Kia Sonet iMT: Real-World Fuel Efficiency Tested
By Dhruv Attri
3 mins read
Published on August 18, 2023
- Kia Sonet 1.0-litre turbo can be had with an iMT while the automatic is an option
- Kia Sonet turbo iMT's idle start/stop is not the most effective in real world usage
- We managed a fuel cost of Rs 7.8 per km during our test
Kia recently lent us the Sonet iMT as a long-termer. And we did exactly what crores of people do every day with their new car, an office commute. I stay in Noida while our office is in the commercial hub of Gurugram, Udyog Vihar. It's a near-80 km long drive that has to be undertaken through the bustling ring roads of Delhi and then the NH-8. Which usually means a lot of traffic and a fat fuel bill. So does the Sonet iMT burn a big hole in the pocket with its fuel efficiency? We did a tank-to-tank test to answer exactly that question.
We filled the fuel tank to the brim slowly to get rid of any air pockets. Once done, we then embarked on our journey to the office amidst the peak traffic hours. To my surprise, the traffic on this friday morning was moving and not choked like it usually is with occasional jams at the traffic signals. We stuck to the city speed limits of 50 kmph to 60 kmph for almost the entire stretch.
The 1.0-litre, 3-cylinder turbo-petrol in the Sonet is good for 118 bhp and 172 Nm of peak torque. It feels adequate for ambling around the town but there is a hint of turbo lag below 2000 rpm. But once past that, the power surge is decent enough for you to close gaps or make quick overtakes.
The iMT or the clutchless manual transmission is a boon in stop-go traffic. However, if you are in a higher gear at a lower speed, for example, third gear at 12 kmph then the car disengages the clutch and won’t move ahead unless you downshift. This failsafe helps improve the life of your clutch plate but can also get a little annoying for some drivers.
On our return leg, we found slightly less traffic than in the morning as we left a little early to beat the mass exodus of home-bound commuters. Before giving you the results, let me tell you that the Sonet iMT has a claimed fuel economy of 18.2 kmpl.
However, in our fuel efficiency test, the car returned an economy of 12.35 kmpl. This number is decent given that the AC was on throughout the journey. It also has an idle start/stop feature as well which turns the engine off once you’re stationary and have your foot firmly pressed on the brake pedal. However, if the AC is on, the engine fires back up within 20-30 seconds.
We travelled around 71.8 km in total and consumed 5.81 litres of petrol for that. With the current petrol price of Rs 96.79 per litre in Noida, my office commute cost came up to Rs 562. The fuel cost per kilometre came out to Rs 7.8 per km. And this figure can rise up significantly depending on the traffic on your course.
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