Big­ger, bet­ter

The Star Early Edition - - MOTORING - MO­TOR­ING STAFF

KIA IS play­ing it safe with an evo­lu­tion­ary, if some­what more grown-up, de­sign for its all-new Pi­canto, which the Korean car­maker has re­vealed ahead of its planned de­but at the Geneva mo­tor show in March.

It’s clear that Kia’s small­est hatch is tak­ing a de­ci­sive step up­mar­ket with fancier ma­te­ri­als and new gadgets, in­clud­ing a touch­screen in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem that hov­ers above the air vents. It’s worth not­ing, how­ever, that we’re see­ing it in range-top­ping GT-Line spec­i­fi­ca­tion.

Kia also prom­ises more in­te­rior space than be­fore, al­though that’s down to clever pack­ag­ing rather than in­creased di­men­sions.

Kia has yet to con­firm the en­gine line-up for the new­comer, but dare we wish that the com­pany’s new 1-litre turbo petol en­gine will find its way into top mod­els, with nor­mally as­pi­rated 1-litre and 1.25-litre en­gines likely form­ing the main­stay of the range.

The 1.0 T-GDI unit is of­fered in 72kW and 87kW ver­sions in the new Rio that was re­vealed late last year.

As for the new Pi­canto’s lo­cal in­tro­duc­tion, tim­ing has yet to be set in stone but Kia SA is hoping to in­tro­duce it around the third quar­ter of this year.

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