Kia’s Tiny Picanto: a Sensible, Reasonably Priced City Car
(full review this coming Friday morning)
In spite of the Super Mini segment accounting for only a small part Australian vehicle sales, Kia has made an audacious move to introduce its micro car. The model is now 5 years old and is approximately 12 months out from the replacement.
SH Cho, President and CEO of Kia Australia welcomed the press to Canberra and, with fellow Kia management, outlined a Kia’s milestones over the past 12 months.
Damien Meredith, COO of Kia Australia, says the Picanto fills a gap in the product range. It moves in under Rio as the new entry model.
After Sales GM, Phil Murray, spoke at length about the 7-year warranty, the longest warranty offered in Australia. “You wouldn’t do that unless you’re positive of the longevity and reliability of your product,” Phil said.
Sales GM, Roland Rivero says “Picanto sits under Rio so there is a clear price level in the passenger car model range beginning with Picanto, going all the way up to Optima.
When asked about introducing a model so close to being replaced, Kia management were adamant about getting the super-mini known in the market place, and although not as well equipped as some of the opposition, has an industry-leading 7-year warranty. This is a full 4 years longer than Holden Spark. Kia is conscious of tight margins in the entry level segment, but says the specification is excellent for the price. The 4 speed auto is the only transmission available. This decision was based on the ration of auto to manual sales in Australia. Picanto should appeal to fleets, the retired, and those seeking a first car.
Picanto has a 5 star Euro NCAP rating and on Monday the 18th of April 2016, was awarded a 5 star ANCAP rating. There are 6 airbags as well as stability control.
There is a monochrome infotainment screen. There is no Apple CarPlay/Android Auto. Pi.canto is well equipped for the price and includes: reverse sensors, Air Cond, 4 Speed auto, power windows, electric power steering, speed sensitive auto door locks (with impact-sensing auto unlocking), burglar alarm, keyless entry (using buttons on key fob), Bluetooth and USB/AUX and Hill Start Assist.
Kia is working on: alloy wheel options in place of the standard steel wheels, reversing camera (LCD in rear view mirror most likely option) but no word yet on an ETA.
Engine: 1.2 in-line 4 cylinder, 63kw/120Nm, Petrol, naturally aspirated (no turbo), Euro 5
Econ: 5.3 L/100 km, regular unleaded, 35L fuel tank
Kerb weight: 994 kg
Price $14,990 drive away
Launch drive review to follow this coming Friday