The Kia Picanto is one of the brand's more popular cars and it's now in its third generation. Kia has an interesting strategy of building design studios outside of Korea and the result is that the Picanto brings a youthful, European-style to the A-segment.
Under the skin, the new car features a 15mm longer wheelbase and all four wheels have been pushed out into the corners. There are many new vibrant colours to choose from, an indication of the youthful market which Kia is targeting.
To improve ride and handling, Kia has fitted stiffer front and rear anti-roll bars as well as a lighter rear torsion beam. The steering rack is also said to be 13% quicker than before, which should make inner city maneuvering easier.
Refinement has improved too and Kia has applied specific soundproofing measures to reduce noise and vibrations in the cabin and the firm now claims that the new Picanto has the quietest cabin it in its class.
The cabin looks good and will feature many high-tech comfort, convenience and safety features. Buyers can expect a large 7.0-inch infotainment system and features such as a rear-view camera and wireless charging will also be offered. In terms of safety, the new Picanto is well-equipped with 6 airbags, electronic stability control and autonomous emergency braking.
A new turbocharged 1.0-litre T-GDI engine with 74 kW and 172 Nm of torque will be the headlining act in the new Picanto. This engine will be paired to a 5-speed manual transmission and acceleration from zero to 100 kph will take 10.1 seconds with a top speed of 180 kph.
A 49kW 1.0-litre engine will also be offered alongside a 62 kW 1.2-litre petrol engine. A 5-speed manual transmission is standard for these engines while a 4-speed automatic will be offered on the 1.2-litre derivative.
Kia SA has confirmed the new Picanto for our market, but at this point couldn't give an exact arrival date other than "before the end of 2017". We will keep you updated as more details regarding the new Kia Picanto become available.