But what about hatchbacks? Well, they’re still in demand too and we think they still would be in the near future. After all, small, affordable and peppy cars are always good in have in congested cities. Speaking of small cars, the Kia Picanto has made quite a name since its launch a few years ago. Also known as ‘ Kia Morning’ in many countries, the Picanto is available in three engine options, funky colours and a few of the so called attractive features.
Based on the Hyundai i10 platform internationally, the Picanto is quite similar in size to that of the i10 making it look like one too, if you look closely from different angles. But that’s possible only if you have a keen eye. The 2020 avatar of the Picanto has many aesthetic changes made to it which make it a bit overwhelming for a small car.
The front end gets a new chrome ‘Tiger Nose’ grille, LED projector headlamps, a redesigned bumper with a new place for the fog lights and bigger air dams. Overall, we think Kia has tried to make the Picanto look a bit aggressive but the front actually looks like there’s too much happening there all at the same time. A bit cramped of sorts.
The rear and sides too don’t miss out on the 2020 updates. The rear bumper gets a diffuser, taillights are now LED and the alloy wheels get a new design. Yes, we know, it looks like it has fake exhausts. The look at the back is opposite from what’s happening in the front. There’s lots of space the designers could fill stuff in. Or not, perhaps.
Speaking of the interior, most things looked the same as the earlier models except for a few additions that would make it a highly attractive package in India. A large eight- inch touch screen Infotainment System with UVO connectivity suite, automatic AC, push button start- stop, an electric sunroof, ventilated front seats and a semi digital instrument panel with a 4.2 inch multi- information display. As keen drivers, we liked the electric sunroof bit the most.
Speaking of the heart of the matter, the Kia Picanto comes with three engine options- a 1.0 litre three cylinder naturally aspirated engine churning out 75 bhp and 95NM of torque, a four cylinder 1.2 litre engine making around 85 bhp and lastly, a 1.0 litre three cylinder turbo petrol engine producing 99 bhp. That’s a lot of choice for a small car! The three cylinder motors however get only a 5 speed manual gearbox whereas the four cylinder motor gets the option of a 4- speed automatic.
Safety too isn’t compromised. It has what most modern small hatchbacks come with- seven airbags, ABS, EBD, reverse parking assist, and many other features which we may not see in India even if the car is launched soon. The seven airbags option is also a great start in terms of safety for a small car like the Picanto and we do hope to see it if at all the car is launched in India.
Speaking of the Kia Picanto launch in India, Kia has expressed that it isn’t keen on entering the hatchback segment in India yet, especially when it is currently focussing on bringing the compact SUV Kia Sonet into India soon. But with times changing quickly, you may see the Picanto on Indian roads sooner than expected. Or, maybe not so soon. Well, only time will tell in case you’ve been waiting for this hatchback.