The New Kia Picanto

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I recently had the privilege to be a passenger in a Kia Picanto on a trip from Lanseria International airport in Johannesburg to Menlyn in Pretoria. First time for me not only in a Picanto but also a Kia and I must admit I was so impressed with the little icon. From the ride comfort to the number of features available, this Picanto is certainly at a different class to the normal mini runabouts which are on our roads today.

You can imagine my delight when I read today the Picanto is re-launching with a bold new look and upgrade. 21 Years since the global launch of the first generation and 20 years in South Africa, the Kia Picanto has sold 100 000 units in this country. This little gem is undoubtedly recognised by consumers and the press, as one of the best entry level A-segment vehicles on the market. 

Let’s have a look at what has changed: 

From an exterior design point of view the front end gains a newly designed bumper an update of the signature ‘tiger nose grille’ and a revised fender and bonnet, all designed to give the Picanto a wide confident stance. At the rear we have new taillights which are horizontally connected just beneath the rear windscreen which compliments the redesigned rear bumper. All size dimensions remain the same but despite the compact size the car still offers excellent leg and headroom especially when you compare it to its competitors. Ride comfort is ensured through a combination of a MacPherson strut set-up at the front and a coupled torsion beam axle at the rear. Three different wheel options are available depending on the grade, ranging from 14-inch steel wheels with stylish covers to 14 and 15-inch alloys. To add sparkle to the new range a variety of updated colours are also available. Clear White, Sparkling Silver metallic, Aurora Black Pearl, Astro Grey metallic and Signal Red. Three new colour options have been added, Sporty Blue metallic, Smoke Blue metallic and Adventurous Green metallic.

Inside a centrally aligned dashboard retains the ‘floating’ 8-inch colour touchscreen as the main focal point, ensuring many of the car’s controls are intuitively positioned to reduce instances of distracted driving. Black cloth-upholstered seats are standard while higher spec vehicles have two-tone black and grey leather upholstery.

Same 1.0 litre and 1.2 litre petrol engines with improved exhaust gas recirculation lines and optimised intake valve timing. Improved combustion chamber cooling and lower CO2 emissions. 49kW at 5 500 rpm and 95 Nm torque for the 1.0 litre engine and 62kW at 6 600 rmp and 122 Nm at 4 000 rpm in the 1.2 litre. Choose between the 5-speed manual or 4-speed auto transmissions.

Although a small compact, Safety is also considered important with as much as 44% of the bodyshell cast in Advanced High-strength Steel (AHSS), specifically to reinforce the floor pan, roof rails, A-B pillars, and engine bay to strengthen the cars core structure. Anti-Lock braking System (ABS) ISOFIX child seat anchors and duel front air bags are all standard across the range.

The new Kia Picanto comes in three trim levels, the LX, the EX, and the EX Plus. Starting with the LX the list of features is very impressive for example body-colour bumpers, electrically adjustable heated side mirrors, remote central locking, keyless entry, cloth upholstery, leather clad steering wheel, second row seats split 60-40, electric windows, manual air conditioning, 8-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto, four speakers and two USB ports. 

The EX goes further than the LX with 14-inch alloy wheels, side repeater lamps, electric folding side mirrors, storage box between two front seats, two additional tweeter speakers, Electronic Stability Control and Hill Assist Control.

Lastly the EX Plus is equipped with smart key entry, push button start, illuminated vanity mirror, automatic climate control, park distance warning sensors at the rear, leather upholstery, high gloss trims on facia, LED rear combination lights and 15-inch alloy wheels. 

On sale from Monday 22nd April 2024 the pricing for the range is as follows.

Kia Picanto 1.0 LX Manual:             R260 995

Kia Picanto 1.0 LX Auto:                  R278 995

Kia Picanto 1.2 EX Manual:             R284 995

Kia Picanto 1.2 EX Auto:                  R302 995

Kia Picanto 1,2 EX Plus Manual:    R307 995

Kia Picanto 1.2 EX Plus Auto:         R325 995

Standard 5 year/unlimited km warranty inclusive of road-side assistance. 

2 year/30 000km service plan is included. 

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