Everyone wants a sports utility vehicle these days and with more than 100 to choose from there’s plenty out there to have a look at.

Latest to join the market and hoping for a slice of the SUV cake is Kia who have just launched their Stonic, a curious name for a vehicle – more like medicine for stomach ache – but then Kia always pick unusual names for their cars.

But like all machinery Kia continue to impress with another winner. They will certainly have Nissan and Renault on their toes who produce the Juke and the Captur and who are supposed to be the opposition.

Every time Kia produces another new car the quality climbs another notch. They are equally as good as anything from Japan, probably better than anything from France and climbing fast to meet the Germans head on.

There are five versions at launch of the Stonic based on two trim grades and three powertrains. It is available with a 98bhp 1.4-litre multi-point injection petrol engine, a 118bhp 1.0-litre T-GDi (Turbocharged Gasoline Direct injection) unit and a 108bhp 1.6-litre CRDi turbodiesel.

All models have a six-speed manual gearbox and feature ISG, Kia's intelligent engine stop/start system and an auto version will be with us next year.

Pricing starts at £16,295 for the 1.4-litre petrol, rising to £20,495 for the top of the range 1.6 CRDi diesel.

The Stonic is entering the B-segment CUV/SUV market at the right time. Annual sales of this segment in Europe are predicted to double from the 2016 figure of 1.1 million to 2.2 million by 2020.

Kia expects to sell 70,000 units across Europe in 2018, rising steadily to 100,000 a year during the car's lifetime. The UK will contribute at least 10 per cent of the total.

In the UK, SUV sales have risen by 50 per cent since 2014 and are expected to increase by another 40 per cent by 2020. Buyers are moving into B-CUV/SUVs from superminis, small MPVs and three-door compact hatchbacks, which are now out of favour.

Stonic is based on the new Rio supermini and will be built on the same production line in South Korea. Production capacity at the plant has been steadily ramped up to accommodate the new model.

While the two cars share some mechanical components, Stonic has a bespoke body and interior. All models will be front-wheel drive as the take-up for all-wheel drive in this sector of the market is only eight per cent.

Kia's decision to offer only mid- and high-grade versions of Stonic in the UK is in line with demand from both retail and fleet customers.

All versions are generously equipped, with an extensive range of active safety features and the First Edition models also have two-tone paintwork, with the roof, wing mirror casings and rear spoiler picked out in either black, lime green, red or orange, depending on the choice of main body colour, with corresponding accents around the lower centre console and display screen areas.

Electronic Stability Control and Vehicle Stability Management are standard. VSM is linked to Torque Vectoring, Straight Line Stability and Cornering Brake Control. All versions also have hill-start assist. Autonomous Emergency Braking and Lane Departure Warning System are standard in the First Edition and optional on grade 2. Autonomous Emergency Braking is linked to Driver Attention Warning, which can alert a drowsy or distracted driver that it is time to take a break, and High Beam Assist, which automatically switches the car between dipped and full beam according to the traffic around it and the local street lighting.

The First Edition also has Blind Spot Detection with Rear Cross Traffic Alert, to prevent the car from being driven into the path of a vehicle approaching from an angle out of the driver's eyesight. There is a 7.0-inch display with a DAB radio and MP3 compatibility in grade 2, and in the First Edition this is upgraded to a 7.0-inch touchscreen navigation and infotainment system featuring Kia Connected Services with TomTom. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone integration are standard across the range.

All models have 17-inch alloy wheels, air conditioning, all-round electric windows with an automatic function on the driver's side, roof rails, rear parking sensors, remote locking, electrically adjustable heated door mirrors, a 3.5-inch supervision cluster, Bluetooth with voice recognition and music streaming, automatic light control, bi-function projection headlamps and cornering lights and LED daytime running lights.

There are body-coloured bumpers, door mirror casings and door handles, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, 60:40 split rear seats and a six-speaker audio system.

The First Edition adds a smart key entry system and engine start/stop button, stainless steel pedals, black cloth and grey faux leather upholstery with colour accents, automatic air conditioning, LED rear lights, privacy glass on the rear side windows and tailgate, heated front seats and D-shaped steering wheel, chrome window trim and interior door handles and a dual-height luggage floor.

There are a variety of colours and here’s the models to choose from.