Subcompact SUV sparring: Kia Sonet vs. Toyota Raize

Let’s find out which of the two tiny crossovers is better on paper.

Subcompact SUV sparring: Kia Sonet vs. Toyota Raize

With the Kia Sonet out for the Philippine market, buyers looking for a small subcompact crossover have a new option. 

According to Kia Philippines, it is a small but potent ride brimming with creature comforts and advanced safety technologies. It also takes the same assertive stance as its larger sports utility vehicle siblings. 

But how does the Kia Sonet fare against the very popular Toyota Raize specs-wise? 

To find out, let us compare the Kia Sonet SX AT against the Toyota Raize Turbo CVT to find out which is the better subcompact crossover on paper. Note that both are top-spec trims and are the best representations of what their respective nameplates have to offer. 

Small but capable rides

To kick off the comparison, let’s square up the Sonet’s dimensions against the Raize Turbo’s. 

Kia Sonet by Juan Paulo Papa 1

For the Kia-made crossover, it has a length 4,110 millimeters, a width of 1,790-mm, and a height of 1,642-mm. Its wheelbase spans 2,500-mm, and it also has a ground clearance of 205mm. 

On the other hand, the Toyota model is 4,030-mm long, 1,710mm wide, and 1,605-mm in height. It also has a wheelbase length of 2,525-mm, and a ground clearance of 200-mm. 

Toyota Raize by Juan Paulo Papa 1

For car buyers, it is important to note the size of the vehicle as it can provide an estimation of how much space it has inside. Taking note of a vehicle’s size is likewise crucial in determining if it can fit inside one’s garage or not. 

So, regarding size, the Kia is larger than the Toyota. Then again, the Toyota model does present a longer wheelbase. 

Exterior

Regarding exterior features, both subcompact five-seater models include an array of bits designed to make driving easier. 

Kia Sonet by Juan Paulo Papa 2

Common between the two are LED headlamps, LED daytime running lamps, power-folding side mirrors, and LED taillights. Both also get front fog lamps, but the pair on the Sonet are LEDs, while the ones on the Raize are halogen. 

In addition to the latter, the Sonet has roof rails, which allow it more versatility when it comes to cargo. The aforementioned feature is not available on the Raize, but both cars do get rear spoilers and a high-mount stop lamp.

Toyota Raize rear

The Kia Sonet's look is completed by a set of 16-inch alloy wheels, while the Raize gets a larger 17-inch set. On the flip side, the Kia gets a panoramic sunroof, whereas the Toyota does not. 

Interior

Inside, both the Kia Sonet and the Toyota Raize have contemporary cockpits and comfy seating for up to five people. The two vehicles' interiors also feature many soft-touch surfaces combined with sturdy black plastic pieces. 

Kia Sonet by Juan Paulo Papa 6

For seating arrangements, the two models come standard with 60:40 split-folding rear seats, but only the Kia gets full leather upholstery. The Toyota, on the other hand, combines fabric and leather. 

Also standard on both crossovers are automatic air conditioning, a push-to-start button, a multi-function leather steering wheel, tilt-adjustable steering columns, a day-and-night rearview mirror, and loads of cubby holes to store knickknacks. 

The digital gauge cluster on the Kia, however, is 10.25 inches in size. The latter is larger compared to the Toyota’s 7-inch digital meter cluster. 

Toyota Raize by Juan Paulo Papa 12

Similarly, the Kia gets a sizable 10.25-inch central touchscreen, while the Toyota gets a more compact nine-inch infotainment system. Both nameplates' screens provide Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Only the Kia, though, gets wireless smartphone charging. 

Engine

Regarding powertrains, the Kia Sonet uses a 1.5-liter naturally aspirated inline-4 gasoline mill capable of making up to 113 horsepower and 144 Newton-meters of torque. Power is sent to its front wheels through the Korean car brand’s Intelligent Variable Transmission. 

Meanwhile, the Toyota Raize gets a 1.0-liter turbocharged inline-3 gasoline engine, which can produce 97 hp and 140 Nm of torque. It is front-wheel-drive and uses a continuously variable transmission. 

Based on the figures mentioned above, the Kia Sonet is considerably peppier than the Toyota despite lacking forced induction. 

Otherwise, both crossover models have the same suspension setups, with a MacPherson strut for the front and torsion beams for the rear. For braking power, however, the Sonet gets disc brakes for all four wheels, while the Raize gets front disc brakes and rear drum brakes. 

Safety

For their basic safety kits, both the Sonet and the Raize are pretty much up to par against each other. Both get dual-front airbags, anti-lock braking, stability control, hill-start assist, ISOFIX child seat anchors, a reverse camera, an engine immobilizer, and a car alarm. 

Specifically for airbags, the Raize adds to its dual front ones with side airbags and curtain airbags, which aren’t available on the Korean crossover.

On the one hand, the Kia Sonet gets a more comprehensive safety kit that includes lane keep assist, lane following assist, forward collision avoidance, high beam assist, and a driver attention warning. 

The Toyota, meanwhile, has to make do with blind-spot monitoring and rear-cross traffic alert. Plus, the Sonet has cruise control, while the Raize does not. 

Variants and price

Kia Sonet

  • LX M/T: P758,000
  • LX A/T: P868,000
  • EX A/T: P978,000
  • SX A/T: P1.138 million

Toyota Raize

  • E MT: P751,000
  • E CVT: P841,000
  • G CVT: P936,000
  • Raize Turbo CVT: P1.063 million

Verdict

On paper, the Kia Sonet is a better crossover overall than the Toyota Raize. It has a peppier engine, a better array of digital displays, and more advanced safety features. 

Kia Sonet side profile

The strength of the Toyota Raize, however, might stem from its more affordable price range compared to the Kia model. A case and point is its Turbo top-spec trim, which is P70,000 more affordable than the Sonet SX. Sure, one will get fewer features for the money, but some buyers may prioritize more savings over creature comforts. 

Raize front quarter shot 2

As we always say in car comparisons, though, serious buyers should give each ride a test drive to get to a more informed final choice. 

Photos from: Juan Paolo Papa, Kent Jirehl Flores

Also read:

Stablemate scuffle: Kia Sonet vs. Kia Stonic

Cabin check: what’s inside the Kia Sonet?

Here are the Kia Sonet's poetic hues

Cesar Miguel

Cesar Miguel

A car enthusiast who dreams to spread his love of automobiles through writing. If he isn’t penning stories about cars, he usually spends his time in the digital race tracks of Assetto Corsa.

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