Picanto king of the tiddlers

Kia has revealed details of the latest Picanto city car.

Cars of this size have historically been poor sellers in Australia with its sprawling suburbs.

But with increasing environmental awareness has seen a surge in popularity of the segment which saw Kia begin importing the Picanto in 2015.

The arrival of compact SUVs has seen the micro segment dwindle to just two cars, Picanto and Fiat 500 — with the little Kia outselling the Italian mini by a ratio of 9:1.

As with the other cars in the segment Kia’s primary target for Picanto has been late-teen/early 20s females, with a smattering of baby boomers taking up the slack.

Those at the young end of the age scale typically have a three-point check list – cute styling, affordability and the latest in infotainment technology. 

New Picanto ticks all three boxes.

It comes in two grades, Sport and GT-Line, each powered by the existing 1.2-litre MPI petrol engine mated to either a five-speed manual transmission or four-speed automatic transmission.

It produces 62kW of power and 122Nm of torque.

Kia’s ‘Opposites United’ design philosophy been incorporated into new Picanto, lending itself to a modern and sporty design highlighted by a new headlight graphic, expanded radiator grille, and redesigned front bumper.

The rear design has been slightly tweaked, with adjustments made to the rear tail lamps and bumper for a sportier appearance.

On GT-Line variants, further exterior modifications have been made.

The front and rear lighting have been transformed to the new ‘signature’ lighting design, creating the illusion of a wider appearance.

New wheel designs have been applied to both trims, with 14-inch alloy wheels for Sport and 16-inch machine-finished diamond cut alloy wheels for GT-Line.

Premium artificial leather now features as a standard material across the steering wheel and shift knob (manual and automatic) of both trims.

Additionally, GT-Line variants gain a D-shaped sports steering wheel.

Analogue gauges have been replaced in favour of a 4.2-inch digital cluster across both trims, creating harmony with the existing 8-inch floating touchscreen infotainment display.

Passengers in GT-Line variants also benefit from added convenience with the addition of rear USB Type-C charging ports.

Further reinforcing Picanto’s suitability for young drivers, it is equipped with a range of Kia’s Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) as standard across both trims, including Blind Spot Collision Avoidance Assist; Rear (BCA), Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist (RCCA), Lane Follow Assist (LFA), and Lane Keeping Assist (LKA).

Electric and folding side mirrors with integrated indicators are newly standard across both trims, with heating function carried across with GT-Line variants.

Picanto is priced from $17,890 plus on-road costs.

It is offered in a choice of seven exterior paint finishes, with one (Adventurous Green) being new to the Kia colour palette.


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