For the past few days, the news in the local automobile industry has been all about the entry of the KIA Picanto. The mid-range 1000 cc hatchback has ended the era in which Pak Suzuki was the only one offering a car in this segment. Undoubtedly, the industry needs new entrants to push up the competition to another level. KIA is also one of the episodes of the automotive-related policy that offers several incentives to the new players. The Korean auto manufacturer re-entered the local sector by collaborating with Lucky Group to start its production of cars once again in Pakistan. The company launched its CBU lineup, with the Grand Carnival last year and began its CKD operations by introducing the 2000 cc SUV Sportage and now has walked into the 1000cc hatchback category by introducing Picanto.
KIA has introduced Picanto in Pakistan for which the company has started taking bookings from 14th September. The car is available in both manual and automatic transmissions. This hatchback is a welcomed addition to the locally produced cars as it has triggered the competition in its segment. Suzuki Cultus comes out as its nearest competitor in the local market. In terms of features, Picanto is by far the leader in its segment. It also has several exciting features not introduced previously in this segment of cars by its competitor Suzuki. So, let’s have a look at the key features of KIA Picanto that possess the power to make it the customer’s first choice in locally produced hatchbacks.
1. Foldable-type remote key:
KIA Picanto has a remote key, but there is a reason why it stands out from others in this category. Its remote key is foldable-type which makes it unique from the conventional keys offered in Suzuki cars.
2. ISO Child Fix:
KIA Picanto is equipped with an international safety standard known as ISO Child Fix. It’s not offered in any of the locally produced hatchbacks in Pakistan. ISO Child Fix has attachment points for child safety seats at the rear side of the car. It’s certainly a unique feature offered by the company which indicates that the automaker prioritizes safety in its cars.
The mid-range 1000 cc hatchback is also equipped with two airbags that ensures the safety of the driver and the front passenger. One of it is installed in the steering wheel for the driver while the other one is placed in the dashboard for the passenger.
4. Separate-adjustable headrests:
KIA Picanto has separate headrests at the front and the rear seats. There is also a headrest for the rear passenger sitting in the center. The headrests are also vertically adjustable that allows the passengers to adjust accordingly. No headrests are provided in any of its competitors such as Suzuki Cultus and Wagon R.
5. Seat height adjustment:
The driver’s seat of Picanto is featured with a manually operated height adjustment lever. It allows the customization to the driver as per his height. It’s also usually offered in high-end cars, but KIA has provided it in its hatchback in Pakistan.
6. Daytime running lights:
The presence of daytime running lights enhances the appearance of Picanto in the daylight. It’s also something new in this segment of cars which distinguishes it from its rivals while moving on the roads.
7. Electrically retractable heated side mirrors:
The side mirrors of Picanto are powered by an electrical retraction feature which offers convenience to the driver to set them with the push of a button. What excites more is that these electrically retractable side mirrors are heated, which means their visibility remains clear in all weather conditions.
8. Anti-lock braking system (ABS):
As we know that KIA has not compromised on safety in its 1000 cc Picanto, it has also added an anti-lock braking system (ABS). It ensures an improved braking experience and saves you from any mishap on the road and considered a basic necessity in cars these days.
9. Tilt-adjustable steering wheel:
The steering wheel of Picanto offers convenience to the driver with its tilt adjustment feature. This feature helps different driving styles and sitting postures.
10. Trip meter steering control:
KIA has provided trip meter control in its steering wheel, which is a new addition in this segment of cars. The driver can easily operate the trip meter from the steering wheel driving.
11. Rear screen wiper:
Another feature which has been missing in the locally produced hatchbacks is the rear screen wiper. Apart from Picanto now, no other car is equipped with this feature in the local sector. Its rear wiper has single speed control and also has a washing shower that cleans the rear screen properly and enhances the rear vision in bad weather conditions.
12. Rear luggage tray:
Picanto doesn’t disappoint in terms of storage spaces. Apart from several storage spaces inside the cabin, Picanto also has a luggage tray at the rear side above the spare tyre. It allows you to store additional belongings.
13. In-dash AUX and USB connectivity:
The hatchback has a standard AUX and USB connectivity feature like others in this segment. However, in the case of Picanto, it’s provided within the dashboard instead of the audio player.
14. Seat under-tray:
Another storage tray is located under the front passenger seat in which you can easily store little yet important belongings. It’s also very easily accessible from the driver’s seat, which makes it a useful feature.
15. Glove box and clutch light:
The new entrant Picanto has ample lighting inside the cabin. Apart from the center cabin light, it has an illuminated glove box, and gear clutch light is also present. The glove box lighting, in particular, is very useful as it helps in sorting out stuff easily.
16. Assist grips:
Assist grips are present in Picanto at the front passenger seat and both sides of the rear seat. The rear assist grip is provided with a coat hook.
17. Portable ashtray:
The company has also provided a portable ashtray at the front which is generally not offered in the locally produced hatchbacks.
The above-mentioned key features of Picanto differentiate it from its rivals in the local auto sector. It primarily competes with Suzuki Cultus which has recently sustained its sales in the prevailing economic slowdown situation in the country. But now the competition will be intense with KIA Picanto. The competition will eventually result in a benefit for the end consumers in the shape of better quality products equipped with advanced features offered at a competitive cost.
18. 4-Speed Automatic Transmission
Picanto is in a league of its own by being the only hatchback in the 1000 cc category to harbor an authentic Automatic transmission, in comparison to the other locally manufactured competition offering Automatic Gear Sequencing, to facilitate the customers.
The Picanto, like all other Kia produce, facilitates the customers with an above industry standard warranty offer, by providing a massive four years or 100,000 km warranty.
Its arrival has also added another option for the consumers to choose from. The customers can finally come out of the Suzuki labeled cars in the budget range under Rs.2 million as the only option available. Picanto costs (45,000 in the case for Manual and 24,000 in the case for Automatic Transmission) slightly more than Cultus but as a matter of fact, there are several more features on offer as well in such a little margin of the price difference. The booking price of KIA Picanto M/T and A/T is Rs.949,000 and Rs.999,000, respectively. The company will start the delivery of Picanto in the third week of October 2019. Head to your nearest authorized dealership of KIA Lucky Motors to have a close look at these features in Picanto. The car is showcased for the customers at all the dealerships of KIA Pakistan.
Nonetheless, it’s a stylish hatchback loaded with all the essential luxury and safety features, that the Pakistani customer deserves.