At its launch in 2016 the Kia Picanto arrived with a single specification and single price, with Kia using the model - already approaching its runout phase overseas - as a way of introducing the nameplate to Australian consumers before the all-new 2017 model.
With the second-generation Picanto having made its international debut at the Geneva Motor Show this week, Kia Australia has revealed that it will once again continue to offer the city car as a single-specification model, unlike its key rivals, Holden Spark and Mitsubishi Mirage, which are available in two model grades.
“We’re looking forward to the new model and it was a bit of a gamble launching Picanto in the fifth year of its lifecycle but it worked out well for us,” Damien Meredith, Hyundai Australia chief operating officer said in Geneva.
Although the Picanto will once again be sold in a single trim level from launch, the new model will be offered with automatic and manual variants - a first for the Picanto in Australia.
“We haven’t finalised the price at this point in time. We would like to be around about the same mark, because I think that’s the value proposition of where we are, but it’s yet to be decided,” Mr Meredith said.
The 2016 Picanto automatic is priced at $14,990 driveaway, but that “same mark” doesn't account for the availability of two transmission options which haven't been a part of the Picanto plan in the current model, with general manager of media and corporate communications, Kevin Hepworth adding “The price discussion is going to be slightly different this time, because we’re including manual, and we didn’t have a manual previously.”
So far Kia has only shown the European specification Picanto, which in its current generation varies slightly from the version sold in Australia. The European Picanto includes a range of brightly coloured interior options, with initial models being shown in premium GT-Line specification.
Engine options in the European Picanto include carry-over 1.0-litre and 1.25-litre naturally aspirated engines along with Kia’s recently released 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbo engine which produces 74kW and 172Nm. Australia is initially expected to keep the 1.25-litre engine of the current model with a similar 63kW/120Nm tune, though the 1.0-litre turbo engine remains an option as a potential perfornace model at a later date.
The Picanto for Europe will be assembled in Kia’s Seosan plant in South Korea, as will Australian-bound versions, however the final specification between the two markets is expected to differ slightly, particularly given the popularity of high-end city cars in Europe compared to the more prosaic versions that reach Australia.
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