The Sonet has always been a favourite. We test it over the holidays, making memories with Kia’s small crossover…
I’ll be brutally honest. I can’t think of the name Sonet without thinking of a sonnet. With my ADHD, you can imagine I go to some of the most exotic places in my head. So, this is where I went when I started to pen down my travelogue for my December spent behind the wheel of Kia’s compact crossover.
A sonnet, as per Wikipidia:
1. a poem of fourteen lines using any of several formal rhyme schemes in English, typically having ten syllables per line.
It goes without saying: I need to write a sonnet for the Sonet. So here we go, my beat-dropping, raise-the-roof sonnet for the KIA Sonet titled Tiny Dancer (I might have nicked that one from ‘ol Sir Elton John).
You rocked up in my driveway,
As a little stray.
Our eyes locked at that moment,
here comes December’s entertainment.
I opened your door,
My jaw dropped to the floor.
As I slipped onto the driver’s seat,
My heart skipped a beat.
It’s here where I belong,
You knew it all along.
The key went into the ignition,
My hand made its way to the transmission.
The sound of your engine gave a little purr
Right there and then, we were ready to stir.
The Sonet gives meaning to the word “fun”. Life is an adventure, no matter the stage of your life. You can be fresh out of high school, a 20-something fashionista whose wardrobe is a combination of blue overalls from Cape Agrimart’s winter collection and Fendi, a go-getting accountant that’s figured out the way to a girl’s heart is talking big numbers and spending some of those big numbers on them, a starter family with two Yorkies and a newborn or just an average motoring journo, with her partner in crime and two pavement specials on the back seat, ready to make this a memorable holiday. No matter your story, I can guarantee you it will have a happy ending if you have a Sonet parked in your driveway.
We decided to keep it local this year. The most exotic place for the holidays was going to be Elgin. On that note, do you say Elgin or Elgin? (You said that in two different ways, didn’t you?). Over December break, we picked five places to visit: Elgin, Simonstown, Franschhoek, Stellenbosch and Cape Town.
Leg one: the Winelands
This was an easy choice. It’s December; the temperatures are hitting between 20 and 29 degrees Celcius: suns out, guns out. Or, in our case, the sun’s out, let’s buy some wine. We hit the road from Hout Bay to Stellenbosch via the N1. This gave me the perfect opportunity to test its highway capability. The Sonet packs a 1.0-litre turbo-triple coupled with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. The three-pot kicks out 88 kW and 172 Nm of torque. Overtaking was a breeze at 100 km/h and upwards.
Hitting a stretch of long open road also helped with my fuel economy (city driving did eat away at my petrol budget). On average, prancing around Hout Bay, I got about 8.6 L/100km. But this drastically improved on the highway, where I managed to get it down to 6.4 L/100km.
I was the designated driver, so I couldn’t enjoy the wines that were being poured, but I did buy some to enjoy at home. We went to the picturesque Babylonstoren. I could have spent the entire day there; it’s well worth the visit. From petting donkeys (I won’t go into much detail here, as you are not meant to pet them, which I realised too late) to filling up honey jars and making your own soaps, the farm has something for everyone.
From Babylonstoren, or like the locals calls it, Babylons, we made our way to Stellenbosch to enjoy another feather in the Cape’s cap, Boschendal. We might have overestimated the popularity of this 330-year-old farm because parking was a nightmare. I usually would bail, but something told me to stay positive and wait.
The wait was worth it; after effortlessly slipping into a parking spot left by a hefty Hilux, we embarked on the last Winelands stop for the day. I made a beeline for the deli. They sell the most delicious and authentic Pasti denatest you will ever find in our country. We chilled under the mighty oaks while sipping away their homemade iced tea and enjoying a hearty quiche made with the farm’s very own free-range eggs. As the saying goes, “maggies vol, ogies toe,” it was time to head home.
Leg two: The penguins
To do a staycation, you should actually do what people who come to your province on holiday do: next stop, Boulders, Simonstown. I have never seen the Penguins at Boulders and have lived in Cape Town for over two decades. So off we set from our home base and took the 30 km route from Hout Bay to Boulders. We took the lovely Chapmanspeak route. Show me a better coastal route in SA… Impossible! Here is where this little braveheart Sonet shined. Even though its body weight is pretty light, it stuck to the tar with the greatest finesse.
As we pulled into the Boulders Beach parking lot, a bus with 60-plus, 60-plusses got off to do what I set out to do. Luckily I was the faster one and managed a sprint from the car to the gate before they could get there. Yes, I know what you are thinking, but I had lots to do and lots to see and didn’t have the luxury of taking a little nap after this excursion on a Greyhound bus. Those little tuxedo-cladded penguins were adorable, and they knew it.
Leg 3: Big city life
This one we took on at night. I wanted to explore the city that never sleeps but which everyone refers to as “Slaapstad”.The Christmas lights were still on, so magic was everywhere the eye landed. I can’t quite put this into words, so I’ll let this little video talk: My city by night.
Leg 4: The final stop
Our last road trip for the holidays took us to Elgin. It also marked the end of my time with the Sonet. This was bitter sweat. We took the N2 from Cape Town, headed over the Sir Lowrys Pass and made our way to the Elgin Railway Market. Food, wine and great company was the theme for the day.
Voted the Best Market in the KFM Best of the Cape Awards, it was no surprise that there was something for everyone. I bought some special wines and cheese. I got some fudge from the Fudge Kitchen for the neighbours and took a lekker bottle of L-Gin handcrafted gin home to commemorate this day.
The Sonet will forever be imprinted on my heart and Instagram page. Until we meet again, little crossover. This little pony awoke the need to start living.
PS: Our soundtrack for the best part of the trip was the catchy Kia Road Trip Song, Kia Tsamaya. Download it here, and thank me later.
And then, there was movement—a movement that creates moments and fosters memories … Movement that Inspires.
South Africans are a nation of movers. We move to chase our biggest dreams and move to the rhythmic beat of our own unique drum, move off the beaten path to spaces and faces familiar and new.
And in every movement, we seek and find inspiration. The young child who marvels at the picturesque mountain peaks of the open road, the career-focused someone who finds moments of peace in movement, the teen who treats the backseat like their personal TikTok content studio, the couple whose bond grows stronger with every joyous journey and the family that creates cherished memories while road tripping.
The Kia Road Trip Anthem is a celebration. A celebration of movement, inspiration, journeys, road trips, and more. It is a celebration of Mzansi and its people.
Here’s to every road trip, and here’s to every Kia Tsamaya moment.