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Kia’s ‘Class Champion’, The 2017 Picanto Revealed in Colombo

Bigger, bolder and feature-packed third generation model set to revitalize city car segment

Korean car maker Kia unveiled its third generation 2017 Picanto in Colombo today, emphatically shattering the ennui in Sri Lanka’s urban city car segment.

With its 2016 predecessor already enjoying the best-in-class tag in the market, the all-new, youthful and energetic Kia Picanto will also dispel preconceived notions about ‘A’ segment cars with exciting new hi-tech features, more space and enhanced handling and safety, authorized distributor Kia Motors (Lanka) Limited said.

A bold new exterior design and a modern, more spacious and quieter cabin with “floating” touchscreen; new in-car technologies and connectivity features including Android and Apple smartphone integration; a stronger body, increased fuel efficiency and the largest cargo capacity in its class are just a few of the improvements in the new Picanto revealed to media at an exclusive preview.

“The Picanto has in the past been described as a small car all grown up, and this new model takes the concept even further, literally, as well as in terms of design, performance and sophistication,” said Mahen Thambiah, Managing Director of Kia Motors (Lanka) Limited. “It redefines the value for money paradigm and provides a drive that will please the young at heart and the motoring aficionado alike.”

Revealed for the first time at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show, the new Picanto is designed as an innovative, bold and fun-looking urban city car. It has a more assertive stance with bolder body lines, a longer wheelbase that contributes to a natural improvement in ride quality and stability on all roads; longer rear overhang; new projection headlamps with LED indicators and LED daytime running lights; and Kia’s distinctive wide C-pillar as a design motif, which stands more upright than that of the previous model.

A choice of nine vibrant paint finishes makes the car stand out. The six new colors available to buyers of the new model are ‘Lime Light,’ Shiny Red; ‘Aurora Black,’ Pop Orange,’ Sparkling Silver and ‘Celestial Blue’ in pearlescent metallic paint finishes. The Picanto is fitted with 14-inch steel wheels in its basic form, but customers can select one of four aluminium alloy wheel designs, ranging from 14-inch to 16-inch in diameter.

The new Picanto is powered by a highly efficient 1.0—litre MPI engine at entry point. Upgrades to the engine include a new exhaust manifold integrated into the cylinder head, and a new cooling system with shut-off valve, reducing the time it takes the engine to warm up from a cold start. A new two-stage oil pump also reduces mechanical friction and delivers greater fuel efficiency.

A new steering rack quickens the steering ratio by 13 per cent over the outgoing Picanto, enabling more immediate responses to driver inputs while reducing the turns of the wheel lock-to-lock, making the new model more agile and even easier to drive at low speed and in the city.

Inside, the 2017 Picanto provides occupants with more leg and head room than best-selling rivals in the A-segment. Kia’s designers have created a more modern, refined cabin with new materials and layout adding a greater sense of quality. A predominantly horizontal design adds greater visual width to the interior, highlighting the increased cabin dimensions. The dashboard layout is more centrally aligned, with a large 7.0-inch ‘floating’ touchscreen human-machine interface (HMI) sitting at the heart of the centre console and moving many of the car’s controls further up into the driver’s line of sight.

The boot of the new model grows from 200 litres to a maximum 255 litres — the most of any car in the class. When the 60:40 split-folding rear seats are folded down completely flat with a one-touch lever, cargo capacity is boosted to 1,010 litres. In the sphere of safety, the new Picanto’s body shell is cast in Advanced High-Strength Steel (AHSS) improving tensile strength by 12 per cent. The new, stronger steel has been used to reinforce the floor pan, roof rails and engine bay, as well as the A and B pillars, strengthening the core structure of the car. The new body shell also uses more than eight times the quantity of structural adhesive found in the previous model. The car is also equipped twin airbags and anti-lock brake system (ABS).

As with all cars sold by Kia Motors (Lanka), the new Picanto is tacked by a five year/150,000 km warranty. It is priced from Rs 2.99 million, inclusive of taxes.