Kia’s A-segment hatchback has come a long way from the days of the People’s Car.
Kia Motors has officially launched the all-new Kia Picanto.
Kia exclusive distributor for the Philippines Columbian Autocar Corporation revealed the city car at its brand-new dealership at SM Megamall (at the 5th floor Building B), the first full-fledged car showroom in the expansive shopping mall.
The Picanto was launched simultaneously in five dealerships across the country: Kia Carmona in Southern Luzon, Kia Pampanga in Central Luzon, Kia Gorordo-Cebu in Visayas, and Kia Davao in Mindanao.
Provincial dealers will host a display to include the first and second generation Picantos alongside the current variants.
Picanto has certainly transformed into an attractive little car, with short front and rear overhangs.
The trademark Kia “tiger grille” is flanked by headlamps incorporating LED daytime running lights.
Projection fog lamps are integrated into the bumper. Taillights are LED as well, with C-shaped illuminated segments.
The interior looks upscale for its segment, with leather-wrapped steering wheel, fabric seats, and floating-type secondary controls mounted high on the instrument panel.
The steering wheel adjusts for tilt but doesn’t telescope. The power steering uses an electric motor for better efficiency.
The rear seat split-folds 60:40 for greater versatility between passengers and cargo.
The new Picanto measures a compact 3595 mm long x 1595 mm wide x 1495 mm tall.
It rides on a longer 2400 mm wheelbase, a stretch of 15 mm from the previous model, with overall length remaining the same.
This increases the interior space while maintaining the small footprint.
Kia promises better headroom, legroom, and shoulder room in this latest model.
Turning radius is 4.7 meters, with a ground clearance of 151 mm. The Picanto’s curb weight is a maximum 980 kg.
Picanto is powered by a 1.2-liter inline-four engine, generating 84 ps and 122 Nm.
Power is transmitted through five-speed manual or four-speed automatic. There’s also a 1.0 liter option.
The hatchback rides on 185/55R15 tires, hooked up to MacPherson struts up front and a torsion beam rear suspension.
Brakes are discs up front and drums on the rear.
Safety features include available ABS brakes, dual airbags, and child seat Isofix anchors.
The Picanto GT-Line features premium-type accents inside and out, a first for Kia’s entry-level hatchback.
The all-new Picanto was first revealed at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show.
Hernando D. Gañac, Jr., CAC’s vice president of Sales and Marketing, said, “As one of Kia’s best-selling models across the globe, we knew it would be a challenge to improve on the current version.
“This new model retains all of the outgoing model’s strengths but now offers increased performance and new technologies.”
The styling is a collaboration between the Kia design centers in Namyang, South Korea, and Frankfurt, Germany.
Kia has seemingly positioned the all-new Picanto as a more playful, personal vehicle, making it more distinctive than the utilitarian designs of its competitors.
If it can deliver a driving experience as good as its looks, it should be a standout within its segment.
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