Hot on the heels of the Kia Rio comes another major upgrade package, this time for the Picanto expected in South Africa in the last quarter of this year – with the good news both the X-Line and GT-Line variants are “under consideration”.
The ‘face’ of both the GT-Line and X-Line Picanto models has been revised from the ‘tiger-nose’ grille, which features a new textured surround and open-link appearance. The chrome-effect surround forms a sweeping shape that extends into the lower part of the redesigned headlamps and gives the car a wider, more planted appearance. Each side of the ‘tiger-nose’ grille features a red highlight on GT-Line models, or more technical black trim on X-Line models which resemble air intakes.
Both versions of the car now feature redesigned headlights and four-bulb LED daytime running lights. At the rear, the car also features a new LED rear combination lamp design and a slimmer fog light design, creating a more recognisable rear light signature at the same time.
Both GT-Line and X-Line models feature refreshed front and rear bumper designs with sharper creases in the bodywork for a more contemporary appearance. The changes create a more rugged, robust-looking design for X-Line models and, for GT-Line models, an appearance that visually links the car to the higher-performance GT models in Kia’s range.
Inside, the Picanto features a series of visual and technological upgrades, centred around a larger 8,0-inch ‘floating’ widescreen audio visual navigation (AVN) system and a high-resolution 4,2-inch digital display in the driver’s instrument cluster.
Depending on trim level and market, the Picanto’s cabin is offered with black cloth or synthetic leather seats, with the upgraded model finished with a range of new upholstery textures for a more contemporary, higher quality look and feel. The cabin is finished with black, silver or gloss black highlights in the door, on the dashboard and around the gear selector.
The upgraded Picanto is also available with a range of trendy interior colour packsand the Lime Pack features a black single-tone interior with lime contrast stitching and white seat bolsters, silver metal painted transmission and air vent surrounds, and silver-and-lime accents in the doors.
Models equipped with the Orange Pack feature a black single-tone interior with orange stitching and cabin highlights, and black-and-orange door accents. Red Pack models are finished in black upholstery with red seat bolsters, as well as gloss black highlights and red-and-black door accents.
Finally, the Green Pack offers green highlights throughout the cabin and silver-and-green door accents, as well as stylish denim-effect seat upholstery.
The upgraded Picanto comes with three new ‘Smartstream’ petrol engines, each maximising efficiency and lowering CO2 emissions compared to their predecessors. The engine line-up features a 1,0-litre T-GDi engine producing 74 kW, or a pair of naturally-aspirated 1,0-litre or 1,2-litre DPFI engines, producing 49 kW and 62 kW, respectively.
The 1,0-litre T-GDi engine gets a more efficient 350 bar high-pressure fuel injection system. Meanwhile, the two naturally-aspirated engines replace multi-point injection with new dual-port fuel injection technology, with optimised injection timing for maximum fuel efficiency.
The updated Picanto is the first model equipped with Kia’s new Automated Manual Transmission (AMT). The AMT is based around a five-speed manual transmission with clutch and gear shift actuators to automate clutch operation and gear shifts. Using a single dry clutch, the AMT is a cost-effective option for customers who favour the convenience and ease-of-use of an automatic transmission, without sacrificing the fuel efficiency of a conventional manual transmission.
The upgraded Picanto features several of Kia’s latest Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), and a range of new active safety systems to enhance occupant safety, making it one of the the safest cars in its class.
Depending on specification, the Picanto’s new ADAS range includes Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA) with vehicle and pedestrian detection. Additionally, the Picanto is available with Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist (BCA), Lane Keeping Assist (LKA), Driver Attention Warning (DAW), and Lane Following Assist (LFA).
It also features Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist (RCCA), which alerts the driver and stops the vehicle if it detects another vehicle approaching from the left or right when reversing out of a parking space.
The updated Picanto is also equipped with Kia’s Vehicle Stability Management (VSM), Torque Vectoring By Braking, Cornering Brake Control (CBC) and Straight-line Stability (SLS) systems as standard, helping drivers maintain control under braking and cornering.
It is fitted with up to seven crash bags throughout the cabin, including a driver’s knee bag, depending on specification and market. It also features ISOFIX child-seat tether and anchor points.