The new-look Kia Picanto has been completely revamped for the next generation model and includes a front end based on the successful ‘tiger face’ used for the larger Sportage and Soul crossovers.
Available in 1, 2 and 3 specifications, the Picanto will initially be offered in five-door body style, but a three-door version will be added to the range later in the year.
Three-door models will be cheaper than the five-door versions, which will start from £7,995 for entry-level models.
At the top of the range, a Picanto ‘3’ costs £11,195 and comes with Bluetooth, air conditioning and electric front and rear windows over the standard models.
Kia says entry-level versions fitted with the 1.0-litre, three-cylinder petrol will deliver CO2 emissions under 100g/km and will be exempt from the London congestion charge and in Band A of VED, meaning zero road tax in the UK.
A second petrol engine, a larger 1.25-litre is also available in Band A because of stop-start technology delivering 100g/km of CO2 emissions.
However, a turbo version is expected to be launched in 2012, offering better performance over the three-door version.
The new Picanto is better looking and more spacious than previous versions, and the sculpted flanks give the car a more modern feel.
The boot space is expanded to 200 litres and inside, Kia has updated the quality of materials used for the dashboard, instrument panel and upholstery.
The Picanto sits beneath the larger Kia Venga in the Kia range, and the association with the larger car is obvious. Designed in Kia’s European design studios, the Picanto is more suited to a European buyer than previous models.
The new Kia Picanto will go on sale in the UK next month, with three-door versions joining the range in October.