The once diminutive Kia Picanto has grown up and it's being shown off in its full glory at the ongoing Geneva International Motor Show.
"It is such a complete car, such a high quality package, offering numerous premium features and multiple trim choices, that it will raise the fundamental perception of A-segment models to a higher level," said Soon-Nam Lee, Kia Motors' director of overseas marketing.
Longer than the previous model by 60mm, the wheelbase of the Picanto has increased by 15mm. Thanks to these improvements and some clever interior packaging, the all-new Picanto's cabin space has increased with the front legroom by 36mm while its cargo-carrying capacity has gone up by 27 percent to 200 liters.
The Picanto will be offered with three different Kappa engines in Europe, where it was just launched. There's the gasoline-fed three-cylinder 998cc engine that produces 69hp and 95Nm of torque, the bi-fuel-fed (LPG and gasoline) engine with the same displacement that ekes out 82hp and 94Nm of torque, and the range-topping inline-four 1.25-liter mill that generates 85hp and 121Nm of torque. A five-speed manual transmission is standard for the Picanto though a four-speed automatic gearbox will be available as an option on the 1.25-liter engine.
With the engines, Kia's new car consumes as little as 4.2 liters for every 100 kilometers while producing at least 90 grams per kilometer of carbon dioxide.
Other new features in the Picanto, which are usually seen only in bigger cars, include ultraviolet-reducing windscreen glass, automatic climate-controlled air-conditioning, electric folding door mirrors, smart-key entry system, Bluetooth hands-free mobile phone connectivity with voice recognition, active head restraints, driver's knee airbag, reversing parking sensors and an engine start/stop system aimed at further enhancing its fuel economy.
"The new Picanto will maintain Kia's reputation for delivering great value," Lee said. "It will deliver premium features at affordable prices and generate increased showroom traffic at our dealerships. We anticipate that global demand for A-segment cars will be in the region of 2.4-million units annually over the next six years and we are confident that new Picanto will enable us to capture a larger share of this market."