Now in its third-generation, the new Kia Picanto brings a new, more youthful and energetic character to the A-segment. Boasting an assertive new design and a high-quality, high-tech new cabin, the latest model also offers buyers greater potential for customisation and promises to be the most versatile car in its class.
The new Picanto will be powered by one of three petrol engines, including Kia’s new 1.0-litre turbocharged gasoline direct injection (T-GDI) power unit. When the new 1.0-litre T-GDI engine goes on sale during Q4 2017, it will be the most powerful engine ever offered in the Picanto, and the first time this car has offered a turbocharged petrol engine.
The all-new Picanto has been created by Kia’s design centres in Namyang, Korea and Frankfurt, Germany, collaborating to design a youthful, energetic look.
Briefed to produce an innovative, bold and fun-looking urban city car, designers have followed up on the mandate to full effect, giving the new Picanto a more assertive stance with bolder body lines.
With the wheelbase extended to 2,400 mm (an increase of 15 mm), the wheels have been pushed further out to the corners of the car for a 25 mm shorter front overhang, making the car look more planted on the road. Strong, straight lines run horizontally across the front of the car, emphasising the ‘tiger-nose’ grille and angular new wrap-around headlights. Vertical lines that encompass the side intakes and lower grille enhance the Picanto’s more confident new ‘face’.
In profile, the new Picanto is characterised by distinctive lines running along the side skirts, shoulder and around the wheel arches, and subtly-sculpted body surfacing – again, each helping to create a more confident on-road design and visually ‘stretching’ the car for a greater sense of ride stability – although the Picanto is no longer than the outgoing model, at 3,595 mm in length.
The new model adopts Kia’s wide C-pillar as a design motif, which stands more upright than that of the previous model. Combined with a longer rear overhang – up 10 mm, to 520 mm – for a more assured posture.
The all-new Picanto will offers buyers greater potential for customisation than ever before, with a choice of 11 vibrant paint finishes designed to make the car stand out. Among the six new colours available to buyers is ‘Lime Light’, ‘Shiny Red’, ‘Aurora Black’ ‘Pop Orange’, ‘Sparkling Silver’ and ‘Celestial Blue’ pearlescent metallic paint finishes. The Picanto is fitted with 14-inch steel wheels in its most basic form, and customers can select one of four aluminium alloy wheel designs, ranging from 14-inch to 16-inch in diameter.
The exterior of the Picanto is also complemented by new projection headlights with LED indicators and LED daytime running lights and from Q3 2017, a subtle shark-fin antenna on the roof to replace the existing aerial.
For the first time, Kia will also offer the Picanto in a new ‘GT-Line’ specification, inspired by the sportier appearance of the company’s higher-performance ‘GT’ models, such as the Optima GT. In GT-Line specification, the exterior of the new Picanto is completed with red, silver and black highlights in the grille, side intakes, along the side skirts and in the rear valance, as well as chrome-tipped twin exhausts.
Inside the new Picanto, Kia designers have created a more modern, refined cabin than the second-generation model, with new materials and layout adding a greater sense of quality for occupants. The predominantly horizontal design adds greater visual width to the interior, highlighting the increased cabin dimensions.
The dashboard layout is now more centrally aligned, with a large 7.0-inch ‘floating’ touchscreen HMI (human-machine interface) sitting at the heart of the centre console and moving many of the car’s controls further up into the driver’s line of sight. A satin chrome-effect strip runs across the dashboard for a higher quality ambience, and large, vertical air vents at either end ‘bookend’ the front passenger compartment.
Customisation is key to the appeal of the new Picanto’s cabin. While black and grey cloth seats are available as standard, buyers can also personalise their new Picanto with one of five optional colour packs, featuring contrast artificial leather upholstery and stitching. Available at launch, these colour packs are:
High Gloss Black – a combination of black, grey and white upholstery with white stitching (and available with a black or grey base colour)
Brown – brown seats with light blue flashes down the side and light blue stitching
Blue – navy and true blue artificial leather and cloth upholstery with white and orange stitching
Red – black and grey seats with red flashes and red stitching
Lime – grey and light grey upholstery with lime green stitching
The contrast colours of the seats can be paired with optional new colour pads on the door armrests, echoing the contrast scheme selected for the seats. Finally, the Picanto’s new GT-Line derivative will be equipped with a D-cut steering wheel. The interior of the GT-Line model will be available with the full range of colour packs.
Underpinning the all-new Picanto’s quicker, more responsive steering is a range of highly efficient small-capacity petrol engines. Serving to minimise the weight over the front axle, the downsized engine line-up also delivers the sprightly acceleration and immediate powertrain responses that customers expect of an urban car.
Three petrol engines will be available to buyers. The 1.0-litre and 1.25-litre naturally-aspirated multi-point injection (MPI) engines have been carried over from the outgoing Picanto, with a range of enhancements to improve efficiency and driveability. From Q4 2017, Kia’s new 1.0-litre T-GDI (turbocharged gasoline direct injection) power unit will also be available, offering turbocharged petrol performance in the Picanto for the first time ever. All engines are paired with a five-speed manual transmission, delivering power to the front wheels. Idle Stop & Go is available on certain manual models, while the 1.25-litre MPI engine is also available with a four-speed automatic transmission.
The 1.0-litre MPI engine provides the entry point into the Picanto range, producing 67 ps at 5,500 rpm and 96 Nm torque. The most fuel efficient engine available to Picanto buyers, the 1.0-litre unit is capable of producing just 89 g/km of carbon dioxide (four-seat model; New European Drive Cycle, combined), down from 95 g/km on the outgoing model (a 6.3 per cent reduction). Upgrades to the engine include a new exhaust manifold integrated into the cylinder head, and a new cooling system with shut-off valve, reducing the time it takes the engine to warm-up from a cold start. A new two-stage oil pump also reduces mechanical friction.
The mid-range 1.25-litre MPI produces peak power of 84 ps, and 122 Nm of torque. Picanto models with this engine will emit 104 g/km of CO2on the combined cycle, compared with 106 g/km for the existing Picanto. For its application in the new Picanto, Kia engineers have optimized the valve timing of the engine’s dual CVVT (continuously-variable valve timing) system, and have also adopted a similar new cooling system and shut-off valve to the 1.0-litre MPI engine. New low-friction coated piston rings also help to reduce cylinder friction for greater efficiency.
The 1.0-litre T-GDI engine, available in the Picanto for the first time, produces 100 ps and 172 Nm torque, the highest power and torque outputs ever offered in Kia’s A-segment model. The engine features a single-scroll turbocharger for instant acceleration, as well as an integrated exhaust manifold and a high-pressure (200 bar) fuel supply. Laser-drilled injectors deliver precise quantities of fuel into the cylinders to accurately control combustion, delivering instantaneous accelerative responses and contributing to the engine’s high efficiency and low fuel consumption.
On sale in Europe from the start of Q2 2017