Kia has announced that its tiny Picanto hatch will hit Australia early next year, launching with just one feature-packed trim grade and one mechanical specification.
Today’s news follows confirmation in July that the Picanto had been marked as a likely started for either late 2015 or early 2016.
“It has taken a while to put all the ducks in a row, but now it is full steam ahead for what we see as a very exciting new entrant to the market,” Kia Australia chief operating officer, Damien Meredith, said today.
“Realistically, it is likely that Picanto will be on sale in the first quarter of next year. It is not one of the larger segments of the Australian new car market but we definitely see an opportunity for a quality product like Picanto.”
As revealed in July and confirmed again today, the local Picanto is expected to be offered exclusively in five-door form, matched to a 64kW/123Nm 1.2-litre four-cylinder petrol engine and a four-speed automatic transmission.
Local fuel consumption figures are still to be confirmed, although figures for four-speed auto models across the pond range from 5.3 to 5.6 litres per 100km/h.
Exact pricing is likewise still to be confirmed. Speaking with CarAdvice in July, Meredith hinted at a $14,990 drive-away price for the compact Picanto hatch.
That number has again been confirmed as an “indicative” price, although it is now unclear if Kia will cover on-road costs.
Speaking with CarAdvice today, Kia Australia communications manager Kevin Hepworth said that while the Picanto is now a sure thing for a local launch, the company has yet to lock in exact pricing.
This is partly due to a features list that is still to be finalised, but, with just one specification expected, buyers can likely look forward to a relatively high level of standard equipment.
The Picanto has been available in New Zealand for some time now, with three trim grades on offer. Looking to that market as a guide, Australian buyers might expect a similar features list to that of the top-shelf ‘EX’ model.
Standard features across all Picanto models in New Zealand include:
- Cloth seats
- Radio/CD/MP3 stereo system, USB/aux input with iPod cable
- Air conditioning
- Power windows with driver’s auto-down
- Remote central locking
- Multi-function trip computer
- ABS brakes with EBD and BAS
- Electronic stability programme (ESP)
- Dual front airbags with passenger isolating switch
- Dual side airbags
- Dual (front to rear) curtain airbags
- Child safety rear door locks
- Remote keyless entry with alarm
- Engine immobiliser
- Front seatbelt pre-tensioners/load limiters
- Three rear ELR diagonal belts
- Seatbelt reminder for all seating positions
- Two rear ISOFIX child seat anchors
The EX model adds a driver’s knee airbag and reversing sensors, along with up-spec features such as leather steering wheel and gear knob, LED daytime lights (bulbs on base-spec LX models), LED tail lamps, front and rear fog lights (rear only on LX), height-adjustable driver’s seat and passenger seat undertray, six speakers (two or four on LX models), steering-mounted controls, Bluetooth connectivity and automatic headlights.
The EX model also boasts 15-inch alloy wheels in place of the LX models’ 14-inch alloys.
Rear storage in the Picanto is listed at 200 litres with the rear seats upright, expanding to 870 litres when folded flat.
As with all other Kia models in Australia, the Picanto will benefit from a seven-year warranty, seven-year capped-price servicing and seven-year roadside assist.
In Australia, the Picanto will take on models like the Suzuki Celerio and Mitsubishi Mirage - both of which can be had with manual transmissions and lower starting prices of $12,990 and $11,990 respectively (excluding on-road costs).
In automatic form, unquestionably the more popular option, prices rise to $13,990 for the both, again before on-road costs.