occasional airport runs that now have become more or less a fleeting memory. But it is better to rest assured that if we do need to stuff our luggage in, the car would be capable of accepting it. When it came time to discuss the variants and financials, we realized that only the W8(O) was worth considering because the lower variants missed out on too many features. There were no discounts being offered either.

Nexon: The Nexon was a strong contender on paper, especially after the facelift. Again, we test drove the petrol manual. I found the engine to not be very exciting, and the clutch was also on the heavier side. I felt that Tata could’ve spent more time in tuning the powertrain better. I was surprised to see that the drive modes actually made a difference and all the features worked as they should during the TD. The ride and handling were the standout aspects of the car. It took potholes and speed breakers with a very mature composure and the steering also had good feel around the minor bends I could find within the city. A special mention to the Foliage Green colour. I think it’s one of the best colours to be offered on any car in the segment. It’s just such a looker! Although the exterior was very macho, we didn’t find the interior much to our liking. There is no beige colour option for the interior (although that can be solved with seat covers), the infotainment screen seems a bit too small (not to mention the large bezels) for such a spacious interior, and the instrument cluster looks like it’s from the 90s. I mean, the Altroz and the Nexon EV have a much better cluster. Why not use the same one?! During price discussions, it again became clear that only the XZ(O) was worth considering to satisfy my “bells and whistles” requirements. The SA mentioned a waiting period of over 4 months for the XZ(O) petrol MT in foliage green with possible discounts on the accessories and insurance.

Venue: We did not take a TD of the venue. We weren’t very keen on the design and all black interiors but thought of revisiting it at the end.

Sonet: The Sonet was the first option that popped into my head when we talked about getting a new car. We visited VST Central KIA in Mount Road, Chennai on a Saturday to check the car out. My dad had made a prior appointment with the SA for a TD of the GTX+ variant with the iMT but neither the car, nor the SA were present at the showroom. A quick call led to him explaining that a prior TD at a potential customer’s house, 25km away, had gone on longer than anticipated and it would take him at least an hour to get back to the showroom. He assured us that he would bring the car over to our place the next morning at exactly 11am. And sure enough, he did. He arrived with the car at our place at the stated time and I drove the car through most of the roads we commute through daily. Hearing some of the unpleasant experiences with DCT, we thought of giving the iMT a shot. The first thing I noticed with the iMT is that I didn’t really feel weird shifting gears without clutching (probably because I spent whole of the previous night thinking about it). The gear shifts were extremely smooth, and after a few minutes, it felt natural. The steering was also extremely light at low speeds, especially while manoeuvring within parking spaces. The engine was a real standout. It had excellent drivability, and almost no turbo-lag. When we encountered an empty stretch of road, the SA urged me to floor it in second gear and I was happy with the progress. The engine kept pulling relentlessly to about 5500 RPM when the car hit 80kmph. I was also happy with the braking. It was not grabby like in the XUV300 and it stopped shorter than I expected it to. The car was easy enough to place in the narrow roads and the driving position was also commanding. What I really liked during the TD was the calm, smooth and refined operation that Hyundai petrol engines are known for. It was a level above what I had experienced in the Nexon and XUV300. The SA also took the time to walk us through every feature of the car before leaving. After the TD, the scales were very much tipped in favour of the Sonet.

Brezza: It was never in our consideration owing to the dated interiors, lacklustre features, extremely common presence, and the imminent arrival of the next generation. From the leaked pics, the next gen Brezza looks like a breath of fresh air.

Final decision and booking:

We chose VST Central KIA as our dealer. They have a range of dealerships from Mahindra, KIA, JLR, Mercedes, and more. The reason for going with VST is that my dad was involved in setting up the company. So, we could use the “I know a guy who knows a guy” route for price reductions and early delivery. When studying the variants, we discarded the GTX+ due to the all-black interiors. Comparing the HTX+ and HTX variants, we realized the latter offers almost 90% of features the former offers, and the price difference between the 2 variants came to around 1.8L for the 1 litre turbo petrol engine mated to the iMT. The features that the HTX+ gets over the HTX are the BOSE system, the 10.25-inch screen as opposed to the 8-inch, a colour MID as opposed to the monochrome one, ventilated seats, rear wiper, auto-dimming IRVM, front parking sensors, TPMS, and UVO connected car features.

We opted for Intense Red as my mom really liked the colour and my dad and I also felt that the Sonet looks best in red. No discounts were offered due to the extremely high demand for the car. The only price reduction was 5k for the insurance. We did not opt for the extended warranty either. The total on-road price came to 12.51L. On August 27th, we confirmed the booking bay paying the 25k booking fee. The official waiting time mentioned was 15-20 weeks, but the SA and showroom manager promised to allot the first Intense Red HTX iMT Sonet to us. And thus began the dreaded wait.

My dad used to follow up with the SA and other higher officials once every 3 weeks just to see if there’s an update. The dealer received only a single Sonet between August, September, and October, but was receiving large batches of Seltos’ as they had a huge back-order pile to clear. There was also a price hike for all variants during this period (10k for our variant).

And then it happened! On November 12th, my dad got a call from the dealer’s finance team to inform us that an Intense Red Sonet HTX iMT was allocated to us and that the car is in transit and will arrive at the dealer’s stockyard on the 15th. They shared the VIN which I confirmed online and found that the car had been manufactured that very month! We could not perform a PDI ourselves as the stock yard was quite far from our place and we couldn’t take the time out that week to drive that far. The loan was financed through Union Bank of India, and they confirmed the fund transfer on 19th of November, which was a Friday. This meant that the registration had to wait till Monday.

On 23rd of November, we got an SMS from VAAHN confirming the registration and the number. The next day, we got a call from the SA saying that our car is ready for delivery. As per Hindu tradition the next day (Thursday) at 5:30pm was auspicious for us, and we communicated the same to the SA.

Delivery Day:

As the Stradman would say “There is no day quite like delivery day”. From the moment I woke up I was waiting for the clock to strike 4:45pm so that we could leave for the showroom. We were there at around 5:15pm and were greeted by our SA and shown our car.

There it was, standing under the dazzling showroom lights with its paint glistening from the generous polish application.

My Intense Red Kia Sonet HTX 1.0L iMT Review-img_20211125_171418__01.jpg

There were 2 more Sonets being delivered just before ours. So, I took the time to walk around the car and have a thorough look. We had opted for the basic accessories pack which included seat covers, the car cover, a duster, Ganesha idol, Car perfume, leather key fob case, door edge guards and mud flaps. All of these were fitted to the car before delivery. We didn’t opt for any chrome bits as none of us are fans. At 5:45pm, the car was driven into the delivery bay, adorned with a garland, and covered up for the delivery ceremony.

My Intense Red Kia Sonet HTX 1.0L iMT Review-img_20211125_174029.jpg

A small pooja was performed and the customary handing over of the keys. (Shoutout to our SA, Mr Raja, and the Customer Relations Manager, Mrs Revathi)

My Intense Red Kia Sonet HTX 1.0L iMT Review-img_20211125_174344__01.jpg

Mr Raja explained the features, the infotainment system and the lot. The car had 68 km on the odo which, considering the distance between the stockyard, the RTO, and the showroom, seems fair. The car also displayed a range of 60 km with amount of fuel onboard. And with that we set off, making a stop at the temple before heading home.

Back Home with car.

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The two steeds of the stable!

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Initial ownership impressions:

We’ve had the car for about 2 months now, and here are my thoughts.

Likes:
The fit and finish is excellent. No uneven panel gaps or rough edges, no rattles, squeaks, or bits falling off.

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Even in places the average owner generally wouldn’t notice, like the coverings on the suspension top mounts, and the wheel arch – no exposed bits.

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The soft fabric on the door arm rests and the centre arm armrest is very comfortable. The two-tone stitching adds to the level of premium-ness.

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Good amount of storage space. Front door bins get an umbrella holder too.
The interior is thoughtfully laid out with well-designed practical storage bits.

The leather wrapped steering is joy a use. It’s very light at city speeds and weighs up decently at higher speeds. The feel and feedback are not as good as the Amaze’s steering though. The flat-bottom treatment makes it look very sporty.

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All the buttons are illuminated and fall within reach. The horn is loud, blaring, and has a premium note to it (akin to the German trio), although the horn pad is a bit harder to press. The gear lever is also leather wrapped.

The instrument cluster is part digital. The 3.5 inch MID displays a good deal of information. It’s controlled through the steering-mounted buttons. It offers settings for door locks, lights, ORVM welcome function, and service intervals.

My Intense Red Kia Sonet HTX 1.0L iMT Review-img_20220117_182903.jpg

The attention to detail is pretty good. Graphical door ajar warning, even for the sunroof and bonnet.

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Media played through any source (Radio, BT, and AA) is displayed on the MID.

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It also mimics the position of the headlight and wiper controls.

My Intense Red Kia Sonet HTX 1.0L iMT Review-img_20220117_182854.jpg

The ‘Accumulated Info’ page stores long term memory. It can be reset manually or can be set to automatically reset upon refueling. There's a separate screen for instantaneous efficiency.


The ‘Drive Info’ page shows data for every drive. It stores data for 4 hours before resetting.

My Intense Red Kia Sonet HTX 1.0L iMT Review-img_20220115_140535.jpg

When KIA updated their logo, they rejigged the variant line-up. In the process, the HTX variant was given TC, ESP, Brake Assist, Hill Hold/HAS, dual-tone alloys, and blinds for the rear windows.

The 8-inch infotainment is very slick to use. It boots up in an instant as soon as the Start/Stop button is pressed. Thankfully, this gets physical buttons whereas the 10.25-inch screen doesn’t. It also gets wireless Android Auto, (which the 10.25-inch screen in the HTX+/GTX+ doesn’t get) and it works flawlessly.

My Intense Red Kia Sonet HTX 1.0L iMT Review-img_20220125_175155.jpg

Music is handled by a 6-speaker (4 speakers, 2 tweeters) Arkamys System. Music quality is pretty good. It also gets a basic equalizer and adjustable sound stages.

The volume is automatically reduced when reverse gear is engaged.
Media continues to play even after the car is switched off. The system shuts off when the driver door is opened. I like this detail.

All the windows also have a “delayed off” function where they continue to operate for 3 minutes after the car is switched off. The driver side window gets auto up/down with anti-pinch.

The DRVM is nice to have. It can be operated only when the handbrake is disengaged.

The interior lights are surprisingly bright! It gets two in the front and one in the centre.

My Intense Red Kia Sonet HTX 1.0L iMT Review-img_20220117_182822.jpg

The sunroof is adequately sized. It also gets the anti-pinch function. I don’t really mind the exposed mechanicals.

The AC is bone chillingly wonderful. Even with the temp at 23, fan speed at 1, and the direction of the airflow set to both forward and footwell, it cools the interior pretty fast. The rear AC vents also work like a charm. No complaints from rear seat passengers. They were more fascinated by the sun blinds than the AC vents.

My Intense Red Kia Sonet HTX 1.0L iMT Review-img_20220117_184029.jpg

The knurled sliver finishing below the AC vents and the gear lever is nice touch. The GTX+ variant gets this knurled finishing in gloss black which I feel really hides the look.

My Intense Red Kia Sonet HTX 1.0L iMT Review-img_20220117_184035.jpg

The seats are extremely comfortable. Good amount of back support and a tad bit of side bolstering. Gets 4 adjustable headrests too.

The rear seat also has a good recline angle which my mom finds really comfortable, but she prefers the legroom in the Amaze over the Sonet.

Rear legroom with the passenger seat pushed all the way back, and the driver seat set to my position.

My Intense Red Kia Sonet HTX 1.0L iMT Review-img_20220118_120351.jpg

The LED headlight setup is impressive.

My Intense Red Kia Sonet HTX 1.0L iMT Review-img_20220117_182733__01.jpg

The fog lights are halogen projectors. They do a pretty god job. The light sensor for the auto-headlights feature is a bit too sensitive. It activates even if I’m taking a turn under a flyover or a metro train track. It also gets the ‘Follow me home’ function.

The DRL doubles up as the indicator. More manufacturers should implement this.

My Intense Red Kia Sonet HTX 1.0L iMT Review-img_20220117_184211.jpg

I really like the bold haunches on the bonnet and the overall sharp lines of the car. Makes it look very butch.

The mirrors are adequately sized and get the welcome function.

The clarity from the reverse camera is acceptable, even in the dark. Adaptive guidelines are very helpful.

My Intense Red Kia Sonet HTX 1.0L iMT Review-photo-nikhil-s.jpg

The slight fringing that’s visible is due to the factory screen protector still being on.

LED brake lights look striking!

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I really love the alloy rim design! Adventurous, without going overboard.

My Intense Red Kia Sonet HTX 1.0L iMT Review-img_20220118_120525.jpg

A very good-sized boot – 384 litres. Parcel shelf is of usable size.

My Intense Red Kia Sonet HTX 1.0L iMT Review-img_20220117_184123.jpg

Leather key pouch as a part of accessories. The car also gets remote engine start with the key fob.

My Intense Red Kia Sonet HTX 1.0L iMT Review-img_20220126_102215__01.jpg

The dislikes:
First sign of cost cutting: Request sensor only on the driver door, and not on the front passenger door.

Second sign of cost cutting: Only 2 parking sensors instead of four. Why Kia, why?! Tata also seems to be jumping abord this trend.

Only the diver’s power window button is illuminated. A 2009 i20 gets all its power window buttons (on every door!) illuminated.

The only feature I wish this had from the higher variants is the auto-dimming IRVM. Any ideas/suggestions from the readers as to how I can get one installed in this?

My Intense Red Kia Sonet HTX 1.0L iMT Review-img_20220118_120337.jpg

The front center armrest does not slide.

My Intense Red Kia Sonet HTX 1.0L iMT Review-img_20220117_183828.jpg

High beams could have been better.
High Beam

My Intense Red Kia Sonet HTX 1.0L iMT Review-img_20220117_182709.jpg

Powertrain, Ride, and Handling:

Every time I drive the Sonet, it reminds me why I chose this over the others in the segment. The engine is an absolute gem. It never lets you know that it’s a 3-cylinder. Such is the smoothness, refinement, and quietness. There is no shake or rumble when switching it on or off. 0 vibrations throughout the car. The pull from the engine is very good. I have not taken the engine above 4000 rpm yet as its not fully run in. But the low-end pull is substantial. On paper, the turbo is supposed to spool at 1500 rpm. In reality, it is more like 2000 rpm. But you don’t really notice any lag, it is very tractable and never feels like it lacks torque to get moving below 2000rpm. The engine is quick to rev up and serves torque very linearly. I’ve taken it on two very short highway way trips and the car had no problem passing traffic.

The iMT is also a joy to use. I got used to it almost instantly. It never felt alien. The gearshifts are extremely smooth. The MID suggests when to upshift and downshift and into which gear. The gears are also very tall, which feels like a godsend after having put up with the Amaze’s ridiculously short gearing. 1st can do up to 45 kmph, 2nd does 92 kmph, and third goes all the way till 145kmph! So, shifting constantly in the city is also minimized. The car also creeps confidently in traffic. It can creep in either 1st or 2nd gear.
Small to medium sized speed breakers are comfortably tackled in 2nd gear. It’s only the very large ones that cause the MID to scream at me asking me to downshift. The gearbox also rev-matches during downshifts. The fastest I’ve gone is just over 80kmph. At this speed, the engine is doing just around 1600 rpm in 6th gear, and the instantaneous efficiency reads over 25kmpl.

Engine breaking in 1st and 2nd gears are not as aggressive as the Amaze’s. It is very mild. The Amaze’s generous engine braking comes very handy in slow moving traffic. I find myself having to readapt and use the brakes more in the Sonet. The long-term reliability of the iMT is yet to be seen. I’m also curious about how the iMT will affect clutch life, as in, is it going to be better or worse than a conventional manual.

The suspension feels mature. It is slightly on the stiffer side. Larger potholes can be felt through the spine. But if you plan ahead and manage your speed, the car tackles them like they’re nothing. Speed breakers are hardly felt. The rear seat passengers also liked the ride with no complaints of bounciness or unwanted movement. The stiffer setup bodes well when you take the car around corners. It feels very planted and there are no signs of body roll. The GC is also pretty great, 205mm will leave you nothing to complain about. Although the ride quality gives the confidence to push it a bit more, the steering doesn’t. It is extremely light at lower speeds, which is a boon in Chennai’s traffic. It also weighs up well at higher speeds, but it lacks feel and feedback. My dad does not mind this as he drives very sedately, but it is apparent to me. This is one area that I feel KIA can improve.

Braking performance is decent. No gripes about the rear brakes being drums, although I would have liked an all-disc setup. Our car came fitted with MRF Wanderer Ecotred Street tyres. They are 215/60 16s. The grip seems adequate for daily driving, and I haven’t noticed any tyre noise either. The overall NVH is also on par with what you’d expect from Hyundai/KIA petrol cars, stellar.

Efficiency:

On the two short highway trips I managed to take it on, the MID read a maximum of 18.6 kmpl. I have been getting a consistent reading of 9-11 kmpl in standard bumper-to-bumper city driving. I haven’t filled the tank to the brim yet, and hence have not been able to calculate milage using the tankful method. I’m planning on taking it on a couple more longer highway drives. So I’m reserving my judgement on the efficiency figures till then.

To Conclude:


We’re very happy with car and it delivers above our expectations in almost all categories. I’m a fan of the little “attention to detail” bits that KIA have sprinkled all over, and the premium “a segment above” feel across the whole car. Hope to do many more trips in it and share it with the forum members!
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Old 26th January 2022, 14:31   #2
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Excellent choice for your car. SUV stance, enough space for a small family and perfect car for city with occasional highway runs.
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Old 26th January 2022, 20:28   #3
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Thanks for the review, Nikhil. A couple of queries
1. Why the Sonet over the Venue? Was it only the design and interiors, or were there any other features / performance / service / brand concerns that led to the decision of the Sonet? Asking because I know a person who chose the Venue over the Sonet only because Venue had a top end MT variant.
2. How long did it take shifting from MT to iMT? As in, how steep is the learning curve (if any)?
3. Are the dead pedal and brake pedal placements comfortable enough for you? Asking because to me, the brake pedal seemed smaller and a smidgeon more left-centred than in a normal Hyundai AT, though the dead pedal was very nicely placed.
4: Do you feel the grip offered by the stock tyres is adequate? Hyundai / Kia stock tyres are not always known for their longevity. Any plans of upgrading to better / wider rubber any time soon?

Last edited by Small Bot : 26th January 2022 at 20:32. Reason: Grammar
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Old 27th January 2022, 12:34   #4
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Originally Posted by Small Bot View Post
Thanks for the review, Nikhil. A couple of queries
1. Why the Sonet over the Venue? Was it only the design and interiors, or were there any other features / performance / service / brand concerns that led to the decision of the Sonet? Asking because I know a person who chose the Venue over the Sonet only because Venue had a top end MT variant.
2. How long did it take shifting from MT to iMT? As in, how steep is the learning curve (if any)?
3. Are the dead pedal and brake pedal placements comfortable enough for you? Asking because to me, the brake pedal seemed smaller and a smidgeon more left-centred than in a normal Hyundai AT, though the dead pedal was very nicely placed.
4: Do you feel the grip offered by the stock tyres is adequate? Hyundai / Kia stock tyres are not always known for their longevity. Any plans of upgrading to better / wider rubber any time soon?

To answer your queries:

1. We personally like the looks of the Sonet (both interior and exterior) over the Venue. Hyundai have discontinued the Turbo pertol engine with an MT across the Venue's entire variant lineup. The Sonet HTX and Venue SX cost almost the same, but the Venue misses out on a lot of equipment and features in compariosn.

2. The shift from MT to iMT was almost instantaneous for me. As I alluded to in my post, it never felt alien. But, this might not be the case for everyone.

3. I do not find the brake pedel to be askew. Proper ATs, even AMTs for that matter, generally have a much wider brake pedal. But Hyundai/KIA resorted to providing the narrower brake pedal more akin to standard MTs. And, I agree, the dead pedal position is spot on and very comfortable.

4. I did not find any issues regarding grip on the stock tyres. Then again, I have not pushed it very hard yet. I am open to suggestions about switching to other brands if you have any. I am, however, not looking to move away from stock dimensions.

Hope this answered your queries. Feel free to let me know if you have any more. Thanks!
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Old 28th January 2022, 11:06   #5
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Hey Nikhil, congratulations on the new car. Sonet is a lovely car to drive. However, if I may add, could you please remove the white stickers from the centre console? Just this bit will add to the beauty of this car, just a humble suggestion. Cheers!
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Old 28th January 2022, 11:46   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Small Bot View Post
1. Why the Sonet over the Venue? Was it only the design and interiors, or were there any other features / performance / service / brand concerns that led to the decision of the Sonet? Asking because I know a person who chose the Venue over the Sonet only because Venue had a top end MT variant.
I also did the same, bought Venue instead of Sonet. But if you are buying on mid-variants, and okay with iMT, HTX is more suited because it has TC/ESP/Hill-assist which is available only SX+/SXO Venue.

Don't be skeptical about ESP, it did save me from an accident on a sunny afternoon.
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Old 28th January 2022, 16:32   #7
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Congratulations on your new car and excellent detailed write-up.
Being an ex Amaze owner didn't you feel the sense of space a bit lower in the Sonet? That was one of the prime reason I rejected the Sonet esp coming from an Amaze.
I test drove the imt in the Venue and was very impressed with the ease of driving an imt.
Excellent Choice of car + gearbox combo.
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Old 28th January 2022, 18:18   #8
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Originally Posted by abhisekbit View Post
Congratulations on your new car and excellent detailed write-up.
Being an ex Amaze owner didn't you feel the sense of space a bit lower in the Sonet? That was one of the prime reason I rejected the Sonet esp coming from an Amaze.
I test drove the imt in the Venue and was very impressed with the ease of driving an imt.
Excellent Choice of car + gearbox combo.
The only space crunch we noticed is the rear legroom in comparison to the Amaze. But it's not a deal breaker. My dad and I are both 6-feet tall and the rear seat did not feel cramped. We did not a feel a lack of space anywhere else in the car. It's quite comfortable for tall passengers.
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Old 29th January 2022, 10:41   #9
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Default Re: My Intense Red Kia Sonet HTX 1.0L iMT Review

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Originally Posted by Nikhil0812 View Post
My Intense Red Sonet HTX 1L iMT Review:

We’re very happy with car and it delivers above our expectations in almost all categories. I’m a fan of the little “attention to detail” bits that KIA have sprinkled all over, and the premium “a segment above” feel across the whole car. Hope to do many more trips in it and share it with the forum members!
Many congratulations on your new car! And thanks for such a detailed buying and ownership review.

I too own a 2021 Sonet HTX iMT 1.0 in Intense Red. Couldn't agree more with the reasons you have stated for choosing this car and the pros and cons you've highlighted after experiencing it.

Do try to take it out on the highways as much as you can, you'll really enjoy the power and the highway manners of the turbo engine. I've, however, experienced some road noises with the MRFs at higher speeds.

Looking forward to hear more of your experience with the car. All the best!
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Old 11th May 2022, 11:26   #10
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Default Re: My Intense Red Kia Sonet HTX 1.0L iMT Review

Congrats on your new ride and thanks for the excellent writeup on the buying and initial experience! Good color choice. I too feel sonet looks the best in the Red shade.
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Originally Posted by Nikhil0812 View Post
He arrived with the car at our place at the stated time and I drove the car through most of the roads we commute through daily. Hearing some of the unpleasant experiences with DCT, we thought of giving the iMT a shot.
I am also looking out for a Petrol Automatic CSUV and Sonet HTX/HTX+ is at the top of the list of cars I am interested in. Currently in a dilemma about choosing the DCT Vs iMT option. Whether to go with the safer option of iMT and save some cost or go with the DCT for extra convenience but a reliability overhang. I have taken the test drive of the DCT and found it to be good. Yet to take a test drive on the iMT

Can you provide your inputs on the questions I have below? It will really help with my purchase decision.
1. How does the iMT feel when driving in B2B traffic? Do you experience any jerks when pressing the accelerator on and off in 1st or 2nd gear in traffic, especially in the 0-20km speed range? I am more interested in knowing about the slow speed smoothness as the NiOS AMT I currently ride has slight jerking now and then on low speeds which is not a great experience. Will you be able to say if its smooth to drive in slow speed traffic?
2. Again any Jerks you notice in morning cold starts and initial few minutes of driving or is it smooth like a normal manual box? I am wondering if the clutch actuation will be smoother or just the same as the hyundai AMT box
3. How has been the fuel consumption in typical chennai city traffic conditions? Has it improved since the initial days?

Last edited by praveen_v : 11th May 2022 at 11:28.
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Old 11th May 2022, 12:14   #11
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Default Re: My Intense Red Kia Sonet HTX 1.0L iMT Review

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Originally Posted by praveen_v View Post
Congrats on your new ride and thanks for the excellent writeup on the buying and initial experience! Good color choice. I too feel sonet looks the best in the Red shade.
I am also looking out for a Petrol Automatic CSUV and Sonet HTX/HTX+ is at the top of the list of cars I am interested in. Currently in a dilemma about choosing the DCT Vs iMT option. Whether to go with the safer option of iMT and save some cost or go with the DCT for extra convenience but a reliability overhang. I have taken the test drive of the DCT and found it to be good. Yet to take a test drive on the iMT

Can you provide your inputs on the questions I have below? It will really help with my purchase decision.
1. How does the iMT feel when driving in B2B traffic? Do you experience any jerks when pressing the accelerator on and off in 1st or 2nd gear in traffic, especially in the 0-20km speed range? I am more interested in knowing about the slow speed smoothness as the NiOS AMT I currently ride has slight jerking now and then on low speeds which is not a great experience. Will you be able to say if its smooth to drive in slow speed traffic?
2. Again any Jerks you notice in morning cold starts and initial few minutes of driving or is it smooth like a normal manual box? I am wondering if the clutch actuation will be smoother or just the same as the hyundai AMT box
3. How has been the fuel consumption in typical chennai city traffic conditions? Has it improved since the initial days?
Thanks for your comments! To answer your queries:

1. I find the iMT to be pretty smooth in B2B traffic. There are no inherent jerks with the transmission. One thing to note is that it does not instantly creep like a proper automatic would once you take your foot off the brake. There's a delay of about 0.5 seconds for the clutch to disengage. But you get used to it pretty soon and you're able to judge when to let off the brake to creep at the right time. The creep function itself is very smooth and confident. I found it to be smoother than TATA's and Maruti's AMT. Haven't driven a Hyundai AMT yet.

2. No jerks or vibrations from either the engine or the gearbox during cold starts. It slots perfectly into gear every morning and starts moving without any fuss. No different from how a conventional manual would behave.

3. The fuel economy has been pretty much the same from the very beginning. 8-9kmpl in inching B2B traffic, 10-12 kmpl in standard city traffic conditions. If the roads are slightly empty, efficiency figure is impressive between 13-15 kmpl. The tall gearing of the iMT helps.
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Old 11th May 2022, 18:53   #12
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Default Re: My Intense Red Kia Sonet HTX 1.0L iMT Review

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1. I find the iMT to be pretty smooth in B2B traffic. There are no inherent jerks with the transmission. One thing to note is that it does not instantly creep like a proper automatic would once you take your foot off the brake. There's a delay of about 0.5 seconds for the clutch to disengage. But you get used to it pretty soon and you're able to judge when to let off the brake to creep at the right time. The creep function itself is very smooth and confident. I found it to be smoother than TATA's and Maruti's AMT. Haven't driven a Hyundai AMT yet.
Thanks for the details. It really helps to understand the behavior. Just a couple more queries
1. Did you have a chance to try the creep in inclines? Will it start off without throttle or do we need to provide throttle input?
2. With the AMT one issue I observe is if the wheels are straight or slightly turned, there is no issue and it creeps smoothly. But when the wheels are turned more (Like how we turn to make a u-turn or sharp right from standstill), the creep functions struggles a bit and when throttle is pressed slightly there is jerky movement. Have you experienced behavior like this with the iMT?
3. How effective is the light throw at night?

Last edited by praveen_v : 11th May 2022 at 18:57.
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Old 11th May 2022, 19:54   #13
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Default Re: My Intense Red Kia Sonet HTX 1.0L iMT Review

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Thanks for the details. It really helps to understand the behavior. Just a couple more queries
1. Did you have a chance to try the creep in inclines? Will it start off without throttle or do we need to provide throttle input?
2. With the AMT one issue I observe is if the wheels are straight or slightly turned, there is no issue and it creeps smoothly. But when the wheels are turned more (Like how we turn to make a u-turn or sharp right from standstill), the creep functions struggles a bit and when throttle is pressed slightly there is jerky movement. Have you experienced behavior like this with the iMT?
3. How effective is the light throw at night?
1. The HTX variant comes with Hill Hold/Hill Start Assist which makes creeping on inclines a breeze. It stays stationary on inclines for about 5-7 seconds after your foot is off the brake. Pressing the accelerator makes the car climb smoothly. This works while reversing as well.

2. The creep functions works very well irrespective of steering angle, just like a conventional manual. No jerks whatsoever.

3. The LED head light throw is good in the city. Not faced an issue yet. I haven't driven on the highway in the dark, so can't comment on that. The high beam, although good, could have been slightly better. The halogen projector fog lights do standout!
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Old 12th May 2022, 21:51   #14
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Default Re: My Intense Red Kia Sonet HTX 1.0L iMT Review

Thanks again for the clarifications. Really helps. I will keep these in mind and planning to take a detailed test drive soon.
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