Kia Motors has just broke the covers for the all-new Picanto ahead of its global debut at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show. The brand’s global best-selling compact hatch now features a more aggressive styling, a new engine and an array of safety features including autonomous braking.
Getting its styling cues from the larger sibling Rio, the third-generation Picanto, codename JA, is the product of a joint effort from Kia’s design centres in Korea and Germany. Bearing the name of Kia Morning in its home country, this A-segment hatch has grown 15 mm in wheelbase to 2,400 mm and sit 5 mm lower at 1,485 mm while the length and width equals the predecessor at 3,595 mm and 1,595 mm respectively. Despite that, Kia claims the Picanto now offers better headroom, shoulder room and legroom. Boot space has also grown marginally to 255 litres (previously 200 litres).
Like its other siblings in the Kia line-up, the Picanto wears a much more aggressive tiger nose grille that connects the headlamps. Noticeably, the headlamps are of a new design with U-shaped LED daytime running lights. The front bumper is also significantly revised to give the small car better presence. The rear profile is familiar to the previous generation Picanto with more curves. Although it is to note that the Picanto depicted here wears the GT Line trim which adds cosmetic bits for a more aggressive appearance such as the red accents, rear diffuser and twin exhaust outlets.
As expected of Kia, the interior puts many cars above its class and segment to shame. At a glance, the steering wheels are now of a three-spoke design while the infotainment system floats on the centre dash. Other premium touches to the interior include a centre armrest, brushed aluminium trims as well as a leather gear leaver housing. The new Picanto’s infotainment is available with Apple CarPlay, reverse camera with guide lines and Kia T map service which optimises your smartphone’s navigation app to the infotainment screen via MirrorLink.
Back in Korea, the Kia Picanto is offered with an all-new 1.0-litre Kappa Eco-prime three-cylinder petrol engine which produces 75 hp and 95 Nm of torque. Transmission options have yet to be revealed to the public but the 1.0-litre three-cylinder mill is claimed to be able to return 15.4 km per litre or 6.5 litre per 100 km. However, it remains to be seen if the current 1.25-litre four-cylinder with 87 hp and 120 Nm will resume duties.
Based on Kia’s next-gen small vehicle platform, it uses 44 percent of advanced high tensile steel, twice the amount of the previous Picanto. This dramatically increases structural rigidity. Getting into an accident is the least of your problems, because it comes with Vehicle Stability Management with Torque Vectoring Brake Based (TVBB) which applies braking force to the inner wheel and more power to the outer wheels to keep the car under control.
There’s also Straight Line Stability (SLS) that helps the car brake in a straight line under heavy braking. Other than that it also comes with Forward Collision Warning System (FCWS) which warns the driver of a collision risk and Emergency Brake Assist System (AEB). Up to seven airbags can be had with the Picanto, including hill-start assist, seat belt pretensioner as well as tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS).
For such a puny little car, the amount of kit it boasts is more than what you could ask for in a typical, modern city car. Locally, the second-generation Picanto is on sale for below RM60k. We can’t wait to see what it will be priced and specced like when the new Picanto arrives on our shores.