The all-new Kia Stonic is an eye-catching and confident compact crossover, and is set to become an important conquest model for Kia in one of Europe’s newest and fastest-growing vehicle segments.

The B-SUV segment currently accounts for 1.1 million new car sales in Europe each year – around 7 per cent of the market – and is forecast to expand to more than two million annual sales by 2020.

Michael Cole, Chief Operating Officer of Kia Motors Europe, comments: “By volume, the B-SUV market is expected to overtake the C-SUV segment by 2020, when more than 1 in 10 new cars sold in Europe will be from the Stonic’s segment. The B-SUV segment attracts buyers from across the spectrum, with 21 per cent of all customers upsizing from a supermini, and another 15 per cent downsizing from their family hatchbacks. Cars like the Stonic also appeal to those looking to replace their compact MPVs.
“The Kia Stonic will be one of the most compelling new cars in this rapidly-expanding class, backed by Kia’s unique warranty, and the brand’s reputation for reliability, quality and contemporary design. As the segment expands, the Stonic looks set to become one of our best-selling cars.”

Kia’s latest B-segment crossover is the most customisable Kia ever, inside and out, and boasts true European design flair. The design of the car is one of the brand’s most striking to date, yet it is immediately recognisable as a Kia thanks to key signature design elements, such as the ‘tiger-nose’ grille. Designed in Europe, in collaboration with Kia’s Korean design studio, the body blends sharp horizontal feature lines with softer sculpted surfaces. Customisability is important to many customers in the B-SUV segment, and the Stonic’s ‘Targa’-style roof enables buyers to choose a two-tone paint finish, inspired by the design of the 2013 Kia Provo concept. It will be available in up to 20 two-tone colour combinations, with a choice of five distinctive colours for the roof.

A range of lightweight, downsized, turbocharged petrol and diesel engines are available, each paired with a manual transmission, maximising driver engagement and efficiency. Buyers have the choice of Kia’s lightweight 1.0-litre T-GDI (turbocharged gasoline direct injection) engine, producing 120 ps (88kW), as well as 1.25- or 1.4-litre naturally-aspirated MPI (multi-point injection) petrol engines. An efficient 1.6-litre diesel engine completes the range, offering the lowest emissions in the line-up.

The car’s European-tuned steering and suspension are designed to offer an exciting drive, with immediate handling responses and a stable ride. The car is fitted as standard with Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and Vehicle Stability Management (VSM), ensuring the front-wheel drive Stonic remains enjoyable and confidence-inspiring to drive in all conditions. Specific functions of VSM include Torque Vectoring by Braking, Straight Line Stability, and Cornering Brake Control.

The Stonic’s European-designed cabin places technology and ergonomics at its heart, offering buyers as much potential for customisation as the exterior with a range of vivid colour packs for buyers to choose from. One of the smartest cars in its class, it provides owners with a range of new chassis and infotainment technologies designed to enhance safety, comfort and convenience. The car gets Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™ as standard, bringing seamless smartphone functionality to the touchscreen infotainment system. Like other Kia models, it is available with a broad range of technologies to enhance comfort and convenience, including heated front seats, automatic cruise control and keyless entry.

Within its compact exterior dimensions, the Stonic’s smart packaging maximises interior space for all occupants. The car offers class-leading shoulder room and generous leg- and head-room, while the highly versatile 352-litre (VDA) luggage bay expands or shrinks as required with a two-step boot floor.

The car is built on a strong, safe and lightweight platform and bodyshell, with Advanced High Strength Steel accounting for 51 per cent of materials used. The body ensures driving confidence, passenger comfort and refinement in all conditions. Buyers can choose from a selection of Kia’s DRiVE WISE Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) to further enhance active safety. These technologies include Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB)* with pedestrian recognition and Forward Collision Alert (FCA); Blind Spot Detection (BSD) with Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA); and Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS). Backed by a new fusion camera system, Stonic offers High Beam Assist (HBA) and Driver Attention Warning (DAW) to further satisfy the safety needs of customers.

Backed by Kia’s quality promise, the car will be sold as standard with the company’s unique 7-Year, 150,000 km warranty. It goes on sale across Europe during the third quarter of 2017.

Kia’s next generation Picanto has landed in Australia with new levels of refinement, technology, quality and value. Now in its third-generation, the new Kia Picanto brings a new, more youthful and energetic character to the A-segment. Boasting an assertive new design and a high-quality, high-tech new cabin.

“The current Picanto was a toe in the water for us in a segment which was, to be honest, struggling,” Kia Motors Australia Chief Operating Officer Damien Meredith explained. “We believed there was life in the segment for the right car and the fact that what was an ageing model is now the most popular in the segment proved that to be true.

“The new model has improvements across a huge range of specifications and while we are not expecting massive growth in the segment, we believe there is still life and there is still a sound reason to be a part of it.”

Meredith said that Australian buyers have “told us that they love the design of the outgoing Picanto, they love its low running costs, its compact dimensions for city driving, the high level of equipment available for the money and KMAu’s industry-leading 7-year Warranty package.

“The new model retains these strengths, with the addition of an exceptional level of dynamism and performance, as well as the latest technologies for in-car connectivity.”

For the Australian market the new Picanto will be available in a single highly specified model with a substantial upgrade in equipment including the addition of Apple i-Play, Android Auto, cruise control, dusk sensing headlamps, driver’s safety window and dynamic parking guidelines.

The new Picanto is powered by the proven 1.25-litre four-cylinder engine coupled to a 4-speed automatic at $15,690 drive away and, for the first time in Australia, a 5-speed manual at $14,190. Buyers will have a choice of eight vibrant colours with five new pearlescent finishes _ ‘Lime Green’, ‘Signal Red’, ‘Aurora Black’ ‘Pop Orange’ and ‘Sparkling Silver’. Picanto is fitted with 14-inch steel wheels.

Inside the new Picanto, Kia designers have created a more modern, refined cabin than the second-generation model, with new materials and layout adding a greater sense of quality. The dashboard layout is more centrally aligned, with a large 7.0-inch ‘floating’ touchscreen HMI (human-machine interface) sitting at the heart of the centre console and moving many of the car’s controls further up into the driver’s line of sight. Despite its on-road footprint remaining the same as that of the outgoing model, the all-new Picanto will offer buyers best-in-class packaging efficiency, with maximum versatility resulting from its larger cabin and class-leading boot capacity.

Offering maximum practicality, the new model is no larger than the model it replaces, at 1485mm in height, 3595mm long and 1595mm wide. The new platform boasts a longer wheelbase and longer rear overhang, however, freeing up more space in the cabin and boot (the front overhang is reduced by 25mm, to 675mm).

Inside, the new Picanto provides occupants with more leg- and head-room than rivals in the A-segment, while a lower step height makes for easier ingress and egress. The boot grows from 200 litres (VDA) to a maximum 255 litres – the most of any car in the class. The 60:40 split-folding rear seats can be folded down completely flat with a one-touch lever, for maximum ease of use. This also boosts cargo capacity to 1010 litres.

The outgoing Kia Picanto won plaudits for its combination of immediate handling responses and a comfortable ride. Engineers have emulated these characteristics in the new model, while making a series of modifications to the suspension – independent by MacPherson strut at the front; torsion beam at the rear – to realise greater ride stability and quicker, more enjoyable handling responses.

KMAu’s renowned ride and handling team have given the new Picanto a thorough make-over for a more refined ride, sportier characteristics and steering absent of the “nervous” feel often associated with smallcars. The new Picanto is the first car in its class to offer buyers torque vectoring by braking – an additional function of the Electronic Stability Control system.

Refinement has been dramatically improved in the new Picanto, with a range of modifications designed to further isolate the cabin from vibrations and noise from the road, wind and the engine. The result is a car that offers cabin refinement, both at idle and at a steady cruise, above expectation for the segment.

New refinement measures adopted for the latest Picanto include a new soundproofing panel beneath the dashboard and in the floor of the cabin, while expandable sound-absorbent foam has been applied to lower sections of the A- and B-pillars. Beneath the bonnet, a new sound-absorbent engine cover and reshaped air intake help to isolate engine noise from the cabin. The structure of the engine mounts has also been revised to counteract engine vibrations. Furthermore, the windscreen wipers have been lowered by 6mm to reduce the level of wind ‘roar’ generated at the base of the windscreen

As a result of these upgrades, the new Picanto produces a quietest-in-class 39 dB of noise at idle and 68 dB at a steady cruise. Buyers of the new Kia Picanto will have access to some of the most advanced infotainment and convenience technologies available in the A-segment, while still enjoying the same high value for money expected of a Kia vehicle.

The large, ‘floating’ 7.0-inch HMI touchscreen at the centre of the dashboard is available with Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™ for full smartphone integration. A rear-view parking camera with dynamic guidelines is also standard to assure and additional level of visibility and safety when reversing and parking.

The new Picanto is the sturdiest A-segment car Kia has ever made, featuring double the proportion of Advanced High Strength Steel (AHSS) compared to the outgoing model and a selection of active safety technologies. The stronger, lighter body is supported by six standard airbags (front, front side and curtain airbags), as well as a range of active safety features. These include standard Vehicle Stability Management (VSM) with Electronic Stability Control (ESC) to ensure stability under braking and cornering, detecting a loss in traction and using ESC to help the driver keep the car on course.

Maintaining the value for money and high quality that has made the current-generation Picanto so popular, the all-new Picanto will benefit from Kia’s industry-leading 7-year Warranty, 7-year Capped Price Service and 7-year Roadside Assist. The Picanto 5-speed manual will be $14,190 (RRP) while the 4-speed automatic is $15,690 drive away.

Kia Motors unveiled two new cars at the Shanghai International Automobile Industry Exhibition 2017, each designed, engineered and built exclusively for Chinese buyers. The new Pegas compact sedan is joined on Kia’s stand by the new K2 Cross, which brings a bold, SUV-inspired design to the compact segment.

Kia’s futuristic motor show display also showcases the company’s next-generation in-car technologies, with a series of interactive virtual reality (VR) simulators which allow visitors to experience Kia’s DRiVE WISE driver assistive systems.

The different zones on the stand demonstrate the full spectrum of Kia’s presence in China, including a dedicated ‘Eco Zone’ for the brand’s latest hybrid-electric vehicles, and a ‘CTCC Zone’, celebrating Kia’s presence in the China Touring Car Championship race series.

High value, maximum practicality and all-new design for Pegas compact sedan

The Kia Pegas is a compact sedan which combines maximum practicality and versatility with a wide variety of customer-oriented technologies and features, as well as a typically bold Kia design. A wide, horizontal ‘face’ gives the Pegas a sporty, stable appearance, and incorporates the brand’s famous ‘tiger nose’ grille, a design signature common to all Kia vehicles around the world.

Manufactured and marketed exclusively in China, the new Pegas is ideal for young customers, offering greater practicality and comfort than many rivals. Its long (2,570 mm) wheelbase means the Pegas offers ample cabin space for all passengers, front and rear, while its large trunk has a maximum capacity of 475 litres, making it one of the most versatile, useful cars in its class. A large sunroof further adds to the spacious, open ambience of the cabin, while a front passenger central armrest enhances comfort on all journeys.

The new Pegas is powered by the latest incarnation of Kia’s efficient 1.4-litre multi-point injection petrol engine, producing 70kW and maximum torque of 133 Nm. The engine drives the front wheels and is available with a choice of a five-speed manual transmission or a four-speed automatic.

The new Pegas will go on sale across China in the second half of 2017.

K2 Cross – SUV-inspired urban design for Kia’s Compact Sedan

The new Kia K2 Cross brings a robust SUV-inspired design to the brand’s popular K2 compact sedan. This distinctive and charismatic new five-door crossover is designed to take urban environments in its stride. Its ground clearance is elevated by 45 mm compared to the K2 hatchback upon which it is based, affording a more commanding driving position.

The design is enhanced with new roof rails for added carrying capacity, a new metallic-style chin guard at the front, and a purposeful new valance at the rear. While the car maintains the same wheelbase as the K2 hatchback, the new body cladding adds to the car’s width (+30 mm, to 1,750 mm) and length (+40 mm, to 4,240 mm) for a more muscular on-road presence.

The new K2 Cross is available with a pair of highly-efficient petrol engines – buyers have a choice of a 74kW 1.4-litre engine, producing 132 Nm torque, and a 1.6-litre engine producing 90kW and 151 Nm. Both engines feature dual continuously-variable valve timing (D-CVVT) technology to maximize combustion efficiency in the cylinders, and power the front wheels via either a six-speed manual or automatic transmission.

Following its debut at Auto Shanghai 2017, the new K2 Cross will go on sale in China during Q2 2017.

Interactive exhibition of DRiVE WISE driver-assistive technologies

Kia’s motor show stand in Shanghai offers visitors the opportunity to experience the company’s DRiVE WISE Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) first-hand with a series of advanced VR simulators.

DRiVE WISE embodies Kia’s philosophy to realise intelligently safe vehicles and improve safety for all road users. The ‘DRiVE WISE Zone’ allows visitors to fully interact with Kia’s futuristic driver assistive technologies and learn more about the way that these innovations will shape the future of driving. Visitors will be able to experience a range of technologies already available on new cars, such as Advanced Smart Cruise Control (ASCC) and Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB), as well as get a feel for how the technology will improve driver safety and enjoyment in future. Exhibits include a single-person cockpit, modelled on the stylish cabin of the Kia Soul, and an eight-seat VR ‘theatre’. DRiVE WISE employs advanced camera and sensor technology developed by Kia to aid drivers and help prevent collisions.

From the track to the traffic light – eco models and touring cars on show

Kia is presenting its full line-up of vehicles on sale in China, as well as a series of additional models in the ‘Eco Zone’ and ‘CTCC Zone’ – designed to show the depth of Kia models and technology.

Perfect for more environmentally-conscious car buyers, the ‘Eco Zone’ presents Kia’s latest hybrid-electric models – the Niro hybrid utility vehicle, and the K5. Both feature Kia’s latest advanced hybrid powertrains, pairing petrol propulsion with eco-friendly battery power to improve fuel efficiency and enhance on-road performance.

For more racing-minded fans, the ‘CTCC Zone’ presents Kia’s K3 China Touring Car Championship racecar, entered into the 2016 CTCC season. Powered by an innovative 1.6-litre turbo petrol engine and competing in the 1.6 class of the race series, the K3 sedan took all three places on the podium in the final race of the 2016 season. Two of Kia’s K3 CTCC cars will be displayed in a special area of the stand which has been designed to echo the appearance of a race circuit, alongside the race-tuned 1.6-litre turbo engine which led the cars to victory throughout 2016.

Kia has added a pair of new specification grades. The Cerato Sport will slip in to the range above the S automatic AV pack and under the Si automatic, effectively replacing the S Premium variant with a range of additional and sporty features.

At $22,450 drive away the Cerato Sport features 17-inch alloy wheels with a full-size alloy spare, a 7-inch colour touch screen with satellite navigation and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity. Also distinguishing the Cerato Sport will be leather-like steering wheel and shift lever trim, chrome interior door handles, soft-touch interior upper door trim, rear spoiler for the sedan, aero blade wipers and exclusive Sport badging.

The Cerato Sport will be available in Clear White and three premium colours _ Silky Silver, Snow White Pearl and Metal Stream. For Sportage the model refresh introduces an Si Premium to the petrol line-up offering an impressive list of features at a value-packed $30,990 RRP.

The Si Premium wins 18-inch alloys, a high-tech 7-inch satellite navigation system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Auto Climate Control with a clean air module and LED Daytime Running Lights (DRL). In addition buyers will find front parking sensors, auto defog, rain sensing front wipers, passenger anti-jam safety power window, electrochromic rear view mirror and illuminated vanity mirrors.

The Si Premium (Petrol) is available in Clear White plus three premium colours, Mineral Silver, Fiery Red and Sparkling Silver.

The new Kia Stinger fastback sports sedan made its Asian premiere at the 2017 Seoul Motor Show. Shown in a new colour and specification specially prepared for the show, the car is displayed alongside the 2011 Kia GT Concept, the vehicle which provided a template for the production Stinger’s final design.

In addition to the Stinger, Kia’s futuristic motor show display showcases the brand’s latest in-car technologies, with a Virtual Reality (VR) theatre demonstrating Kia’s DRiVE WISE driver assistive systems, alongside a range of fully-interactive exhibits dedicated to the future of car-to-car and car-to-environment connectivity.

Asian premiere for fastback Kia Stinger

Displayed in public for the first time in the brand’s domestic market, Kia’s powerful new fastback sports sedan channels the spirit of historic grand tourers – powerful, elegant vehicles capable of moving their owners in style and at speed. The Stinger features a head-turning aesthetic, ample room to accommodate five occupants and their luggage, a stable, unruffled ride, and nimble handling with engaging, rear-biased power delivery.

When the Stinger goes on sale in Korea, it will be available with a choice of three powerful engines. These include a powerful 3.3-litre twin-turbo V6 producing 276kW with a maximum torque output of 510Nm giving the Stinger 0-to-100 kph acceleration of just 4.9 seconds, and making this the fastest-accelerating and most powerful car Kia has ever produced. Also available is a 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine (188kW power output and 353Nm maximum torque) and depending on the market, a 2.2-litre turbodiesel engine producing 147kW and 440Nm of torque.

The Stinger will be available with a choice of rear-wheel and all-wheel drive, as well as a range of DRiVE WISE active safety systems and an electronically-adjustable Dynamic Stability Damping Control suspension system. A five-mode Drive Mode Select system will give drivers the ability to customize the driving experience, altering suspension, throttle and steering characteristics to offer drivers sportier ride and handling, a more relaxed gran turismo-inspired ride for taking on long-distance drives, and everything in between.

The Kia Stinger displayed in Seoul features a new design interpretation, with a new rich yellow paint finish, as well as a new front grille, air intakes and bonnet louvres finished in lightweight carbon fiber, emphasizing the car’s subtle curves and muscular appearance.

For the first time at a motor show, the Stinger is to be displayed next to the Kia GT Concept, first revealed at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show. The Kia GT Concept provided the inspiration for the Stinger production car, and its presence in Seoul will give visitors to the show the opportunity to see how Kia adapted the design for a dramatic production debut.

Interactive exhibition of connectivity and autonomous technology

Kia’s motor show stand in Seoul will offer visitors the opportunity to experience the company’s DRiVE WISE Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) with an advanced VR theatre.

DRiVE WISE embodies Kia’s philosophy to realize intelligently safe vehicles and improve safety for all road users. The VR theatre allows visitors to fully interact with Kia’s futuristic driver assistive technologies and learn more about the way that these innovations will shape the future of driving. Visitors will be able to experience a range of technologies already available on new cars, such as Advanced Smart Cruise Control (ASCC) and Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB), as well as get a feel for how the technology will improve driver safety and enjoyment in future. DRiVE WISE employs advanced camera and sensor technology developed by Kia to aid drivers and help prevent collisions.

Kia is also exhibiting a series of connectivity technologies, showcasing innovative ‘car to home’ innovations which could one day allow cars and homes to communicate with one another. Users can access the technologies through a fully-interactive display made up of Kia’s latest in-car audio-visual navigation systems, which enable them to control their TV, lights and house heating from the wheel of their Kia; or start their car and adjust the heating and ventilation systems from within their house to maximise cabin comfort from the very start of a journey.

Kia’s display of its car connectivity technology envisions a future of intelligently connected vehicles which communicate more closely to their environment to maximize safety, comfort and convenience.

The all-new Kia Picanto city car made its public debut at the 2017 Geneva International Motor Show. The new Picanto will go on sale across Europe from the start of Q2 2017.

Now in its third-generation, the new Kia Picanto brings a new, more youthful and energetic character to the A-segment. Boasting an assertive new design and a high-quality, high-tech new cabin, the latest model also offers buyers greater potential for customisation and promises to be the most versatile car in its class.

The new Picanto will be powered by one of three petrol engines, including Kia’s new 1.0-litre turbocharged gasoline direct injection power unit. When the new 1.0-litre T-GDI engine goes on sale during Q4 2017, it will be the most powerful engine ever offered in the Picanto, and the first time this car has offered a turbocharged petrol engine.

Michael Cole, Chief Operating Officer of Kia Motors Europe, comments: “The Picanto is one of Kia’s best-selling models around the world, and has a particularly strong fan base here in Europe.

“Our European customers have told us that they love the design of the outgoing Picanto. They love its low running costs, its compact dimensions for city driving, and the high level of equipment available for the money. The new model retains these strengths, and now offers a new level of dynamism and performance, as well as introducing the latest technologies for in-car connectivity. For these reasons we are confident that the new Picanto will help us further build our profile and market share in this very competitive segment.”

Worldwide, more than 1.4 million of the current-generation Picanto have been sold since it was launched in 2011, with more than 300,000 of those sold in Europe. Despite the car approaching the end of its lifecycle in showrooms, Kia sold more than 55,000 Picanto models in Europe in 2016, representing year-on-year sales growth of 3 per cent.

Exterior design

The all-new Picanto has been created by Kia’s design centres in Namyang, Korea, and Frankfurt, Germany, collaborating to design a youthful, energetic look. Briefed to produce an innovative, bold and fun-looking urban city car, designers have followed up on the mandate to full effect, giving the new Picanto a more assertive stance with bolder body lines.

With the wheelbase extended to 2400 mm (an increase of 15mm), the wheels have been pushed further out to the corners of the car for a 25mm shorter front overhang, making the car look more planted on the road. Strong, straight lines run horizontally across the front of the car, emphasising the ‘tiger-nose’ grille and angular new wrap-around headlamps. Vertical lines that encompass the side intakes and lower grille enhance the Picanto’s more confident new ‘face’.

In profile, the new Picanto is characterised by distinctive lines running along the side skirts, shoulder and around the wheel arches, and subtly-sculpted body surfacing – again, each helping to create a more confident on-road design and visually ‘stretching’ the car for a greater sense of ride stability – although the Picanto is no longer than the outgoing model, at 3595 mm in length.

The new model adopts Kia’s wide C-pillar as a design motif, which stands more upright than that of the previous model. Combined with a longer rear overhang – up 10mm, to 520mm – for a more assured posture.

The all-new Picanto will offer buyers greater potential for customisation than ever before, with a choice of 11 vibrant paint finishes designed to make the car stand out. Among the six new colours available to buyers are ‘Lime Light’, ‘Shiny Red’, ‘Aurora Black’ ‘Pop Orange’, ‘Sparkling Silver’ and ‘Celestial Blue’ pearlescent metallic paint finishes. The Picanto is fitted with 14-inch steel wheels in its most basic form, and customers can select one of four aluminium alloy wheel designs, ranging from 14-inch to 16-inch in diameter.

The exterior of the Picanto is also complemented by new projection headlamps with LED indicators and LED daytime running lights, and, from Q3 2017, a subtle shark-fin antenna on the roof to replace the existing aerial.

For the first time, Kia will also offer the Picanto in a new ‘GT-Line’ specification, inspired by the sportier appearance of the company’s higher-performance ‘GT’ models, such as the Optima GT. In GT-Line specification, the exterior of the new Picanto is completed with red, silver and black highlights in the grille, side intakes, along the side skirts and in the rear valance, as well as chrome-tipped twin exhausts.

Interior design

Inside the new Picanto, Kia designers have created a more modern, refined cabin than the second-generation model, with new materials and layout adding a greater sense of quality for occupants. The predominantly horizontal design adds greater visual width to the interior, highlighting the increased cabin dimensions.

The dashboard layout is now more centrally aligned, with a large 7.0-inch ‘floating’ touchscreen HMI (human-machine interface) sitting at the heart of the centre console and moving many of the car’s controls further up into the driver’s line of sight. A satin chrome-effect strip runs across the dashboard for a higher quality ambience, and large, vertical air vents at either end ‘bookend’ the front passenger compartment.

Customisation is key to the appeal of the new Picanto’s cabin. While black and grey cloth seats are available as standard, buyers can also personalise their new Picanto with one of five optional colour packs, featuring contrast artificial leather upholstery and stitching. Available at launch, these colour packs are:

  • High Gloss Black – a combination of black, grey and white upholstery with white stitching (and available with a black or grey base colour)
  • Brown – brown seats with light blue flashes down the side and light blue stitching
  • Blue – navy and true blue artificial leather and cloth upholstery with white and orange stitching
  • Red – black and grey seats with red flashes and red stitching
  • Lime – grey and light grey upholstery with lime green stitching

The contrast colours of the seats can be paired with optional new colour pads on the door armrests, echoing the contrast scheme selected for the seats. Finally, the Picanto’s new GT-Line derivative will be equipped with a D-cut steering wheel. The interior of the GT-Line model will be available with the full range of colour packs.

Practicality and packaging

Despite its on-road footprint remaining the same as that of the outgoing model, the all-new Picanto will offer buyers best-in-class packaging efficiency, with maximum versatility resulting from its larger cabin and class-leading boot capacity.

The Picanto meets the increasing trend towards five-door models in the A-segment, with Kia discontinuing the three-door model for the third generation car. Offering maximum practicality, the new model is no larger than the model it replaces, at 1485 mm in height, 3595 mm long and 1595 mm wide. The new platform boasts a longer wheelbase and longer rear overhang, however, freeing up more space in the cabin and boot (the front overhang is reduced by 25mm, to 675mm).

Inside, the new Picanto provides occupants with more leg- and head-room than best-selling rivals in the A-segment, while a lower step height makes for easier ingress and egress. The base of the dashboard has been moved upwards by 15mm for greater knee and leg space for front passengers.

Kia Motors has revealed the full European specification for the new Kia Stinger, a powerful fastback sports sedan. The new Kia Stinger (hereafter Stinger) closely follows the design and engineering blueprint laid down by the 2011 Kia GT Concept, and is the highest-performance production vehicle in the company’s history.

The Stinger channels the spirit of historic grand tourers – powerful, elegant vehicles capable of moving their owners in style, at speed. At every stage of development, the Stinger has been designed and engineered to be the perfect gran turismo. The car features a head-turning aesthetic, ample room to accommodate five occupants and their luggage, a stable, unruffled ride, and nimble handling with engaging, rear-biased power delivery.

In its transition from concept to production, Kia’s GT Concept was renamed ‘Stinger’, inspired by the GT4 Stinger concept revealed at NAIAS 2014. While the car is a true GT in nature, the Stinger name evokes speed and excitement, two key characteristics found in the production car.

In Europe, the Stinger will be available with a choice of three engines: a 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine, a powerful 3.3-litre twin-turbo V6, and a 2.2-litre turbodiesel engine – expected to account for the majority of European sales.

The Stinger is the result of years of impassioned design and development work at Kia. Six years after the company revealed its powerful statement of intent in the GT Concept, the Stinger will enter production and go on sale in Europe during the fourth quarter of 2017.

Design

Turning a concept into a production car is no small feat. Kia’s European design studio in Frankfurt – birthplace of the 2011 GT concept – has brought the Stinger to life, overseen by Peter Schreyer, Chief Design Officer of Kia Motors, and Gregory Guillaume, Chief Designer at Kia Motors Europe.

Guillaume comments, “The Kia Stinger is a true gran turismo, a car for spirited long-distance driving. It’s not about outright power, hard-edged dynamics and brutal styling, all at the expense of luxury, comfort and grace. The Kia Stinger has nothing to do with being the first to arrive at the destination – this car is all about the journey. It’s about passion.”

From its sleek frontal section, through its svelte flanks, and up to its powerful haunches, the Stinger exudes a muscular confidence. Key to its road presence are its rear-wheel drive proportions – a long bonnet and short 830mm front overhang, an extended wheelbase (2905mm) to deliver a spacious cabin, and a long rear overhang (1095mm) with strong, broad shoulders. The Stinger’s stance, proportion and visual balance are designed to lend the car an air of elegance and athleticism, rather than aggression and brutality. The Stinger measures 4830mm in length and 1870mm in width, making it longer and wider than many sport sedans, and allowing for a spacious cabin and cargo area. With a 406-litre cargo capacity (VDA), the Stinger’s boot can accommodate two full-size suitcases or golf bags, or four or five weekend bags for short trips away.

The ‘Coke bottle’ shape of the car’s flanks highlight and enhance the visual power of the Stinger’s shoulder line, as well as its fastback silhouette. Other purely functional elements of the exterior design – the front air curtains, wheel arch gills, smooth underbody, and integrated rear diffuser – aid its aerodynamic efficiency, enabling a drag coefficient of 0.30 Cd. The rear valance houses four oval exhaust pipes. Kia’s signature ‘tiger-nose’ grille sits proudly between complex LED headlamps.

External gran turismo visual cues are complemented by the layout and atmosphere of the low-slung cabin, with a steeply-raked windscreen and high dashboard running along a horizontal plane. The dashboard’s centre console is split into two specific areas: the infotainment controls sit neatly below a large colour touchscreen, while the climate and ventilation controls sit beneath. In front of the driver is a thick, leather-wrapped steering wheel and a single instrument binnacle with a combination of analogue and digital instrumentation. The large gauges are ringed in metal and accentuated with sweeping red needles. A colour TFT screen between the gauges relays performance data – such as cornering G-forces and lap times – along with ancillary information, including trip computer, driver settings, navigation and diagnostics.

Aeronautically-inspired spoked circular vents feature in the front and rear, while a strip of satin chrome encircles the cabin. The effect is a feeling of cocooned intimacy. However, the long wheelbase, four-door body, and fastback silhouette allow for generous front and rear leg room, and the low seating position provides ample head room for all passengers. In its lowest setting, the driver’s seat is just 180mm above the road – 45mm lower than that of the Kia Optima sedan – for a low-slung, performance-oriented driving position.

Cossetting occupants in luxury, the Stinger’s deeply-contoured seats are available with ultra-soft Nappa leather, while the driver’s seat is available with four way air-cell lumbar support in the seatback and side bolsters for optimal comfort. An optional wide sunroof enhances the ambience of the interior, allowing more skylight to flood the cabin and improve the outwards view for every passenger.

European buyers will be able to order their Stinger in one of ten exterior metallic and pearlescent paint finishes.

Engines and drivetrain

Under the long bonnet of the Kia Stinger is a choice of three longitudinally-mounted turbocharged engines, each in the final stages of tuning before entering production later in 2017. With turbochargers equipped across the engine line-up, the Stinger offers drivers effortless gran turismo-style high-speed cruising and instant acceleration when called upon by the driver, with all three engines providing high power and torque across a wide band of engine speeds.

The engine anticipated to account for the majority of Stinger sales across Europe is a 2.2-litre turbodiesel, capable of producing 147kW at 3800rpm. Its maximum torque output – 440Nm – is available to drivers across a wide 1750-2750 rpm range, enabling the car to accelerate from 0-to-100 kph in 7.7 seconds, and on to a top speed of 225kph.

The 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder ‘Theta’ engine produces 188kW at 6200 rpm. Its maximum torque output – 353Nm – is available from 1400 to 4000 rpm. The Stinger’s most powerful engine is a 3.3-litre twin-turbocharged V6 ‘Lambda II’ petrol engine, with peak power of 276kW arriving at 6000 rpm, and 510Nm torque accessible from 1300 to 4500rpm. Stinger models powered by the 3.3-litre turbocharged engine can accelerate from 0-to-100kph in just 5.1 seconds, making it the fastest-accelerating production Kia ever. With this engine, Kia is targeting a top speed of 270kph.

The Stinger features the second-generation of Kia’s electronic eight-speed automatic transmission, which is fitted as standard with all engines. Designed in-house, the eight-speed transmission rewards drivers with immediate shifts and optimum fuel efficiency. More typically found in aviation and racing applications, the Stinger’s transmission marks Kia’s first use of a Centrifugal Pendulum Absorber (CPA) torque converter, reducing torsional vibrations through the drivetrain. The transmission offers up to five different shift and throttle programmes (as well as levels of steering assistance – see below), which drivers can select through the car’s electronic Drive Mode Select. Drivers can leave the car to shift for itself, or change gears with steering wheel-mounted paddles.

The Stinger is Kia’s first sedan to be available with either rear- or all-wheel drive – the latter offering enhanced dynamic capability in even the most challenging conditions. In its rear-wheel drive format, power is distributed throughout the rear axle by an optional mechanical limited slip differential. The rear-biased all-wheel drive system is equipped with Dynamic Torque Vectoring Control, which monitors driver inputs and road conditions, automatically applying power and braking force to the appropriate wheels to maintain course in the wet or dry.

Kia Motors has unveiled the Niro Plug-in Hybrid at the Geneva International Motor Show. The new derivative combines high versatility and crossover design appeal with maximum fuel efficiency from its advanced new plug-in hybrid powertrain.

The Niro Plug-in Hybrid will go on sale across Europe during Q3 2017, pairing an economical 1.6-litre GDI (gasoline direct injection) engine with an 8.9kWh high-capacity lithium-polymer battery pack. The latest addition to Kia’s hybrid crossover range substantially reduces emissions over the more conventional Niro hybrid – engineers are targeting CO2 emissions below 30 g/km (combined, New European Driving Cycle) and a zero-emissions pure-electric driving range of over 55 kilometres. Final electric range and CO2 emissions figures will be published closer to the car’s on-sale date.

Michael Cole, Chief Operating Officer, Kia Motors Europe, commented: “Annual sales of plug-in hybrid models in Europe are expected to grow to more than 600,000 units by the end of 2023, while the crossover market is also forecast to expand in the coming years. There is a clear demand from customers for a vehicle which combines the practicality and ‘cool’ image of a compact crossover with the ultra-low emissions of an advanced plug-in powertrain. The Niro Plug-in Hybrid will be the only car on the market to offer this combination.”

“The Niro Plug-in Hybrid is one of the latest low-emissions cars from Kia which will help the company achieve its global target for 2020 – to improve fuel efficiency by 25 per cent compared with 2014 levels.”

The Niro Plug-in Hybrid is one of two low-emissions vehicles unveiled by Kia at the Geneva International Motor Show, alongside the new Optima Sportswagon Plug-in Hybrid.

Engineers targeting 55-kilometre plus pure-electric range and sub 30 g/km CO2 

The Niro Plug-in Hybrid offers buyers a convincing alternative to compact crossovers powered by traditional petrol or diesel internal combustion engines. The car gives owners the opportunity to complete short journeys and daily commutes with zero emissions and lower running costs.

At the heart of the Niro’s new plug-in powertrain is a high-capacity 8.9kWh lithium-polymer battery pack, growing in size from the 1.56kWh battery pack found in Kia’s hybrid crossover. The new battery pack is paired with a more powerful 44.5kW electric motor (offering almost 40 per cent more power, up from 32kW) compared to the Hybrid model.

The battery and electric motor are paired with the Niro’s efficient 1.6-litre ‘Kappa’ four-cylinder GDI engine, which independently produces 77kW and 147Nm torque. The total power and torque output for the Niro Plug-in Hybrid’s powertrain will be 104kW and 265Nm, enabling the new model to accelerate from 0-to-100 kph in 10.8 seconds (0.7 seconds quicker than the standard Niro).

With greater capacity and electric power output, Kia engineers are targeting a pure-electric driving range of over 55km. While the standard Niro hybrid emits just 88 g/km of CO2 in its most efficient configuration, emissions for the Plug-in Hybrid model will drop significantly, to below 30 g/km (combined, New European Driving Cycle).

Power is applied to the road through the Niro’s six-speed double-clutch transmission (6DCT), allowing drivers to shift gear for themselves for a more immediate, more entertaining drive than other hybrid models equipped with a traditional electronic continuously-variable transmission (e-CVT). The 6DCT is paired with a Transmission-Mounted Electric Device (TMED), which allows the full output of both the engine and electric motor to be transferred in parallel through the transmission, with a minimal loss of energy. This differs from the power-split systems typical of an e-CVT hybrid, which converts a portion of engine output for delivery through the electric motor, resulting in power losses from energy conversion.

Energy-harvesting and predictive driving assistant technologies

The Niro Plug-in Hybrid provides owners with a range of technologies to enhance battery efficiency and improve the car’s range – in zero-emissions electric mode, and when the 1.6-litre engine is in use.

Regenerative braking technology allows the Niro to harvest kinetic energy and recharge the battery pack while coasting or braking, while a new Eco Driving Assistant System (Eco DAS) provides drivers with intelligent guidance on how to drive more efficiently under current conditions. Eco DAS includes Coasting Guide Control (CGC) and Predictive Energy Control (PEC), enabling drivers to maximise fuel mileage by suggesting when to coast or brake.

CGC alerts drivers as to the best time to lift off the accelerator and coast towards a junction, allowing the battery to regenerate under engine deceleration. Operating at certain speeds when a navigation destination is set, it alerts drivers when to coast via a small icon in the instrument cluster as well as an unobtrusive audible warning.

PEC uses the navigation and cruise control systems to anticipate topographical changes – inclines and bends – in the route ahead. It uses this information to determine when best to recharge the battery pack, or to direct stored energy to the wheels and actively manage energy flow accordingly. For example, if it detects an uphill incline coming up, the system may choose to retain more electrical energy to provide greater battery assistance climbing the hill. Conversely, if PEC detects an upcoming opportunity to coast downhill, it may choose to discharge some electrical energy ahead of time, enhancing short-term engine efficiency in the knowledge that it can recharge soon.

Niro retains crossover versatility with efficient powertrain packaging

The Kia Niro was engineered from the very start to accommodate a specific range of hybrid powertrains. The introduction of a plug-in hybrid powertrain therefore has minimal effect on packaging and versatility. The Niro Plug-in Hybrid’s high-capacity battery pack is located beneath the floor of the 324 litre (VDA) boot and beneath the rear seat bench. This allows the new derivative to offer buyers greater practicality than other C-segment plug-in hybrid hatchback models, while space in the cabin of the Niro remains unaffected.

There is a dedicated space beneath the boot floor to store the Niro Plug-in Hybrid’s charging cable when not in use. The Niro Plug-in Hybrid will follow its Hybrid sibling in offering an optional Towing Pack – rare amongst cars in the hybrid class – allowing owners to tow braked loads of up to 1300kg.

Plug-in Hybrid design and in-car safety and convenience technologies 

The exterior and interior design of the Kia Niro Plug-in Hybrid has been adapted to differentiate the car from the existing Niro hybrid.

On the outside of the car, the Niro Plug-in Hybrid features a new satin chrome grille surround, as well as special chrome brightwork with a clean metallic-blue finish, applied to thin ‘blades’ in the front and rear bumpers. The Plug-in Hybrid model is available with 16-inch alloy wheels, engineered to reduce wind resistance, as well as new full-LED headlamps and dedicated ‘Eco Plug-in’ badging.

The new Optima Sportswagon Plug-in Hybrid was unveiled at the Geneva International Motor Show, and will go on sale across Europe from Q3 2017. The Optima Sportswagon Plug-in Hybrid is the latest model to join Kia’s growing line up of innovative low-emissions vehicles.

The new derivative combines the versatility of the conventional Optima Sportswagon with the high-efficiency powertrain found in the Optima Plug-in Hybrid sedan, introduced in the third quarter of 2016. The new model provides buyers with 440 litres (VDA, with rear seats in upright position) of cargo space – 133 litres more than the Optima Plug-in Hybrid sedan.

With Kia development teams targeting a pure electric range of over 61 kilometres (combined, New European Driving Cycle) before its 2.0-litre GDI (gasoline direct injection) engine kicks in, the new model could emit just 34 g/km CO2 (combined, NEDC), ensuring low running costs and maximum practicality for private and fleet buyers. Final electric range and CO2 emissions figures will be published closer to the car’s on-sale date.

Michael Cole, Chief Operating Officer, Kia Motors Europe, commented: “We expanded the Optima range in the third quarter of 2016 with new Optima Sportswagon and Plug-in Hybrid sedan versions – each respectively accounting for 62 per cent and 13 per cent of Optima sales. With a clear demand for both of these models, the Sportswagon Plug-in Hybrid combines the benefits of the two and completes the Optima line-up.

“The introduction of eco-friendly vehicles such as the Optima Sportswagon Plug-in Hybrid will ensure Kia remains on course to achieve its mission of improving average fleet fuel efficiency by 25 per cent by 2020, compared to 2014 levels.”

The Optima Sportswagon Plug-in Hybrid is one of two low-emissions vehicles launched by Kia at the Geneva International Motor Show, together with the new Niro Plug-in Hybrid compact crossover.

Targeted 61-kilometre plus pure-electric range, 34 g/km CO2 emissions, and efficient packaging

The Optima Sportswagon Plug-in Hybrid is powered by a 11.26kWh lithium-polymer battery pack paired with a 50kW electric motor, providing a provisional pure-electric range of more than 61km (38 miles) at speeds of up to 120kph. The Optima Sportswagon Plug-in Hybrid will be among the leaders in the D-segment for pure-electric range capability.

The powertrain employs Kia’s efficient 2.0-litre ‘Nu’ four-cylinder GDI engine, generating 115kW and 189Nm. Coupled with the electric motor, it allows the car to operate in charge-sustaining mode once the battery runs out of charge. The powertrain’s total power output is / 151kW at 6000rpm, with a high torque output of 375Nm from just 2330rpm, providing acceleration from 0-to-100 kph in 9.7 seconds.

Power is applied to the road through a six-speed automatic gearbox, with the transmission-mounted 50kW electric motor replacing the traditional torque converter.

The Optima Sportswagon Plug-in Hybrid’s next-generation battery system features a 11.26kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack, offering a blend of highly-efficient electric and internal combustion power, and a consistently high level of performance. The efficient packaging of the battery pack – which is located beneath the boot floor – allows the Optima Sportswagon Plug-in Hybrid to give buyers a generous 440-litre (VDA, seats in upright position) cargo capacity, which becomes 1574-litres (VDA) with the rear seats folded flat.

Kia development teams have targeted carbon dioxide emissions of 34 g/km (combined, NEDC), and fuel economy of 1.5 litres per 100 km (combined, NEDC). Final figures will be published closer to the car’s on-sale date.

Maximum range from fuel-saving and energy harvesting technologies

The Optima Sportswagon Plug-in Hybrid is equipped with a series of innovations to enhance battery efficiency. These include two key technologies to save and regenerate battery power – regenerative braking and an advanced heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system. Kia’s advanced HVAC system, employs a smart air intake system which provides ventilation and heating to the driver area only, shutting off ventilation to other areas of the car to reduce the load on the battery and increase range. Kia’s regenerative braking system allows the car to harvest kinetic energy while coasting or braking.

Design and technology 

The Optima Sportswagon Plug-in Hybrid shares common design features with the Plug-in Hybrid sedan, with reprofiled, more aerodynamically-efficient bumpers, side skirts and wheels, chrome brightwork, and ‘ECO plug-in’ badging.

Inside, a new driver instrument cluster displays key information about the powertrain – such as the battery’s state of charge and feedback on driving efficiency. The car is equipped with Kia’s latest audio-visual navigation (AVN) technology, with an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system displaying current EV range and the location of nearby charging stations. The AVN system is also available with Android Auto™ and Apple CarPlay™, as well as Kia Connected Services powered by TomTomTM, providing live traffic updates, speed camera alerts and weather forecasts. The Optima Sportswagon Plug-in Hybrid is available with Kia’s wireless smartphone charger, letting users charge mobile devices on the move.

The Optima Sportswagon Plug-in Hybrid is available with a suite of active safety technologies designed to avoid or mitigate the effects of a collision. Kia’s Vehicle Stability Management (VSM) is fitted as standard, ensuring stability under braking and cornering by controlling the car’s Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and electric motor-driven power steering if it detects a loss of traction. Other optional active hazard-avoidance technologies include Advanced Smart Cruise Control (ASCC), Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS) and Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB)*.

2017 Kia Optima Sportswagon Plug-in Hybrid on-sale from Q3 2017 

The new Kia Optima Sportswagon Plug-in Hybrid will go on sale across Europe in Q3 2017 and is manufactured for European markets at Kia’s plant in Hwasung, Korea. The car is sold as standard with Kia’s unique 7-Year, 150,000 km warranty, which also covers the battery pack.

The all-new Kia Picanto city car has been revealed to European media for the first time ahead of its public debut at the 2017 Geneva International Motor Show on March 7. The new Picanto will go on sale across Europe from the start of Q2 2017.

Now in its third-generation, the new Kia Picanto brings a new, more youthful and energetic character to the A-segment. Boasting an assertive new design and a high-quality, high-tech new cabin, the latest model also offers buyers greater potential for customisation and promises to be the most versatile car in its class.

The new Picanto will be powered by one of three petrolengines, including Kia’s new 1.0-litre turbocharged gasoline direct injection (T-GDI) power unit. When the new 1.0-litre T-GDI engine goes on sale during Q4 2017, it will be the most powerful engine ever offered in the Picanto, and the first time this car has offered a turbocharged petrol engine.

Michael Cole, Chief Operating Officer of Kia Motors Europe, comments: “The Picanto is one of Kia’s best-selling models around the world, and has a particularly strong fan base here in Europe.

“Our European customers have told us that they love the design of the outgoing Picanto. They love its low running costs, its compact dimensions for city driving, and the high level of equipment available for the money. The new model retains these strengths, and now offers a new level of dynamism and performance, as well as introducing the latest technologies for in-car connectivity and enhanced safety. For these reasons we are confident that the new Picanto will help us further build our profile and market share in this very competitive segment.”

Worldwide, more than 1.4 million of the current-generation Picanto have been sold since it was launched in 2011, with more than 300,000 of those sold in Europe. Despite the car approaching the end of its lifecycle in showrooms, Kia sold more than 55,000 Picanto models in Europe in 2016, representing year-on-year sales growth of 3 per cent.

Exterior design

The all-new Picanto has been created by Kia’s design centres in Namyang, Korea and Frankfurt, Germany, collaborating to design a youthful, energetic look. Briefed to produce an innovative, bold and fun-looking urban city car, designers have followed up on the mandate to full effect, giving the new Picanto a more assertive stance with bolder body lines.

With the wheelbase extended to 2400mm (an increase of 15mm), the wheels have been pushed further out to the corners of the car for a 25mm shorter front overhang, making the car look more planted on the road. Strong, straight lines run horizontally across the front of the car, emphasising the ‘tiger-nose’ grille and angular new wrap-around headlamps. Vertical lines that encompass the side intakes and lower grille enhance the Picanto’s more confident new ‘face’.

In profile, the new Picanto is characterised by distinctive lines running along the side skirts, shoulder and around the wheel arches, and subtly-sculpted body surfacing – again, each helping to create a more confident on-road design and visually ‘stretching’ the car for a greater sense of ride stability – although the Picanto is no longer than the outgoing model, at 3595mm in length.

The new model adopts Kia’s wide C-pillar as a design motif, which stands more upright than that of the previous model. Combined with a longer rear overhang – up 10mm, to 520mm – for a more assured posture.

The all-new Picanto will offers buyers greater potential for customisation than ever before, with a choice of 11 vibrant paint finishes designed to make the car stand out. Among the six new colours available to buyers are ‘Lime Light’, ‘Shiny Red’, ‘Aurora Black’ ‘Pop Orange’, ‘Sparkling Silver’ and ‘Celestial Blue’ pearlescent metallic paint finishes. The Picanto is fitted with 14-inch steel wheels in its most basic form, and customers can select one of four aluminium alloy wheel designs, ranging from 14-inch to 16-inch in diameter.

The exterior of the Picanto is also complemented by new projection headlamps with LED indicators and LED daytime running lights, and, from Q3 2017, a subtle shark-fin antenna on the roof to replace the existing aerial.

For the first time, Kia will also offer the Picanto in a new ‘GT-Line’ specification, inspired by the sportier appearance of the company’s higher-performance ‘GT’ models, such as the Optima GT. In GT-Line specification, the exterior of the new Picanto is completed with red, silver and black highlights in the grille, side intakes, along the side skirts and in the rear valance, as well as chrome-tipped twin exhausts.

Interior design

Inside the new Picanto, Kia designers have created a more modern, refined cabin than the second-generation model, with new materials and layout adding a greater sense of quality for occupants. The predominantly horizontal design adds greater visual width to the interior, highlighting the increased cabin dimensions.

The dashboard layout is now more centrally aligned, with a large 7.0-inch ‘floating’ touchscreen HMI (human-machine interface) sitting at the heart of the centre console and moving many of the car’s controls further up into the driver’s line of sight. A satin chrome-effect strip runs across the dashboard for a higher quality ambience, and large, vertical air vents at either end ‘bookend’ the front passenger compartment.

Customisation is key to the appeal of the new Picanto’s cabin. While black and grey cloth seats are available as standard, buyers can also personalise their new Picanto with one of five optional colour packs, featuring contrast artificial leather upholstery and stitching. Available at launch, these colour packs are:

  • High Gloss Black – a combination of black, grey and white upholstery with white stitching (and available with a black or grey base colour)
  • Brown – brown seats with light blue flashes down the side and light blue stitching
  • Blue – navy and true blue artificial leather and cloth upholstery with white and orange stitching
  • Red – black and grey seats with red flashes and red stitching
  • Lime – grey and light grey upholstery with lime green stitching

The contrast colours of the seats can be paired with optional new colour pads on the door armrests, echoing the contrast scheme selected for the seats. Finally, the Picanto’s new GT-Line derivative will be equipped with a D-cut steering wheel. The interior of the GT-Line model will be available with the full range of colour packs.

Practicality and packaging

Despite its on-road footprint remaining the same as that of the outgoing model, the all-new Picanto will offer buyers best-in-class packaging efficiency, with maximum versatility resulting from its larger cabin and class-leading boot capacity.

The Picanto meets the increasing trend towards five-door models in the A-segment, with Kia discontinuing the three-door model for the third generation car. Offering maximum practicality, the new model is no larger than the model it replaces, at 1485mm in height, 3595mm long and 1595mm wide. The new platform boasts a longer wheelbase and longer rear overhang, however, freeing up more space in the cabin and boot (the front overhang is reduced by 25mm, to 675mm).

Inside, the new Picanto provides occupants with more leg- and head-room than best-selling rivals in the A-segment, while a lower step height makes for easier ingress and egress. The base of the dashboard has been moved upwards by 15mm for greater knee and leg space for front passengers. The new Picanto is available with either four or five seats, with the rear bench split into either two or three seats depending on buyer preference (1.2-litre models are five-seat only).

The new central armrest for front passengers can slide back and forth up to 55mm – a first in the class – and covers a small storage compartment designed to accommodate a one-litre water bottle or a sunglasses case. At the base of the centre console is an open double-shelf tray to store mobile devices and other small items, with retractable twin cupholders which can fold away to yield more storage space.

Beneath the sun visors in the front of the cabin, the vanity mirror also features bright new LED lights and a strip of mood lighting. By providing the surrounding glow of a make-up room mirror, the Picanto’s new vanity mirror makes it easier for occupants to apply make-up, check their hair-style, or adjust their hat, scarf or tie.

The boot grows from 200 litres (VDA) to a maximum 255 litres – the most of any car in the class – and also features a two-step boot floor, which can be raised or lowered by 145mm to create additional space as required, as well as create an under-floor storage area. The 60:40 split-folding rear seats can be folded down completely flat with a one-touch lever, for maximum ease of use. This also boosts cargo capacity to 1010 litres.

Comfort levels are also improved. Where the seats in many A-segment rivals provide one-piece back rests with integrated headrests, the new Picanto gives buyers fully-adjustable headrests, which move up and down and tilt forwards and backwards.

The Picanto’s new seats are also more comfortable for longer journeys, featuring the same seat-base materials and construction found in larger Kia models (such as the new Optima). In the rear, the angle of the back rest is more reclined – from 25 to 27 degrees – for a more relaxed posture, and slightly more prominent side bolsters on the rear bench further improve comfort and support during faster cornering.

Ride and handling

The outgoing Kia Picanto won plaudits for its combination of immediate handling responses and a comfortable ride. Engineers have emulated these characteristics in the new model, while making a series of modifications to the suspension – independent by MacPherson strut at the front; torsion beam at the rear – to realise greater ride stability and quicker, more enjoyable handling responses.

Designed to reduce the body roll angle under cornering by up to one degree and enable more immediate reactions to steering inputs, the Picanto’s anti-roll bars are 2 per cent stiffer and mounted slightly lower at the front, and 5 per cent stiffer and slightly higher at the rear. The Picanto’s revised dimensions – with a longer wheelbase and slightly shorter front overhang – also enable the pitch centre of the car to be placed further towards the rear of the car, helping to naturally reduce ‘nose dive’ under braking without firming up the suspension and potentially compromising ride comfort.

In addition, the longer wheelbase contributes to a natural improvement in ride quality and stability on all roads. The torsion beam rear axle has been reshaped and features newly-designed trailing arms, helping to reduce weight by 1.8 kg over the rear axle with no loss in component rigidity.

A new steering rack means the steering ratio has been quickened by 13 per cent over the outgoing Picanto, from 16.5:1 to 14.3:1. Not only does this enable more immediate responses to driver inputs, but reducing the turns of the wheel lock-to-lock (from 3.4 to 2.8 turns) makes the Picanto even easier to drive at low speeds and in the city. With the front wheel pushed closer to the front of the vehicle, resulting in a shorter overhang, the reduced weight ahead of the front axle reduces inertia for more agile handling.

The new Picanto is the first car in its class to offer buyers torque vectoring by braking – an additional function of the Electronic Stability Control system. The adoption of this new technology for an A-segment car means the Picanto retains a higher degree of handling stability and security under cornering, while helping to reduce understeer during harder cornering.

Engines and transmissions

Underpinning the all-new Picanto’s quicker, more responsive steering is a range of highly efficient small-capacity petrol engines. Serving to minimise the weight over the front axle, the downsized engine line-up also delivers the sprightly acceleration and immediate powertrain responses that customers expect of an urban car.

Three petrol engines will be available to buyers. The 1.0-litre and 1.25-litre naturally-aspirated multi-point injection (MPI) engines have been carried over from the outgoing Picanto, with a range of enhancements to improve efficiency and driveability. From Q4 2017, Kia’s new 1.0-litre T-GDI (turbocharged gasoline direct injection) power unit will also be available, offering turbocharged petrol performance in the Picanto for the first time ever. All engines are paired with a five-speed manual transmission, delivering power to the front wheels. Idle Stop & Go is available on certain manual models, while the 1.25-litre MPI engine is also available with a four-speed automatic transmission.

The 1.0-litre MPI engine provides the entry point into the Picanto range, producing 49kW at 5500rpm and 96Nm torque. The most fuel efficient engine available to Picanto buyers, the 1.0-litre unit is capable of producing just 89 g/km of carbon dioxide (four-seat model; New European Drive Cycle, combined), down from 95 g/km on the outgoing model (a 6.3 per cent reduction). Upgrades to the engine include a new exhaust manifold integrated into the cylinder head, and a new cooling system with shut-off valve, reducing the time it takes the engine to warm-up from a cold start. A new two-stage oil pump also reduces mechanical friction.

The mid-range 1.25-litre MPI produces peak power of 62kW, and 122Nm of torque. Picanto models with this engine will emit 104 g/km of CO2 on the combined cycle, compared with 106 g/km for the existing Picanto. For its application in the new Picanto, Kia engineers have optimized the valve timing of the engine’s dual CVVT (continuously-variable valve timing) system, and have also adopted a similar new cooling system and shut-off valve to the 1.0-litre MPI engine. New low-friction coated piston rings also help to reduce cylinder friction for greater efficiency.

The 1.0-litre T-GDI engine, available in the Picanto for the first time, produces 74kW and 172Nm torque, the highest power and torque outputs ever offered in Kia’s A-segment model. The engine features a single-scroll turbocharger for instant acceleration, as well as an integrated exhaust manifold, and a high-pressure (200 bar) fuel supply. Laser-drilled injectors deliver precise quantities of fuel into the cylinders to accurately control combustion, delivering instantaneous accelerative responses and contributing to the engine’s high efficiency and low fuel consumption.

Refinement

Refinement has been dramatically improved in the new Picanto, with a range of modifications designed to further isolate the cabin from vibrations and noise from the road, wind and the engine. The result is a car that offers the quietest cabin of any A-segment model, both at idle and at a steady cruise.

New refinement measures adopted for the latest Picanto include a new soundproofing panel beneath the dashboard and in the floor of the cabin, while expandable sound-absorbent foam has been applied to lower sections of the A- and B-pillars. Beneath the bonnet, a new sound-absorbent engine cover and reshaped air intake help to isolate engine noise from the cabin. The structure of the engine mounts has also been revised to counteract engine vibrations. Furthermore, the windscreen wipers have been lowered by 6mm to reduce the level of wind ‘roar’ generated at the base of the windscreen

As a result of these upgrades, the new Picanto produces a quietest-in-class 39 dB of noise at idle – 3 dB less than the current A-segment leader – and 68 dB at a steady cruise.

Technology

Buyers of the new Kia Picanto will have access to some of the most advanced infotainment and convenience technologies available in the A-segment, while still enjoying the same high value for money expected of a Kia vehicle.

The large, ‘floating’ 7.0-inch HMI touchscreen at the centre of the dashboard houses a navigation system with 3D map, and is available with Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™ for full smartphone integration. A rear-view parking camera with dynamic guidelines is also on offer to buyers who want an additional level of assurance when completing parking manoeuvres. An optional wireless smartphone charger and USB port, located at the base of the centre console, ensure drivers can keep mobile devices charged on the move.

Safety and body

The new Picanto is the safest A-segment car Kia has ever made, featuring double the proportion of Advanced High Strength Steel (AHSS) compared to the outgoing model and a selection of active safety technologies.

With a stronger body than ever before, 44 per cent of the new Picanto’s bodyshell is cast in AHSS (up from 22 per cent), reducing body-in-white weight by 23kg while improving tensile strength by 12 per cent. The new, stronger steel has been used to reinforce the floor pan, roof rails and engine bay, as well as the A- and B-pillars, strengthening the core structure of the car. The new bodyshell also uses more than eight times the quantity of structural adhesive found in the outgoing model (67 metres of joins throughout the structure are now reinforced with the adhesive). Overall, static torsional stiffness has been improved by 32 per cent.

The stronger, lighter body is supported by six standard airbags (front, front side and curtain airbags), and an optional knee airbag, as well as a range of active safety features. These include standard Vehicle Stability Management (VSM) with Electronic Stability Control (ESC) to ensure stability under braking and cornering, detecting a loss in traction and using ESC to help the driver keep the car on course.

In addition, the new Picanto will be available with Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB)* – a key technology adopted to enhance safety in the predominantly city and urban environments in which the majority of customers drive their Picanto. An indirect Tyre Pressure Monitoring System is also available.

On-sale

Maintaining the value for money and high quality that has made the current-generation Picanto so popular, the all-new Picanto will be sold as standard with Kia’s unique 7-Year, 150,000 km warranty when it goes on-sale across Europe from the start of Q2 2017.