My Kia Sonet diesel AT: 8 key observations post 1000 km & first service

Engine is pretty silent. Sure, there’s some noise at higher RPMs, but since I’m coming from a diesel Amaze, I’m not bothered by it.

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My observations with the Black Beauty (HTX D AT) – Post 1000+ KMS and First Service:

  • The car’s just a JOY to drive. Coming from the 2014 Amaze (2019 Altroz), and other autos in the segment, the car is so much fun to drive. The downside being it’s very hard to not push it but I’m trying hard to restrain myself to get better FE in the city. I’ve turned into bit of a heavy footer post experiencing the fun of the sheer power/torque this car has!
  • Engine is pretty silent. Sure, there’s some noise at higher RPMs, but since I’m coming from a diesel Amaze, I’m not bothered by it. Nothing some music won’t drown out. I guess people who’re used to petrol engines will find it a bit more intrusive. But otherwise NVH is excellent.
  • Overtakes are still damn addictive and you’ll never need to second-guess yourself. You don’t even need to put pedal to the floor for quick overtakes. Sports mode is something else!
  • Ride and handling feels good. Car has never felt unpredictable, steering weighs up well on high speeds and is sufficiently light (not as light as the Altroz though) at low speeds. Suspension is a decent middle ground, but the loud thud is a bit annoying. You have to slow down more than you’d think you should over speedbreakers and larger potholes or you’d hear a “thud” noise. I’m still not a 100% used to this, but it’s gotten much better. The car absorbs small undulations/cats eye/uneven surface etc. well enough at decent speeds, and just glides through. And the biggest plus of the suspension is, it’s such a joy to drive on highways/good roads, cornering has way less body roll than my Amaze at higher speeds. Also, manouvering the car in city is pretty easy, so that’s a big plus. This is one of the reasons of me not going a segment above or so.
  • Fuel efficiency, I’ve gotten 10-12 in city with bad traffic and 15-17 on highways (always AC on). But better drivers have extracted like 20 from the car, so can’t complain. I basically go throttle-break-throttle often, plus I’ve gone a bit heavy footed, so trying to fix that. You can realistically get the ARAI FE on highways.
  • Headlights are not at all satisfactory. You just can’t travel with lower beams with decent speeds, the throw is not sufficient enough, neither is the intensity. Forces you to go high beam. This sucks, especially considering where I live right now has barely any streetlights. Altroz is better here with its normal Halogens. Kia/Hyundai should seriously sort this out!
  • Did a long trip of round 300-400 KMS, and it was a joy. Android Auto works flawlessly, except my phone’s in battery saver and kills it in the background. Everything works as it should. The second reason for us to choose this beyond the segment-unique drivetrain was the excellent feel the cabin gives, just a lovely place to be in. A lot of people just are dismiss of this, but it’s a real boon when you have to do such long trips. You never feel exhausted, even in the HTX trim!
  • Just completed the first service at DKH Kia. Waiting times for pickup was longer than I’d expected, had to book more than two week in advance to get a service with pickup and drop. Since it’s the first service, I didn’t mind it so much. The staff was courteous and they constantly kept me updated on the service. The only issue I had was that they delivered the car with crazy low fuel levels, like DTE was around 22KM, which made me panic a bit as I was stuck in traffic and that isn’t exactly reliable. Thankfully, pulled through and reached the nearest fuel station without much drama.*

Overall very happy with the car – I’m someone who has constant buyer’s remorse, but the car with that sweet CRDI 1.5 + 6AT is so sweet that it never leaves you disappointed!

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