In the world of the

mundane this is just

the Stonic

Kia Stonic, 2017, First Edition, orange, front, static
Kia Stonic, 2017, First Edition, orange, front, lane
Kia Stonic, 2017, First Edition, orange, side
Kia Stonic, 2017, First Edition, orange, rear
Kia Stonic, 2017, First Edition, orange, interior
Kia Stonic, 2017, First Edition, orange, dashboard

MY childhood was one where names were exciting, painted a picture - Supercar, Fireball XL5, Torchy the Battery Boy.

Okay maybe not that one.

Even if the strings were visible, all manner of futuristic vehicles exploded onto the screen.

Or simply exploded.

Not that the same could be said of cars in the real world at the time.

Mini and Maxi, must have taken months to think that up, not to mention the Ford Prefect and Zephyr, a car so exciting they named it after a light breeze.

Yes, there was the Sceptre and Hunter but A40? A car named after a line on a road map?

In my teenage years things got little better, the leaky Marina for instance.

Good thing Cleggy and Compo were not around then or there would have been comparisons to Howard's giddy blonde tart.

Then we got stuck in to the geographical; Capri, Montego, Dolomite, Reliant Rochdale.

That was before the Japanese arrived with their totally nonsensical labels like Cedric, Bluebird and the Datsun Cherry: "Excuse me officer, my car's been stolen."

"You've lost your Cherry?"

Generally nothing has really changed, Starship Enterprise could well be some sort of inter stellar hire van while cars favour either ‘lifestyle' names or lists of letters and numbers.

Even Elon fired a Tesla into space atop nothing more excitingly named as the SpaceX Falcon Heavy.

He may as well have called it the sumo's budgie's spandex.

Therefore take a bow Kia, at last some monikers with real drive.

Stinger, there's a GT name if ever there was one and even if Stonic is a combination derived somewhat unexpectedly from the words speedy and tonic it suggests action of a Tracy Island nature.

And it is indeed the Stonic one-litre petrol turbo First Edition we are strapped into today.

The Stonic is a small five-door SUV which does its job perfectly well without attracting the world's spotlights.

It is Kia's foray into the compact crossover Miss Universes competition which is this crowded sector of the market and compulsory to enter.

Therefore it features the things we have come to expect like a three-pot petrol option which is what powers this First Edition 118php.

A diesel is also available in this trim costing £20,495 against the petrol's £19,695.

Mechanically you get the throaty rasp common to the species and a respectable sub ten seconds 0-60mph time with the promise of an average of 56mpg.

Like the Citroen C3 Aircross with which it competes there are some youthful, some would say too radical, contrasting paint jobs sending out the message that this is a car for up and coming families although there are better cost options on the market.

Still it is cheap to run and comes with the peace of mind that Kia's unique seven-year warranty brings.

It is also practical with the full five seats, a 352-litre boot with them unfolded and a large hatch along with good head and legroom because the Stonic shares the Rio platform with extra width and height although the driving position is lower than in others of its type.

What's it like to live with?

The cabin is, as with all Kias, restrained and a little dark for some although as we have come to expect, faultlessly built with the roof colour being repeated as dash inlays.

Plastics are universally hard on the fascia and doors.

The First Edition is the top level spec and there is plenty to go with it like an easy to use touch screen with sat-nave Apple CarPlay, full connectivity heated seats and autonomous braking taking vote limelight.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with either the urban or long haul drive.

I had a chunk of miles to do between the north west and London's exciting low emissions zone for which the one-litre's 115g/km gasses is perfectly suited, although with one sign announcing this nonsense on the very perimeter of Heathrow's kerosene cloud, irony abounds.

Stop start technology helped mpg along the laughable M6 on which I feel sure a parking charge will be levied.

Driven keenly the car is well balanced and rewarding, agile and composed although the 17-alloys introduce a bit too much road noise.

For me it has the looks, the name and although hardly stuff of solid rocket boosters, makes a handy little shuttle with plenty of space.

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