Kia’s popular Picanto gets a facelift

001-off-my-wheelsBrian Joss –

The enhanced KIA Picanto has arrived in South Africa fresh from it’s debut at the 85th Salon International de l’Automobile in Geneva at the beginning of March.  Thanks to a small number of selected enhancements, Picanto has a more premium look and feel.

The new-look Kia Picanto: fresh from its debut in Geneva. Picture: Quickpic
The new-look Kia Picanto: fresh from its debut in Geneva. Picture: Quickpic

The first generation KIA Picanto made its international debut at the 2003 Frankfurt Motor Show, and went on sale across the globe in 2004, when it also made its debut in South Africa. It received a mid-life enhancement in 2008. The second generation model made its debut in 2011

Under the creative direction of Peter Schreyer and his global team of designers, KIA is one of the most awarded car brands in the world, Kia said. In South Africa, the Picanto took top honours in the People’s Wheels Awards for three years in a row (2011, 2012 and 2013), has won numerous ‘Best Buy’ awards from multiple major publications, and was elected a finalist in the 2012 WesBank / SAGMJ Car of the Year competition and  came second.

While the two-model Picanto line-up remains unchanged, the exterior has been given a sharper, more prominent face thanks to a restyled front bumper and a revised ‘tiger nose’ grille. The large, central air  intake is now a single unit and the lamps, positioned centrally within the housing, now function as DRLs (daytime running lights) and not as switchable fog lamps: when the vehicle is switched on, the lamps automatically illuminate. When the headlamps as switched on, the daytime running lights go off.

The Picanto is now available with a choice of 10 exterior colours, including Clear White, Bright Silver, Milky Beige, Titanium Silver, Midnight Black, Honey Bee, Signal Red, Alice Blue, Cherry Pink and Dazzling Blue, which is new to the range.

Inside, changes have been limited to a more modern fascia surrounding the Picanto’s audio system. Standard features include manual air-conditioning, retractable dual cup holders, AUX/iPod/USB connections for the radio / CD player with MP3 compatibility. The EX also sports steering wheel mounted controls and hands-free Bluetooth®).

The Picanto’s engine line-up remains unchanged, with two of KIA Motor Corporation’s efficient Kappa engines powering the Picanto. A three-cylinder, 998 cc unit features in the 1.0 LX and afour-cylinder, 1 248 cc engine is used in the 1.2 EX. Automatic transmission is available on the 1.0 LX and the 1.2 EX.

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