Entry-level motorists have been awarded a refreshed offering with the arrival of the new Kia Picanto, the third generation of the South Korean brand’s budget hatchback.
On the outside, The Picanto has demonstrated the current evolution of car design from curves to edges, taking on an even more youthful approach to its design than before (the outgoing model was already a bit of a trendsetter). In terms of size, the new Picanto has remained relatively the same, with minor changes such as the extension of the wheelbase by 15mm, and the use of wide C-pillars to lengthen the rear overhang by 10mm, to create a more upright affect.
Prices for this hatchback start at R134 995, with customers having a choice of two engines, and four levels of trim with either a four-speed automatic transmission or a five-speed manual. The first engine choice is Kia’s 1.0-liter three-cylinder, good for an output of 49 kW and 96 Nm, and a 1.25-liter four-cylinder which produces 61 kW and 122 Nm of torque. Both engines are naturally aspirated and are multi-point injected, with power being sent to the front wheels.
The four available trim levels build on each other in terms of standard equipment, starting with the base-model START which features manual air-conditioning and Bluetooth connectivity. Heading up the derivatives, the STREET adds electric front windows, steering wheel-mounted controls, and remote central locking, while the STYLE continues the line of extras with daytime running lights, automatic headlights, and front projection fog lamps. At the top of the range with prices starting at R188 995, the SMART derivative finishes off the package with partial leather upholstery, Rear Park Distance Control, and a 7-inch color infotainment system sporting Bluetooth and Voice Recognition. Safety is covered with the inclusion of driver and passenger airbags, ISOFIX child seat anchors, and ABS (with the last one not available on entry-level models).
The Kia Picanto comes standard with a five-year/unlimited km warranty, as well as a three-year/unlimited km roadside assistance package. Service plans are optional and can be arranged through Kia Financial Services.
By Sam Spiller
Images supplied by Motorpress