2018 Kia Picanto X-Line
Rugged looks, turbocharged engineby Ciprian Florea, on
The Kia Picanto came to be in 2003 when it was launched on a shortened platform of the Hyundai Getz. Redesigned in 2011, it grew in size and shared underpinnings with the then-new Hyundai i10. Another update followed in 2015, but 2017 brought the significantly modified third-generation model. About half a year has passed since the new Picanto arrived and Kia just introduced a new model, the X-Line.
A range-topping model alongside the performance-oriented GT-Line, the X-Line is a crossover-inspired model in the vein of the larger Volkswagen Cross Polo and Cross Golf, and the Hyundai i20 Active. Modifications include a slightly higher ride height, black cladding on the wheel arches, and a few extra features compared to the standard model. The X-Line also introduces the new turbocharged 1.0-liter engine that will also motivate the GT-Line version.
Continue reading to learn more about the Kia Picanto X-Line.
2018 Kia Picanto X-Line
Horsepower @ RPM:99
Torque @ RPM:127
0-60 time:10.1 sec.
Top Speed:130 mph (Est.)
The X-Line is actually a standard Picanto with a few extra features
Kia describes the Picanto X-Line as a crossover-inspired hatchback and says the new model draws inspiration from popular SUVs like the Sportage and Sorento. As fancy as it may sound, this statement isn’t exactly accurate, as the X-Line is actually a standard Picanto with a few extra features.
The 156-mm (6.1 inches) ride height, which is 15-mm (0.6 inches) higher than the regular Picanto, is what makes the X-Line a crossover-inspired vehicle, but that extra half-inch is barely noticeable. On the flipside, the black cladding around the wheel arches and the metal-look skid plates front and rear add a bit of ruggedness to the small hatchback.
Setting it further apart from the standard Picanto are the Lime Green fog lamp surrounds and grille inserts
Setting it further apart from the standard Picanto are the Lime Green fog lamp surrounds and grille inserts, which provide a strong contrast with most exterior colors. However, if you’re looking for a more subdued appearance, these highlights can be had in silver. The X-Line also comes equipped with LED daytime running lights and fog lamps, as well as 16-inch aluminum alloy wheels.
Everything else is standard equipment, but it’s worth pointing out the current Picanto is as fresh as they get, having been launched in 2016. Changes are significant compared to the previous model, while the front and rear fascias have a sportier look.
Standard Kia Picanto vs. Kia Picanto X-Line
Unlike the exterior, the interior is the same as in the standard model
Unlike the exterior, the interior is the same as in the standard model. As a reminder, the new Picanto came with a higher quality interior and a dashboard that has a cleaner design and features a satin chrome-effect strip that runs across the width between the instrument cluster and the passenger door panel. A new, seven-inch touchscreen sits above in a "floating" position that has become popular with several carmakers, while two A/C vents have been placed below. The center console is more useful now, featuring just the A/C controls in addition to a large storage compartment and the gear shifter.
The seats have been redesigned for enhanced comfort, and although they are wrapped in cloth as standard, they can be ordered in contrast artificial leather with white, blue, orange, red, or Lime Green stitching. The seating position is similar to the regular Picanto, so don’t expect the raised stance you get in crossovers.
In the tech department, the X-Line comes with the same seven-inch touchscreen with navigation system and a 3D map
The new Picanto also offers more legroom and headroom than its predecessor, and if we are to believe the company’s PR, it’s also roomier than best-selling rivals in the A-segment. There’s no word on whether you can choose between the four- and five-seat configuration as in the standard Picanto, but it’s safe to assume that both layouts are available. The hatchback also comes with a first-in-class feature in the form of a central armrest for front passengers that can slide back and forth up to 55 mm (2.1 inches). The armrest covers a small storage compartment designed to accommodate a one-liter water bottle or a sunglasses case.
In the tech department, the X-Line comes with the same seven-inch touchscreen with navigation system and a 3D map, while the options list includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, rear-view parking camera, wireless smartphone charges, and USB port.
Trunk space has increased from 200 to 255 liters (seven to nine cubic feet) with the rear seat up, which is more than any other car in this class.
Unlike the standard Picanto, the X-Line is offered with the turbocharged 1.0-liter engine only
Unlike the standard Picanto, which is available with a naturally aspirated 1.0-liter, a 1.25-liter four-cylinder, and the new-for-2017 1.0-liter turbo, the X-Line is offered with the latter engine only. This new T-GDI unit cranks out 100 PS and 172 Nm of torque (99 horsepower and 127 pound-feet) and it’s the most powerful engine ever fitted in the small hatchback.
The sprint from 0 to 62 takes 10.1 seconds with this unit, and although it’s not the kind of performance you get with a sports car, it’s significantly quicker than the other drivetrain options. This configuration is actually identical to the one that comes with the sports-inspired Picanto GT-Line.
The new engine is efficient too, needing only 4.5 liters per 100 km. CO2 emissions are rated at 104 grams per km.
Although it’s crossover-inspired, the Picanto X-Line has no additional modification to the chassis and driveline, so don’t expect enhanced off-road performance.
In the safety department, the Picanto X-Line is by far the safest A-segment car Kia has ever built
In the safety department, the Picanto X-Line is by far the safest A-segment car Kia has ever built. With 44 percent of its body shell now cast in Advanced High Strength Steel (AHSS), the vehicle is 22-percent stronger. This construction technique also reduces body-in-white weight by 23 kg (50.7 pounds), in addition to improving tensile strength by 12 percent. Overall, static torsional stiffness has been improved by 32 percent.
Standard safety equipment includes six airbags — front, front and side, and curtains — while the knee airbag is optional. Active safety features include Vehicle Stability Management (VSM) with Electronic Stability Control (ESC), which ensures stability under braking and cornering by detecting a loss in traction and using ESC to help the driver keep the car on course. In addition, the X-Line can be ordered with Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) and a Tyre Pressure Monitoring System.
Pricing for the Picanto X-Line is not yet available, but it’s safe to assume that it will cost a bit more than the standard model. Actually, with specifications similar to the range-topping GT-Line, there’s a big chance that the X-Line will become the most expensive model in the range. Expect the X-Line to cost at least £13,000 before options. This model is set to go on sale across Europe from the fourth quarter of 2017.
The idea of a slightly jacked-up small hatchback isn’t exactly new. Volkswagen already did it with the Cross Golf and Cross Polo, while Hyundai released a similar version of the i20, called the i20 Active. However, the Cross Golf is no longer in production, while the new-generation Polo has yet to spawn a crossover-inspired model. This leaves us with only the Hyundai i10 and the rumored Polo-based crossover that should be launched for the 2019 model year.
The i20 is actually bigger than the Picanto. While the latter shares underpinnings with the i10, the i20 is Hyundai’s version of the Kia Rio. So it’s not exactly a fair comparison, but it’s the only option you got if all you want is a small hatchback on stilts. But other than the size, the package is similar, as the standard model received crossover-like cladding and a few extra features that make it look more rugged and capable. Being larger, it also offers enhanced legroom and trunk space. Juice comes from the same 1.0-liter turbo in the Picanto, but it’s rated at 98 horsepower and 126 pound-feet in the i20 Active. A more powerful version that cranks out 118 horses and 126 pound-feet is also available. Other options include a 1.4-liter gasoline that’s good for 98 horses and 99 pound-feet and a 1.4-liter diesel rated at 89 horsepower. Pricing starts from 13,995.
Read our full review of the Hyundai i20 Active.
This vehicle is still a prototype as of this writing and all we know is that Volkswagen is using a Polo hatchback as a mule. Not much is known at this point, but it should become the company’s smallest crossover-like model yet and probably replace both the Cross Polo and Cross Golf. Expect similar cladding on the wheel arches and a few extra features inside and out. Power will most likely come from the company’s small-displacement engines. Likely candidates are the 1.0-liter rated at 93 horsepower, the 1.0-liter TSI with 108 horses, and the 1.4-liter TSI that generates 147 horsepower. Pricing should be similar, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Volkswagen put a higher sticker on this car, probabil around the 14,500 mark.
Read our speculative review of the Volkswagen Polo SUV.
While it doesn’t make much sense at first glance, the Picanto X-Line will give Kia access to a slightly different niche. Granted, it won’t be a high seller and won’t do much to move the Picanto higher in the market sales-wise, but it will give customers who want a slightly higher ride height with their tiny hatchback a solid option. The X-Line’s main advantage is that it doesn’t have a competitor, but buyers that are willing to spend a bit more have access to a couple of larger crossovers.