The arrival of the two compact sport utility vehicles, the all-new Kia Sonet and the high-tech Kia Seltos may just be timely for those waiting for special vehicles to rock the end of the year known for festivities and unique automobiles.
The two Kia models assembled in Nigeria were unveiled in Lagos last Friday to the motoring journalists are expected to significantly raise the market share of the Kia brand in the compact SUV segment, which is fast becoming the toast of many new car buyers globally including Nigeria, especially young trendy people.
Kia says the bold compact Sonet now available for customers in Nigeria has been developed ground-up to set new benchmarks in design, technology, dynamics and safety.
According to the firm, the vehicle offers first-in-class six-speed automatic, alongside a wide choice of powertrains
“The urban and athletic Sonet has arrived in Nigeria and poised to revolutionise the sub-compact SUV segment. Designed to be bold and unforgettable, the Sonet boasts of key features that place it in a league of its own within the compact SUV segment,” says Kia’s Marketing Manager, Olawale Jimoh.
Specifically, he says the Sonet coming with multiple powertrain options has impressive features encapsulated in a modern exterior and incorporates the Kia’s DNA of emotive styling along with a premium appeal creating a strong presence on the road.
The Sonet is said to provide comfort, convenience and safety as it has been fitted with the largest and the best in class 10.25-inch (26.03 cm) HD and it comes with other smart features such as multi-drive and traction modes, and grip control for automatic models.
Designed around the driver with a well laid-out, intuitive infotainment and cluster interface, the Sonet was built taking into consideration the end user’s experience, harbouring functional qualities in every inch of its ergonomic space, says Kia.
Managing Director/CEO, Kia Nigeria, Jacky Hathiramani, says, “Kia has manufactured a vision inspired by our young, ingenious customers who crave simplicity and seamlessness in their lives.
“The Sonet delivers on features that are simply not found in models belonging to the same compact SUV category. Packed with first-in-class, purposeful features and technologies. Our Nigeria customers will find in the Sonet a smart companion to navigate the needs of life.”
For the engine, Kia says with an efficiently petrol-powered engine, Kia Sonet offers its 1.5-litre MPI engine with the six-speed automatic transmission.
For safety, the firm says more than two-thirds of the Sonet’s body consists of high strength and advanced high strength steel, which creates a robust yet lightweight structure.
Kia says it has ensured that every drive with the Sonet is as hassle free and safe as possible, with a rigorous set of measures created in line with the automaker’s pillars of safety.
The Sonet will be available in a dual trim concept that includes a sporty GT-Line trim. Enhancing the Sonet’s athletic and energetic appeal, the GT-Line models offer sportiness both inside and out. Customers looking for a sharp, dynamic road presence have the choice to opt for this trim.
Seltos: Combining sophistication, comfort, efficiency
Kia says the new Seltos is one of the most high-tech cars in its class with a range of in-car features.
It is described as a technologically advanced and refined compact SUV equipped with a range of market and world-first features and designed to make driving safer and less stressful.
“The new Kia Seltos brings sophistication, assertiveness and cutting-edge technology and safety features to the global compact SUV segment,” says the Kia Nigeria
It adds, “The Seltos is characterised by distinctive design details, lending the compact SUV an air of understated sportiness. It combines forward-looking technical features, class-leading space and a suite of world-class safety features, and is powered by a choice of highly-efficient Smartstream petrol and diesel engines.”
Kia Nigeria MD/CEO, Hathiramani, speaks on the new SUV, saying, “The Seltos is an important car for Kia as it will play a central role in the expansion of our footprints, and especially in a priority market like Nigeria.
“We’ve adapted our strengths in design, quality and technology to fulfil the needs of customers in the Nigerian market. Seltos is aimed at youthful, tech-savvy buyers and is packed full of our most cutting-edge technology and safety equipment.”
Looking at its exterior design, this easily reveals the Seltos’ sporty and sophisticated nature through its long hood, a strong, character line on the front bumper, and sharp lines pressed into the bodywork.
It also sports a wide ‘tiger nose grille’, making the car instantly recognizable as a Kia, but with a difference.
The rear bumper with a metallic muffler effect accentuates this dynamic appearance.
For the interior design, the Seltos is designed with high quality, futuristic materials. With a target at youthful, tech-savvy buyers, the cabin is characterized by broad, sweeping shapes and highly technical details. Equipped with a range of technologies to maximize convenience, connectivity and ease of use, the bold design of the cabin incorporates a 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system.
The vehicle comes with the lounge-like and spacious interior and houses 8.0-inch head-up display system which unobtrusively projects relevant driving information on to a small-glass panel behind the steering wheel – such as turn-by-turn navigation directions and vehicle speed information.
The Seltos is equipped with a range of newly developed third-generation powertrains for high efficiency and powerful performance. All powertrains are engineered with Kia’s Smartstream technology for improved fuel efficiency and lower emissions.
Kia showcases the vehicle and its 1.6-litre T-GDI turbocharged petrol engine, producing 177 PS.
It says other options are a 2.0-litre naturally aspirated petrol engine, producing 149 PS; and a 1.6-litre diesel engine, producing 136 PS.
For the Nigerian market, the Seltos will be offered with an automatic transmission options to suit customers’ needs and driving style – a six-speed automatic transmission (6AT) and a continuously variable transmission (CVT) .
The car’s 10.25-inch advanced infotainment system is said to be packed full of technology and gives advanced split-screen functionality. This allows users to control or monitor numerous vehicle features at the same time, and customize the screen to display up to three applications simultaneously.
The driver can choose to have a single display (such as navigation) or combine different elements on-screen.
The vehicle has a full range of advanced active safety systems to keep its occupants well protected on every journey.
For instance, the Seltos’ body is made up of a blend of steel and aluminium, maximising torsional rigidity while keeping body weight low.
The vehicle is fitted with six airbags, as well as a suite of electronic vehicle safety systems such as Kia’s Vehicle Stability Management system as standard, incorporating traction control and electronic stability control.
It is also fitted with an Anti-lock Braking System, a Traction Control System, a Brake-Force Assist System and Hill-start Assist Control, as well as front and rear parking sensors, for assistance when parking.
Toyota-Suzuki joint SUV coming in August, Africa listed
The collaboration between Toyota and Suzuki is set to manifest in concrete terms as Toyota says it will start the production of a new SUV model developed by Suzuki at Toyota Kirloskar Motor Pvt. Ltd from August.
The Suzuki-developed SUV will come with mild and strong hybrid variants – made in India for both brands, multiple sources including motorauthority.com report.
The two companies are said to be planning to export the new model to markets outside India including Africa.
Toyota and Suzuki are promoting mutual supply of vehicles globally, which is one of the collaborations in their business partnership.
The two companies signed a memorandum of understanding for a business alliance in 2017. Since then, the two companies have been bringing together Toyota’s strength in electrification technologies and Suzuki’s strength in technologies for compact vehicles for joint collaboration in production and in the widespread popularization of electrified vehicles.
The powertrains of the new model to be on sale in India will be equipped with mild hybrid developed by Suzuki and strong hybrid developed by Toyota.
By bringing together strengths of both Toyota and Suzuki through the collaboration, the two companies say they will be able to provide a wide variety of vehicle electrification technologies to customers and contribute to the acceleration of electrification and the realization of a carbon-neutral society in India.
While Suzuki leads and understands the India market, Toyota brings hybrid tech to the table.
Maruti Suzuki India Limited and TKM will market the new model in India as Suzuki and Toyota models, respectively.
Ford to end production of Focus in 2025
Ford has confirmed that it will stop producing the Focus model in 2025, in a move that threatens the longer-term future of its Saarlouis, Germany plant that only makes that model.
Nigeria may not miss the exit of the Focus as it has not really been as popular as other Ford models such as the Escape, the Edge and Everest.
Ford however said that its plant in Saarlouis would continue to produce the Ford Focus passenger car, while the company is also evaluating options for future site concepts.
In Europe, Ford has emphasised the future role for electrified models – which includes its Cologne plant in Germany being a hub for EV production. It will build a new SUV based on VW’s MEB platform from 2023.
Ford also recently announced that its Valencia, Spain, plant would receive investment for making electric vehicles on a next-generation electric vehicle architecture.
Coscharis offers Renault customers N150,000 free service, flexible finance scheme
Coscharis Motors Plc has announced a free service voucher worth N150,000 for every Renault vehicle purchased from the company.
The auto firm is the sole representative of the Renault brand in Nigeria.
Making the announcement during the recently concluded Lagos Motor Fair, the General Manager, Renault Sales, Coscharis Motors, Sola Adigun, said, “We want to use the opportunity of our presence at this motor fair to announce to our customers and prospects that we will be offering a free service voucher worth N150,000.00 for every Renault vehicle purchased from Coscharis Motors at this motor fair and afterwards.”
According to him, the free service voucher is one of the exciting giveaways the Renault customers stand to gain from buying a Renault vehicle from Coscharis Motors Plc.
Even as Adigun said the free service voucher offer would extend beyond the just concluded motor fair to all Coscharis showrooms across the country, he gave July 30, this year as the last day for the promo.
A statement by the auto firm also said it had arranged a finance scheme from the sister company, Coscharis Mobility, for willing customers to purchase any of their preferred Renault vehicles.
It stated that Coscharis Mobility would enable the payment for the vehicle(s) to be spread over a period of time after 30 perc ent initial deposit of the principal value.
It also quoted the General Manager, Marketing & Corporate Communications for the Coscharis Group, Abiona Babarinde, as saying, “Currently, we are still assembling two variants of the Renault brand locally at our assembly plant in Awoyaya, Lagos, namely: Logan and Duster.
“Clearly, we have the capacity to add more variants to our local assembly line and hope that the time will soon come when the infrastructural deficit in the country will improve to give conducive business environment to investors like Coscharis that still believe in our nation, Nigeria. Then, we shall gladly increase the number of locally assembled variants and probably assemble all the variants that we market in the country.
“More importantly for us is that this gives us the opportunity to deliver value to the bigger economy in terms of job employment amongst other economic advantages with the sustenance and expansion of the local assemblies across the country.”
Coscharis, it stated, offers trade-in option to customers using a Renault vehicle and intending to exchange for a new model.
It said, “Renault was one of the brands which put up an outstanding presence at the recently concluded Lagos Motor Fair. “Five variants of the brand were put on display for visitors at the fair, including Logan and Duster, which are both assembled in Nigeria. Others are Koleos, Oroch and Kwid.”
Brand Manager of Renault at Coscharis Motors, Felix Mahan, gave some details about the models in the statement.
The Koleos is designed with a sense of detail and personality enhanced by its sleek appearance and athletic curves.
Behind its chic urban styling, Koleos has the DNA of a true 4X4.
The ALL MODE 4×4-i technology allows you to select the transmission mode that your vehicle will need to be equally at home on dirt, mud or sand as it is on tarmac.
Koleos comes with a range of driver assistance technologies including active emergency braking, blind spot detection system, easy trunk access and R-Link 2 media system.
Customers can choose from 1.6-Litre to 2.0Litre engine but whichever engine, it is built with a robust off-roader looks. With the superb ground clearance, the Duster is a practical and durable vehicle for the Nigerian road.
The interior of the All-new Duster reflects its generous, adventure-seeking nature. The spacious cabin is bright and reassuring.
The driver and passenger seats provide plenty of support to ensure your comfort wherever you go. The upholstery features a high-quality finish, as does the dashboard, where particular emphasis was placed on ergonomic design.
Simple and intuitive, the multimedia system Media Nav with touching screen allows you to navigate through all the different functionalities: navigation, phone, radio, Aux/USB ports and Bluetooth® connection to listen to your favorite music.
It also comes with hands free card to lock and unlock the doors from a distance as well as assist to start the air-conditioning before getting into the car.
New Renault Logan has an even more modern and dynamic design. With redesigned front and rear end panels featuring the new Renault brand light signature, New Renault Logan is a beauty to behold.
New Renault Logan has five generous seats to comfortably accommodate all your passengers. Enjoy useful and smart new storage areas, including a phone pouch and a front passenger side net pouch.
There is a new 12V output in the rear for charging your devices. There’s also a 1/3-2/3* split-fold rear bench seat and a spacious boot to transport everything you need in the way that suits you. You can combine utility and pleasure for a journey you are sure to love, depending on the version.
Logan’s ground clearance level (155-164mm) enhances its capacity to cope with extremely poor road surfaces (potholes, cobbles, uneven surfaces.
The mechanics, bodywork (opening panels), air conditioning/ventilation system and passenger compartment all specially designed to cope with certain countries’ environments where dust is omnipresent. Logan has an excellent thermal comfort standard (the vehicle is designed to deal with “extremely hot” conditions.
Inside Renault Kwid, there is plenty of headroom, legroom and elbowroom for the driver plus up to four passengers.
There are ingenious storage spaces everywhere.
The Renault KWID’s class-leading boot space of 290L can be extended up to 1100L, making it the perfect partner for a long road trip.
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