Kia, having displayed a stunning range of vehicles at the 2019 Pakistan Auto Parts Show (PAPS) is on the verge of introducing the Sportage SUV as well as the Picanto hatchback in Pakistan.
Related: Kia Steals the Show at PAPS 2019
Kia-Lucky Motors CEO Asif Rizvi, revealed at the PAPS that his company is gearing up to start booking of vehicles in June and will launch the Sportage SUV by August and Picanto hatchback by October 2019.
The Picanto has already been spotted a number of times testing on our roads and its launch will finally be something from Kia-Lucky that will be targeted towards the mass market buyers.
Kia Picanto- The background
The Kia Picanto is a small city car produced by the South Korean manufacturer since 2004. It is also known as Kia Morning in its homeland South Korea and few other markets.
The Picanto was first introduced in Pakistan by Dewan Farooq Motors Limited (DFML) during 2006 when the group was in financial turmoil. And with import duties on the rise, these CBU units of the first generation (SA) Picanto were quite expensive hence only a handful of cars went out of the dealerships.
Globally the first generation Picanto (SA) was replaced by the second generation(TA) series in 2011 which continued to be sold till early 2017, when Kia officially unveiled the third generation (JA) Picanto. However the one about to be launched in Pakistan happens to be the second generation TA series which was sold in international markets between 2011 to 2017.
The 2nd generation Picanto (TA)
The second generation Picanto was a huge leap forward compared to its predecessor. It was designed under the supervision of Peter Schreyer, former Audi designer widely known for his design contributions to the Audi TT & Volkswagen New Beetle. Schreyer now leads the design teams at Hyundai and KIA & has developed a distinctly new, more contemporary look that you see in KIA vehicles today.
Related: Kia Cerato Sedan Spotted in Karachi
Features & Equipment:
In international markets the TA Picanto comes in various trims equipped with features including ABS, 6 airbags, Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Vehicle Stability Management (VSM), Hill-start Assist Control (HAC), 14″ rims etc. However specifications for the one assembled in Pakistan will be different for sure. Furthermore the display units at PAPS 2019 had clearly mentioned ‘Imported Unit Overseas Configuration’ so one might assume the local assembled versions to fall short of features and equipment on offer.
The 2nd generation Kia Picanto measures 3595x1595x1490mm & has a wheelbase of 2385mm which makes it comparable the Pak Suzuki Cultus (Celerio). Its marginally smaller in length and width but noticeably shorter in height yet offers better ground clearance than the Pak Suzuki rival.
|Kia Picanto||Suzuki Celerio|
|Ground Clearance (mm)||152||145|
The Picanto will be powered by a 998cc (1.0 liter) 3 cylinder petrol engine producing 69ps @6200rpm which is again quite similar to the Celerio which produces 67ps @6000 rpm.
Kia Picanto Awards
The Picanto has bagged several automotive awards from across the globe. This include:
- The iF product design award in the “Transportation Design” category in 2011.
- The Red Dot award in the “Automobiles, transportation, commercial and water vehicles” category in 2012.
- The “Bargain Car of the Year” in 2011 by Top Gear magazine.
- The Association of Scottish Motoring Writers awarded the Picanto as “Best Small Car” in 2011.
- In South Africa, the Picanto took the Standard Bank People’s Wheels Award for “Budget Buys – Affordability First” three years straight from 2011 to 2013.
- In 2016, J.D. Power and Associates awarded the Picanto on UK Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS) in the City Car category.
Kia Picanto Safety
There are significant differences in the Picanto’s safety ratings in different parts of the world. Kia Picanto has a 5 star rating under the ANCAP testing system, 4 stars through Euro NCAP, while zero stars with ASEAN NCAP as well Latin-NCAP as the basic version does not come with airbags in certain markets.
Which cars Picanto compete with?
In international markets Kia Picanto rivals a number of small cars including the Hyundai i10, VW Up, Toyota Wigo and off course, the Suzuki Celerio which lives with a Cultus nameplate in Pakistan. In Pakistan the Picanto will primarily go against the 1.0 liter Suzuki Cultus and Wagon R.
Picanto’s fuel consumption is rated at 16.5 km per liter (1.0 liter Kappa II variant) and it goes almost neck to neck to the Suzuki rival in terms of specs in international markets. However a lot depends on the pricing & features that are to be offered with Pakistani variants.
Since Kia is bringing the out-gone generation here, chances of being priced between the WagonR and Cultus are there, but then again it would be interesting to see if its offered with the same level of equipment that comes with international versions. Speculated prices are expected to range between PKR 12 lac for the base variant to up to PKR 15 lac for the fully loaded one.
The Kia Picanto if priced right, can stir some serious competition in our market. Lets wait & see if the South Korean manufacturer is able to create problems for Suzuki in small car segment. What is your opinion about the upcoming Kia Picanto in Pakistan? Let us know with your comments.