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Stonic is Kia's first B-segment SUV, and it enters a market expected to account for more than two million sales a year in Europe (10.3 per cent of the total) by 2020.

UK buyers can chose from an eight-strong model line-up, with prices ranging from £16,295 to £20,495.

UK annual sales forecast will be close to 10,000 units in the Stonic's first full year on sale.

Based on latest Rio supermini launched at the start of 2017, Stonic was designed in Europe with input from Kia’s main design centre at Namyang in Korea.

The front-wheel drive Stonic is powered by a choice of three engines – 1.0 and 1.4 petrol units and a 1.6 turbo diesel engine – all hooked up to six-speed manual transmissions.

Built at Sohari in South Korea, Stonic was originally intended as a Europe-only car but will now also to be sold in Korea.