GoAutoLogo
MENU

Future models - Kia - Picanto - three-door

First look: Kia’s first Picanto three-door

Another Picanto hatched: Kia’s newest hatchback is unlikely to be sold in Australia – at least in three-door guise.

Kia’s first three-door Picanto emerges on eve of five-door Rio’s Australian launch

Kia logo16 Aug 2011

KIA has revealed its first ever Picanto three-door on the eve of the larger new Rio hatchback’s Australian launch.

Full pricing and specification have been revealed in Europe ahead of the car’s official release there on September 1 – the same day the all-new Rio five-door goes on sale here.

Kia’s inaugural Picanto three-door is based on the redesigned five-door hatchback that is under consideration for release here, and will be available in the UK with the same 1.0 and 1.25-litre petrol engines and four trim levels.

The booming Korean car-maker predicts that the global market for Picanto-sized city-cars will grow from 2.4 million in 2014 to 3.3 million by 2015, and that three-door models will comprise 30 per cent of that volume, or about one million cars.

Despite that, the Picanto three-door remains off Kia’s agenda in Australia, where the new Picanto five-door now appears certain to slot beneath next month’s new Rio five-door, which will be joined in January by four-door sedan and yet-to-appear three-door hatch versions.

Kia Motors Australia spokesman Kevin Hepworth ruled out the Picanto three-door for local showrooms, but confirmed the Picanto five-door remained a strong chance to rival the likes of Holden’s Barina Spark and the Suzuki Alto in Australia’s fledgling sub-light A-segment.

“Australia is still a five-door market and we’re continuing to request the Picanto five-door,” he said. “All of the Picanto’s competitors in Australia are five-door and the five-door is the model for which we continue to develop a business case.”

17 center imageArguably, the three-door Picanto is even cuter than the family-oriented five-door, featuring the same rising beltline but adding longer doors, new rear panels and different glass rear of the A-pillars to suggest even more of a wedge shape.

Kia says the more exclusive three-door derivative – which still accommodates five seats and measures the same 3.6 metres long as the five-door - offers a sportier character while delivering the same safety, efficiency and equipment upgrades as the redesigned Picanto five-door.

“If the five-door Picanto is ‘the small car, grown up’, then the three-door is the same but with a twinkle in its eye,” it said.

Unique alloy wheel designs on the two most expensive variants also set it apart, but the three-door also features revised front and rear styling, including a reprofiled front bumper with larger grille opening – complete with silver or red ‘lipstick’ surround - to make the car look wider and lower, while a full-width lower grille houses a pair of black-bezelled foglights on premium variants.

At the rear, the three-door swaps the five-door’s concealed single exhaust outlet for a pair exposed chromed tailpipes, while a rectangular black central section in place of body colour on the rear bumper also injects more sport.

In Europe, the first three-door version since the original Picanto appeared in 2004 will emit at little as 99g/km of CO2, despite the fact only the larger 1.25-litre ‘Kappa’ engine is available with Kia’s fuel-saving EcoDynamics idle-stop system.

Available in two specifications in the UK, the 1.0-litre three-cylinder Picanto manual produces 51kW/95Nm and returns fuel consumption of 4.2L/100km, while all three 1.25-litre four-cylinder variants deliver 63kW/121Nm and return between 4.3L/100km (EcoDynamics manual) and 5.3L/100km (with a four-speed automatic transmission).

Inside, the three-door gains tilting/sliding front seats to provide rear-seat access, plus a range of interior trim options including all-black, black/grey and premium ‘Chilli’ red.

Standard equipment for all models will include a trip computer, height-adjustable driver’s seat, tilt-adjustable steering wheel, a four-speaker CD/MP3 player and electric power steering, with mid-range variants adding alloy wheels, two speakers, USB and AUX ports, an iPod cable and steering wheel controls.

Top-shelf Picanto models will be offered in the UK with Bluetooth connectivity, voice recognition, automatic headlights, heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, rear parking sensors, alloy pedals, climate-control air-conditioning, keyless entry/starting, 15-inch alloys, LED front daytime running lights, LED rear lights, body-coloured side skirts and a red front grille surround.

All Picantos come standard with electronic stability control (ESC), anti-lock brakes (ABS), electronic brake-force distribution (EBD) and emergency brake assist (BAS), plus twin front, side and curtain airbags, and front seatbelt pre-tensioners and load limiters.

Just four exterior paint colours will be available in the UK for the Picanto three-door, which rides on the same new running gear as the five-door, including MacPherson strut front and torsion beam rear suspension.

Read more

Click to share

Click below to follow us on
Facebook  Twitter  Instagram

Kia models

This week's edition of GoAutoNews Premium is available to download now
Click here