We say bye-bye to punchy Picanto GT

Kia has provided details of a refreshed version of its Picanto compact hatchback with styling changes, safety improvements and advanced technology. 

Although Picanto had been on sale overseas since 2003, it took until the release of its third-generation model in 2017 for it to go on sale here.

Despite early concerns that it could be too small for Australian buyer preferences it has proved to be a very popular addition to the booming Kia fleet with a clear sales focus on younger drivers.

The upgraded MY2024 Picanto sees the departure of the punchy Picanto GT 1.0-litre turbo variant from the Australian lineup.

Going forward it will be available only in baseline and GT Line variants.

Gen three brings exterior styling changes including a new front bumper, signature ‘tiger nose’, fender and bonnet — to give it a much bolder look than before.

At the rear there are redesigned rear lights and rear bumper together with a wide light bar and new tailgate.

The Picanto’s youthful appeal won’t be harmed by a choice of 10 mainly bright colours.

The new Picanto comes with the choice of two naturally-aspirated three-cylinder petrol engines — 1.0-litre and 1.25-litre.

Both maximise efficiency and lower CO2 emissions.

Both engines drive the front wheels via either a five-speed manual transmission or Kia’s Automated Manual Transmission which is based around a manual transmission but with clutch and gear shift actuators to automate their respective functions. 

As far back as the 2017 model, Picanto has always achieved a maximum ANCAP safety rating.

Safety features in the MY4 model now include Kia’s Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) that provide active safety systems to enhance occupant safety.

Depending on specification, the Picanto’s new ADAS features include Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist 1.5 with vehicle, cyclist and pedestrian detection.  

Additionally, the Picanto is available with Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist (BCA), Lane Keeping Assist (LKA), Driver Attention Warning and Leading Vehicle Departure Warning (DAW+), Intelligent Speed Limit Assist (ISLA) and Lane Following Assist (LFA), and Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist (RCCA). 

Other safety features include an Emergency Stop Signal (ESS), Hill-start Assist Control (HAC), Vehicle Stability Management (VSM), Cornering Brake Control (CBC) and Straight-line Stability (SLS) and ISOFIX child-seat tether and anchor points in the rear window seats. 

Inside there’s an 8.0-inch ‘floating’ touchscreen infotainment system and a digital display in the driver’s instrument cluster.

The system features Bluetooth multi-connection, meaning users can pair up to two mobile devices at the same time – one for hands-free phone and media use, and the other for media use only.

It features both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard. 

New Picanto comes fully equipped with new over-the-air functionality, which delivers additional comfort for customers and will also save them time, as the navigation and infotainment systems are automatically kept up to date wirelessly. 

The Kia Connect app features a range of on-board services including live traffic information, weather forecasts, points of interest (POIs), and details of potential on- and off-street parking. Users can remotely send route directions to their car before a journey, check the location of their vehicle, and access vehicle reports and diagnostic notifications.

The Online Voice Recognition lets users search for POIs, addresses, or receive weather updates. A new ‘Online Navigation’ routing service uses cloud-based real-time and historical traffic data to predict time-efficient routes more accurately than ever before.

Australian features and pricing will be confirmed closer launch later in the year.


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