Home Editors' Picks Youth movement

Youth movement

Kia Philippines pitches ‘affordable’ Sonet to Gen Z, millennial car buyers

By Dylan Afuang

KIA PHILIPPINES, led by the Ayala Corp.’s ACMobility, eyes to boost its sales success by pitching to younger car browsers the Sonet. Replacing the Stonic, the Sonet is now the smallest and most affordable crossover in the brand’s local roster.

The Sonet comes in four trim levels: 1.5 LX MT (P758,000), 1.5 LX AT (P868,000), 1.5 EX AT (P978,000), and 1.5 SX AT (P1.138 million).

The Stonic was “the top-selling nameplate for Kia (locally), accounting for over 40% of sales in recent years,” Kia Philippines President and Head of Automotive Retail and Distribution at ACMobility Antonio “Toti” Zara III said during the Sonet’s public launch in Parañaque City.

“It achieved such volume because it played in the sweet pricing spot,” he continued, explaining that buyers attained the old car’s price range between P750,000 to P1 million. The executive also cited that one of the country’s best-selling cars is priced in that “sweet spot.”

The company counts on the Sonet being priced within the same bracket — and the “market shifting to crossovers and SUVs” — for the new model’s possible success.

“We are excited to offer this modern entry-level SUV, especially to the young millennials and Gen Zs who seek a balance of convenience, technology, and affordability,” Kia Philippines COO Brian Buendia said in a statement.

ACMobility CEO Jaime Alfonso Zobel de Ayala joined during the car’s public unveil, “The arrival of the Sonet shows ACMobility’s commitment to giving Filipinos more reasons to fall in love with the Kia brand again.”

As a nod to its target market, the Sonet’s name is derived from the words “social” and “network,” Kia Asia-Pacific Head of Product Ezan Ley explained.

Design highlights found within the car’s 4,110-mm length, 1,790-mm width, and above-1,600-mm height are the brand signature Tiger Nose grille with a geometric pattern, large headlights with LEDs for the SX variant, and a rear full-width lamp cluster.

Complementing these are three monotone color options Vivid Red, Snow White Pearl, and Imperial Blue. For the SX variant, Vivid Red and Snow White Pearl are paired with a black roof. Pewter Olive, a special monotone color, is exclusive to the SX.

The Sonet boasts an all-digital gauge cluster, while infotainment comes as an eight-inch or 10.25-inch touchscreen system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Passengers fore and aft get USB Type C charging ports. A sunroof and wireless charger also come on select variants.

Powering the car is a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 115hp and 144Nm of torque. It is mated to either a six-speed manual or an intelligent variable transmission (IVT).

For safety, there’s Kia’s DriveWise system, which includes Forward Collision Assist, Lane Following Assist, Lane Keeping Assist, and High Beam Assist. These go on top of the standard dual SRS air bags, ABS with EBD, stability control, and rear parking sensors with rear camera.

Also standard on the Sonet is Kia Philippines’ five-year or 160,000-kilometer warranty.