The introduction of this micro-SUV is fair reflection of how the UK automotive industry is changing in terms of buying habits and behaviours. Unequivocally, the SUV category of vehicles has become the foremost popular vehicle in the UK, particularly those with petrol engines.
You have to ask yourself – what started this shift in car purchasing/leasing behaviour?
Credit for the modern SUV can probably be passed to Nissan with their leading product – the Qashqai. When their first generation of SUV hit the market, drivers utilising estate vehicles and MPVs has another type of vehicle to consider.
This coincided with an economic shift within the UK where insurance premiums for cars has increased alongside the main running costs – fuel, servicing and tyres (not to mention pressures at home).
Running multiples of cars within a “family fleet” is now a difficult if not impossible situation.
Gone are the days where you had a family MPV for ferrying the squad around, a sports car for the weekend and an executive saloon for work.
The time, expense and sheer room you need at your house to achieve this makes it an almost unattainable proposition. Instead customers have looked to manufacturers to present a “one size fits all” solution to the situation and this has created the modern SUV market. Having essentially seen the success of the Qashqai, other manufacturers quickly learned to produce like for like alternatives – the Hyundai ix35, Kia Sportage, Ford Kuga and VW Tiguan quickly flooded the market.
The growth in competition led to an increase in quality, and a reduction in cost, as manufacturers fought to produce the best looking vehicles with the highest specification for the lowest costs.
Some of the basic models include parking sensors, satellite navigation and other technology as standard. In comparison to other aspects of the markets, you can see that you get much less value for your money. In addition, over the last 3 years, the aesthetics of these vehicles has changed significantly with the “Bubble” type appearances being cut away for sleek and sharp design.
Without doubt the modern SUV is a unisex solution offering a people carrying function but with design, comfort and practicality.
It is no surprise that the smaller SUV (or “micro SUV”) market has grown too, as customers without a need for substantial carrying capacity but with a need for an elevated driving positon have needed a solution. To fully complement the market, the vehicles like a Renault Captur, Seat Arona, Hyundai Kona, VW T-Roc and the Kia Stonic present this solution – higher driving position, sharp designs and solid specification. And, with recent Governmental and regulatory changes, the push towards petrol has only increased, resulting in a situation where a petrol SUV has become the foremost part of the UK automotive industry!
In terms of the car shown here, the Kia STONIC ESTATE SPECIAL EDITION 1.0T GDi First Edition 5dr Manual, this was based on the following configuration:
· Premium paint – Blaze red
· Cloth/faux leather – Black/Grey with grey stitching
· 17″ alloy wheels
· Black roof
As standard the car includes – automatic rain sensing wipers, privacy glass, solar glass, emergency stop signal system, Apple car play, Bluetooth, attention assist, lane departure warning, rear parking sensor and camera, 7” touch screen, blind spot detection, electrically adjustable and heated door mirrors, navigation, front and rear skid plate, automatic lights, LED daytime running lights, air conditioning, flat bottomed steering wheel, colour contrast black roof, 17” alloys, immobiliser, anti-theft alarm and heated front seats. As a special edition vehicle, you cannot add any further specification to the car from the factory but you do have the choice to personalise the vehicle through the roof/external colour and internal trim.
On the technical-side, company canard business users can note the P11d of £19,480.00 and CO2 at 115g/km. The 998CC 6 speed manual engine delivers 118ps, 0-62 times of 9.9 seconds and combined MPG of 56.5. Service intervals on the petrol Kia are every 12 months or 10,000 miles whichever lands sooner. As such, weigh the cost benefits of a diver-maintained vs funder-maintained solution.
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