A Kia Picanto hatchback was spotted testing on the roads of Karachi earlier this week.This gives a hope for people eager to buy a new car in a comparatively lower price tag.Ever since the new Auto Policy was announced, bulk of the vehicles that were introduced in our market costed above PKR 2.0 million. And that’s somewhat out of the reach for the most.

KIA-Lucky is moving towards the commencement of its range of automobiles in Pakistan. Picanto does point out that the company is willing to tap the low-budget segment of the market as well.

Kia Picanto- The background

The Kia Picanto is a small city car created by the South Korean manufacturer since 2004.The Picanto was first brougt in in Pakistan by Dewan Farooq Motors Limited (DFML) during 2006 while the group was in financial chaos. With import duties on the rise, these CBU units of the first generation (SA) Picanto were relatively expensive consequently only a handful of cars went out of the dealerships.

However the one spotted testing in Karachi is the second generation TA series which was sold in international markets from 2011 to 2017.

The 2nd generation Picanto (TA)

The second generation Picanto is quite well designed as compared to its predecessor. The Picanto comes with a variety of engine options but the ones most probable to be introduced in Pakistan are either a 1.0 liter 3 cylinder, or a 1.2 liter 4 cylinder Kappa engines. The 1.0 liter unit produces 68hp whereas the 1.2 liter is a VVT unit good for 86 hp.

Accessible transmission options are either a 5 speed manual, 4 speed automatic or a CVT. In international markets the TA Picanto is prepared with 6 airbags, Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Vehicle Stability Management (VSM), Hill-start Assist Control (HAC) etc.

Kia Picanto Awards

The Picanto has got several automotive awards from across the globe. This includes:

  1. The iF product design award in the “Transportation Design” category in 2011.
  2. The Red Dot award in the “Automobiles, transportation, commercial and water vehicles” category in 2012.
  3. The “Bargain Car of the Year” in 2011 by Top Gear magazine.
  4. Association of Scottish Motoring Writers awarded Picanto  “Best Small Car” in 2011.
  5. In South Africa, the Picanto has the Standard Bank People’s Wheels Award for “Budget Buys – Affordability First” three years straight from 2011 to 2013.
  6. J.D. Power and Associates, in 2016, awarded the Picanto on UK Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS) in the City Car category.

Kia Picanto Safety

There are noteworthy differences in the Picanto’s safety ratings in different parts of the world. Kia Picanto has a 5 star rating under the ANCAP testing system, 4 stars through Euro NCAP, whereas zero stars with ASEAN NCAP as well Latin-NCAP as the basic version does not come with airbags in certain markets.

Which cars Picanto compete with?

In international markets Kia Picanto rivals a number of small cars counting the Hyundai i10, VW Up, Toyota Wigo and off course, the Suzuki Celerio.

Picanto’s fuel consumption is rated at 16.5 km per liter (1.0 liter Kappa II variant) and it goes approximately neck to neck to the Suzuki rival in terms of specs in international markets. Nevertheless a lot is dependent on the pricing & features that are to be offered in Pakistani variants.

As Kia is bringing the out-gone generation here, probability of being priced between the WagonR and Cultus are there, but then again it would be appealing to see if it’s offered with the same level of equipment that comes with international versions.

If priced wisely, preferably below the Suzuki Cultus, the Kia Picanto can put some serious competition in its class. Let’s wait & see if the South Korean manufacturer is able to break in the market.

What do you think should be the right price for Kia Picanto in Pakistan? Let us know with your comments.