More colourful Kia Stonic gains hybrids and updated infotainment

  • Mid-life facelift for Kia's popular small family SUV
  • New Ecodynamics+ hybrid petrol engines introduced
  • More colour combinations and tech available

Kia Stonic (2020) facelift, main view

The popular Kia Stonic SUV has received a nip and tuck facelift for 2020. In the process, it gets a new hybrid petrol engine lineup, updated infotainment and more exterior colour combinations for 2020.

Although the 2020 Stonic doesn't look much different to the outgoing version, the facelift does introduce some subtle visual tweaks for what is still a fresh-looking design. There are new LED headlights, which are claimed to be more efficient than before, while there are new alloy wheels to choose from and an updated colour range to choose from.

The contrasting roof remains on the configurator, too – as it has proven popular with Stonic buyers since is launch in 2017.

New infotainment and tech

Inside, there's a new 8.0-inch central touchscreen for the infotainment system and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity as standard. The 4.2-inch digital display cluster between the main instruments has also been upgraded, and just like outside, there are now new interior customisation options to choose from.

The big news for Kia is the inclusion of a new User Profile Transfer system, which means drivers to save their preferred system settings to the cloud and transfer them to other Kias they might be driving that are equipped with the system. That's particularly useful for those homes with more than one Kia on their drive – and maybe of limited benefit to everyone else.

Kia Stonic (2020) facelift, interior view

New hybrid systems

There's a new EcoDynamics+ mild-hybrid petrol system, which uses a 1.0-litre turbocharged three-cylinder petrol with a 48V lithium-ion battery pack and integrated starter-generator (BISG). The benefits to the driver are that braking energy can be stored in the battery pack and used to assist the engine when accelerating or starting off.

There's also now the ability to coasting on battery only – although like all so-called mild hybrids, you can't drive on electric alone. Unusually, the EcoDynamics+ system is also available with a six-speed manual gearbox, and Kia’s new ‘clutch-by-wire’ system. That means there's no cable or hydraulic system between the pedal and the clutch – just a set of electronically-controlled actuators.

The benefit for the driver there is weight reduction and an improvement of efficiency. The Ecodynamics+ versions are available in 100hp or 120hp forms, and we've yet to see the mpg and CO2 figures.

The rest of the Stonic's engine range is said to also have received major upgrades in the interests of efficiency – there's a choice of a 100hp 1.0-litre turbo and a lower powered 1.2-litre with 84hp – and all manual models are now six-speed.

What this means for you

It's a useful set of technical upgrades for a competent small family car that's available with an unusually long seven-year warranty. With improved mpg and efficiency being the main upgrades, it means that there are more reasons to buy a Kia Stonic.

Whether it's enough bring it closer to our favourite small SUV, the Ford Puma remains to be seen. Prices and specifications for the UK have yet to be revealed, and we'll keep you on that.

>> Read more: Best small SUVs
>> Read more: Best family SUVs
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Kia Stonic (2020) facelift, grey and yellow