Kia Picanto gets a style make-over
Living in the city is what most South African’s aspire to; there’s just something about the hustle and bustle of the concrete jungle that entices people. As a result of this aspiration a new breed of transport was created. The modern-day city cars such as the Kia Picanto
Since the launch of the second-generation Picanto back in 2011, nearly 1,4-million units have been sold across the world. This was the car that stole the hearts of many, thanks to its funky design and segment leading build quality.
The second-gen Picanto still looks quite decent for a car that’s 6-years old, but like everything in the world, time catches up. This is why Kia has refreshed the Picanto, and at quite an appropriate time, given that most of its competitors are entering the last phases of their life cycles.
I drove the new Kia Picanto in Cape Town recently. Here are my thoughts.
Kia has managed to make the Picanto a lot prettier, thanks to new wrap-around headlights and their mean ‘tiger-nose grille’. The wheelbase is also 15mm wider, adding to the aggressive stance of the Picanto. The rear receives new LED taillights and a surprisingly sporty bumper. The model that I drove came with day-time running LED headlights and indicators.
All of these design improvements really come together nicely when paired to one of the Picanto’s 11 paint finishes, with 6 of these colours being completely new to the model. The new colours are ‘Lime Light’, ‘Shiny Red’, ‘Aurora Black’, ‘Pop Orange’, ‘Sparkling Silver’ and ‘Celestial Blue’.
The Picanto also comes with some slick wheels depending on the model derivative. You can choose from 13- or 14-inch steel wheels with stylish wheel covers, or 14- and 15-inch aluminium alloy wheels.
The interior is where the Picanto really shines, and stepping into the new model from the second-gen model really puts all of the refinements into perspective.
Everything inside the Picanto feels premium. The dash is simple and elegant, with metallic touches and sporty air vents. The two-tone leather seats are soft and comfortable enough for those long-distance road-trips and there is an overall relative abundance of space.
The centre of the dash houses a floating 7” touchscreen infotainment system, complete with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a nifty reverse camera as well as full voice control from the steering. All models come standard with Bluetooth connectivity.
There have been many adjustments all around to increase interior head and leg room, but the biggest changes happened in the boot, which is now 255-litres compared to the outgoing 200-litre boot. This allows the Kia Picanto to not only compete with A-Segment cars (VW UP etc), but with Sub B-Segment cars as well (Hyundai Grand i10).
The new Kia Picanto is available with a 1,0-litre or 1,2-litre engine, producing 49 kW at 5 500 r/min and 96 Nm torque and 61 kW, and 122 Nm of torque respectively.
Both engines are paired to either a 5-speed manual gearbox or an optional 4-speed automatic gearbox with power being sent to the front wheels.
The overall stiffness of the new Picanto has been improved by 32% compared to the previous model. This means that power is used more effectively through better handling. This is further improved by the 15mm widened wheel base.
The Kia Picanto offers uncompromised quality at an attractive price; it feels premium, looks funky and does the whole city-car thing pretty well. Tick the right options and you’ll have a car that does everything you need it to do, while having a bit of fun.
There are four model derivatives of the Picanto; the entry-level START model, the STREET model with electric windows and immobiliser, the STYLE model with DRLED’s and foglamps and the SMART model, which is the top-of-the-line model with all the bells and whistles.
Picanto 1.0 START Manual R 134,995
Picanto 1.2 SMART Manual R 195,995
All cars come standard with a 5-year/unlimited kilometer warranty.