Hyundai owned Korean car maker Kia may be planning to enter the Indian market. At least that’s what the Picanto small car’s test mule spotted testing in Chennai suggests.
Kia was planning to launch its products in the Indian market a few years ago, however that did not happen for various reasons. Now, the fact that the Picanto was spotted testing on Indian roads suggests that Kia may enter the Indian car market in the near future.
Looks and Dimensions
To start with, the Picanto and the Hyundai i10 are built on a common platform. The Picanto has Kia’s signature tiger nose grille and angular headlamps that slightly resemble that of the Renault Pulse, aggressive fog lamps and a hexagonal lower air dam.
The side profile has sporty crease lines and wheel arches. The rear has boomerang shaped tail lamps and a conventional boot door. The Picanto with its small dimensions and a boot space of 200 litres is an ideal compact city car. The Picanto measures 3,536 x 1,595 x 1481 mm (length x width x height) and has a wheelbase of 2,700 mm while the i10 measures 3,585 x 1,595 x 1,550 mm and has a wheelbase of 2,380 mm.
Space and Comfort
The wheelbase of the Picanto is more than the i10 and hence, the rear legroom in the Picanto will likely be more than that of the i10. The interiors of the Picanto are spacious while the dashboard has a three pod instrument cluster.
The central console has a music system along with a climate control unit below. The front and rear seats will likely offer good comfort for both city and highway rides. The rear seat has three headrests, comforting the middle passenger as well. Overall, the Picanto has a muscular structure and attractive interiors as expected in a premium hatchback.
The Picanto may come with features similar to those offered in the i10. The top-end variant of Picanto may come with steering mounted audio controls, auto climate control, electric folding mirrors, electrically adjustable mirrors, rear wiper & defogger, ABS with EBD and dual front airbags.
The Picanto will likely be pitched as a premium hatchback with prices above the Hyundai i10. The i10 is priced in the range of Rs. 3.5 lakh – 6 lakh.
The Picanto is a good model for Kia to start off its Indian innings as the lucrative hatchback segment is rapidly expanding. Hyundai and Kia cars are built on common platforms, which will likely help them achieve localization at a faster pace. Brands such as Volkswagen and Skoda co-exist in India and their success in the recent past could be an encouraging factor for Hyundai to bring Kia here. Will you go for Kia, if the brand enters India?