After driving the current generation Kia Picanto, our respect for the A-segment hatch was firmly established. Not only does it look stylish in its current form, but it covers all the bases of what you need in a car. When news of a new Picanto hit the grapevine, naturally, it had our full attention. Here's what you can look forward to.

New design

As mentioned, the current design in X-Line trim is something to look at, however, this time around the Koreans have dialled it up with the upcoming Kia Picanto. Based on these still images, it looks like a mini space shuttle in the range-topping GT-line trim. Having borrowed some design cues from the stunning Kia Sportage SUV, the Picanto will be up to date with the brand's latest design DNA. Naturally, the signature Kia 'tiger nose' takes its place on the grille, with a new set of headlights with LED lamps as an option on either side. The Picanto will be sold in different trims with varying wheel sizes; from a standard 14-inch wheel to a larger, snug-fitting 16-inch option in the GT-line.




Fittingly, the Picanto has always utilised small-capacity engines and that recipe will remain unchanged for the foreseeable future. When vehicles like the Mercedes-Benz C63 are reduced to a 2.0 litre 4-cylinder motor, there's no hope for a little Kia Picanto

You can expect two engine derivatives in the upcoming version, a 1.0 litre and a 1.2 litre petrol. The former is said to be the more efficient one, although we suspect that both would be very fuel efficient in the greater scheme of things. Both engines will be available with either a manual or Automated Manual Transmission (AMT).


 Meanwhile, you can look forward to features like Online Voice recognition for inputting destinations and addresses through the Kia Connect system, which also gives you live traffic and weather updates. The above will be displayed through an 8-inch floating touch-infotainment screen that supports smartphone pairing apps for Apple and Android.

On the safety front, depending on the region, the new Kia Picanto will have Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist, a feature which can detect everything from pedestrians to other vehicles and cyclists. Lane Keep Assist will be on board, as well as a function that can detect the speed limit and road signs. For parents with small children, you'll be glad to know that ISOFIX child-seat anchors are included, as well as sensors that detect if a seatbelt is removed in the back.

We may not get all of these features in the South African spec Kia Picanto, that decision is still to be made by those on the topmost floor. We should get an update from Kia South Africa on the exact spec and features in due course. As things stand, no local launch date has been confirmed for the upcoming Picanto, but as soon as we have word, you'll be the first to know.


Gugu Masuku - Proudly ATM