The Kia Picanto is the Cutest City Car We Won’t Get in the US

The car manufacturer that seems to be the rising underdog in the past few years is Kia, and the brand has done pretty well to reestablish itself. Knocking it out of the ballpark with the Kia Stinger and the Kia Telluride, the manufacturer has shown that they can hit the nail on the head with a few markets. With the exception of the generally disliked Kia Soul, the manufacturer doesn’t seem to offer a car that fills the unique needs of drivers who live in larger cities. Well, it does, but we, unfortunately, don’t get them here in the United States.

The Kia Picanto

The Kia Picanto is the cutest compact sedan that the brand makes, but most US drivers don’t even know that it exists. It isn’t new, either, as the car has been in production for other countries since 2004. They’re still in production, too, meaning the newest generation is just as aggressively styled and modern. But yet, we don’t get them here in the US, leaving a significant niche untouched by a brand that could easily dominate the market.

KIA Picanto GT LINE |Gerlach Delissen, Corbis/Corbis, Getty Images

Will the brand bring the car to the US

The market for subcompact cars that offer good fuel economy and decent handling is a niche here in the US, but it also stands with few competitors. Current options, like the Nissan Versa and Chevy Spark, have fallen short in the category, but Kia has yet to step up to the plate and provide an alternative. An alternative like the Kia Picanto, a vehicle that is already produced and well-loved in other countries, could be very successful here.

A model stands next to KIA Picanto on display | Robertus Pudyanto, Getty Images

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Here’s what we know

Reading through so many positive owner reviews, it’s a real shame that we won’t be getting the Kia Picanto here in the US. Current and previous have bragged about the car’s responsible fuel economy and surprisingly agile handling. If any of their positive reviews are even remotely true, the Kia Picanto would be a top competitor among other subcompact sedans of its class here in the US. But in the meantime, it looks like we are stuck with the brand’s less desirable vehicle, the Kia Soul.

Kia Picanto exhibited during the Moscow International Motor Show ‘Autosalon 2014’ |Sefa Karacan/Anadolu Agency, Getty Images

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It is possible that one day Kia will decide to give the US market the Kia Picanto, or a similar version of it at least. In that case, it would be one of the cutest subcompact city cars on the market, and a great option for a commuter vehicle or even a new driver.