Kia Picanto city car launches at $14,990 driveaway

By Jez Spinks, 19 Apr 2016 Car News

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Kia Picanto city car launches at $14,990 driveaway

The Kia Picanto is aiming to enlarge Australia’s micro-car segment with a $14,990 driveaway price that undercuts key rivals in automatic-gearbox form.

Kia’s most affordable model has been launched in a single, self-shifting specification that focuses on the transmission preferred by the majority of Australian motorists rather than a headline price tag. 

The five-door Picanto costs more than manual versions of the Nissan Micra, Holden Spark and Mitsubishi Mirage but is notably cheaper when those cars are selected with optional autos – as most buyers do. 

Kia Picanto

Suzuki’s Celerio remains the cheapest auto option of the major players, with a $14,490 driveaway cost. 

The front-wheel-drive Picanto’s four-speed auto is teamed with a 1.2-litre four-cylinder engine offering above-average power and torque – 63kW and 120Nm – with fuel consumption that is slightly higher than the norm (5.3 litres per 100km). 

Kia Picanto rear

Rear parking sensors are also a rarity for a car costing $14,990 brand new, and are part of a features list including 14-inch steel wheels, black cloth seats, Bluetooth with audio streaming, electric windows front and rear, six airbags and a variety of electronic safety systems including stability control and anti-lock brakes. 

The longest warranty available in the segment – seven years – is also likely to be hugely persuasive for buyers. 

The boot is one of the smallest in the class, at 200 litres. The rear seats split-fold, though, to create a total of 605 litres of luggage space when the rear seats aren’t required for passengers. 

Kia Picanto interior

Seven exterior colours are available, though only one of them (Clear White) is a non-premium paint not costing extra. 

Kia Australia has been contemplating the Picanto since it was launched in Europe in 2011. A 2015 update pushed it back into consideration, and the company is aiming for the Picanto to take over from the Mitsubishi Mirage as the segment best-seller. 

The micro-car segment is currently shrinking, with year on year sales down more than 30 per cent.