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Thami Masemola
Date published: 23/06/2020
Category: Reviews
Tags: KIA; Picanto; unveiled; New Picanto; sporty GT-Line; SUV-inspired X-Line; Bluetooth; Apple CarPlay; Android Auto; 1.0-litre T-GDi turbo
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Updated KIA Picanto global reveal

KIA has unveiled a new look Picanto for the global market. It’s important to note that while lots of work has gone into the car, this is still a facelift, not an all-new shape. Regardless, it is one of the worthy contenders if one is looking in this segment. This new Picanto will be coming to South Africa before the end of the year. Specifications and models will be announced at the time. Also important to note is that the sporty GT-Line and SUV-inspired X-Line variants could also be coming to the country.

Changes have been made to the exterior in the form of an updated Tiger Nose front grille, a new bumper, new headlights, new LED daytime running lights, a choice of 14 or 16-inch wheels (depending on the country), 10 exterior paint colours, and new rear bumper designs.

The interior also saw some attention. Most prominent is the larger 20.3cm infotainment screen and a 10.7cm digital display instrument cluster. The infotainment system connects tech like Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. These have been listed as being standard fitment. There is also satellite navigation and USB port.

Several different powertrain choices are available in Europe and elsewhere, but none are confirmed nor denied for the Mzansi market. One is the naturally aspirated pair displacing 1.0-litre (49kW) and 1.2-litre (62kW). A third option is the 1.0-litre T-GDi turbo that produces 74kW. My advice would be to bring the 62kW and 74kW models to Mzansi. A new feature in the powertrain menu is the Automated Manual Transmission (AMT) option. Past experience with this type of gearbox says to stay far away from it, although I have not driven this specific Kia version. A normal automatic would be preferable.

Depending on the specifications of the model, the Picanto will be fitted with a range of safety options that include items like Lane Keeping Assist, Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist, Hill-start Assist Control, Vehicle Stability Management, Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist and up to 7 airbags. Some of these may not be available here in South Africa.