Now in its third generation, the Kia Picanto brings a more youthful character to the A-segment with a bold new exterior design, new modern cabin and largest cargo capacity in its class.
Boasting an assertive new design and high-quality, high-tech new cabin, the latest model promises to be the most versatile car in its class thanks to its low running costs and compact dimensions. While the new model is no longer than its predecessor, it’s ideal for city driving, yet offers more cabin and cargo space than ever before.
Along with a slightly increased wheelbase, the wheels have also been pushed out further to the corners for a 25mm shorter front overhang, making the car look more planted on the road. Strong, straight lines run horizontally across the front of the car, emphasising the tiger-nose grille and angular new wrap-around headlights. Vertical lines that encompass the side intakes and lower grille enhance the Picanto’s confident new face.
In profile, the Picanto is characterised by distinctive lines running along the side skirts, shoulder and around the wheel arches and subtle body sculpting that contribute to visually stretching the car.
The Picanto is now available with a choice of 11 vibrant paint finishes and depending on the model, the Picanto is fitted with either 13 or 14-inch steel wheels with stylish wheel covers, or a choice of 14 and 15-inch aluminium alloy wheel designs. High specification models also feature new projection headlamps with LED indicators and LED daytime running lights.
Inside the Picanto, Kia designers have created a more modern, refined cabin than that of the predecessor, with new materials and layout adding a greater sense of quality for occupants. The wide-looking design adds greater visual width to the interior, highlighting the increased cabin dimensions.
The dashboard layout is more conveniently aligned, with a large floating human machine interface sitting at the heart of the centre console and moving many of the car’s controls further up into the driver’s line of sight. Black cloth-upholstered seats are available as standard, while high specification models are fitted as standard with two-tone black and grey leathered upholstery.
Despite its footprint remaining the same, the Picanto offers buyers high levels of packaging efficiency, with maximum versatility thanks to a larger cabin and class-leading boot capacity, which is now increased from 200 to 255 litres. The rear seat can be folded down, increasing cargo capacity to 1 010 litres. The Picanto also meets the increasing trend towards five-door models in the A-segment.
Seat comfort levels have been improved as the Picanto features the same seat-base materials and construction as those found in more premium models like the Optima. In the rear the angle of the backrest is more reclined – from 25 to 27 degrees, for a more relaxed posture.
The same suspension layout has been retained however it has been tweaked to ensure greater ride stability and quicker, more enjoyable handling responses.
A new rack for the column-mounted motor-driven power steering means the steering ratio has been quickened by 13 percent over the outgoing Picanto, enabling more immediate responses to driver inputs and making the car easier to drive at low speeds.
Occupants of the new Picanto will have access to some of the most advanced infotainment and convenience technologies available in the A-segment. In lower specification models, the large, floating HMI at the centre of the dashboard houses a 3,8-inch monochrome TFT LCD audio system, with clear buttons to control the systems functions.
High specification models feature added technology such as a 7,0-inch full-colour touchscreen infotainment system offering a Bluetooth connection to smartphones to play music on the go. This system supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for full smartphone integration
The new Picanto boasts a stronger body, while all models feature ABS, as well as driver and passenger airbag and Isofix child seat anchors.
The 1,0 and 1,25 litre naturally aspirated engines are carried over from the outgoing Picanto, but feature a range of enhancements to improve driveability and efficiency. Both models are paired to either a five-speed manual transmission or a four-speed automatic transmission.
The 1,0 litre three-cylinder engine produces 49kW and 96Nm and the 1,25 litre is capable of 61kW and 122Nm.
Kia South Africa has expanded the Picanto line-up from four models to eight standalone models; covering the two petrol engines on offer over four specification grades.
Start models feature a high level of standard specification including manual air-conditioning, tilt-adjustable steering, a radio with auxiliary input, USB, Bluetooth and two speakers.
Street models build on that by adding electric windows, steering wheel mounted audio controls, remote central locking with alarm and immobiliser as well as driver’s seat height adjustment.
Street specification is updated with front projection fog lamps, daytime running lights, automatic light control, a rear window wiper and front seat back pockets.
Top of the range Smart models gain bi-function projection headlights, LED daytime running lights, LED rear combination lights, electrically-folding, heated side mirrors with LED indicator lamps, aluminium pedals, two tone cloth and leather upholstery, a leather-upholstered steering wheel and gear knob, the 7-inch full colour infotainment system, Bluetooth and rear park distance control with integrated reverse camera.