Kia has unveiled the crossover-styled Picanto X-Line ahead of next-week's Frankfurt motor show, bringing a tougher look to the Korean micro car that's bound to appeal to SUV-obsessed buyers.

On sale in Europe from the beginning of the fourth quarter, the Kia Picanto X-Line rides 15mm higher than the standard car (156mm), and gets a range of SUV-inspired upgrades like contrasting black plastic cladding, metal-look skid plates front and rear, along with either lime green or silver highlights for the grille and fog-light surrounds.

Other highlights include 16-inch alloy wheels, LED daytime-running lights and fog-lights, a 7.0-inch touchscreen media system with navigation, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, along with a rear-view camera. Like the GT Line variant offered in Europe, the Picanto X-Line also gets a sport-inspired D-shaped steering wheel.

Under the bonnet is the same 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbo petrol engine offered in the sport-themed Picanto GT Line, which develops 73kW of power at 4500rpm and 172Nm of torque between 1500 and 4000rpm.

Kia claims the turbocharged X-Line can sprint from 0-100km/h in 10.1 seconds, while using as little as 4.5L/100km on the combined cycle.

The Picanto appears to be the first model in the Korean manufacturer's line-up, potentially hinting at a new line of crossover-styled variants for its non-SUV models.

Australia

Speaking with CarAdvice, Kia Australia's general manager for communication, Kevin Hepworth, said the Picanto X-Line isn't a likely starter for the local market.

"It is unlikely the Picanto X-Line would be on our consideration list any time soon. Given the market size if we are going to expand Picanto in Australia you would have to think that the 1.0-litre turbo GT Line would be favourite," he said.

"However, while [the GT Line] is still a consideration there is no business plan for it."

Would you buy a Picanto X-Line if it came to Australia?