The all-new Kia Picanto city car has been revealed for the first time in Europe, ahead of its public debut at the 2017 Geneva International Motor Show in March.
Now in its third-generation, the new Kia Picanto brings a youthful and energetic design, an entirely new powertrain option, improved build quality and a high-tech new cabin and that also offers buyers greater potential for customisation.
Crucially, Kia claim the Picanto is now quieter, adopt a more spacious cabin, with the largest cargo capacity in its class. The Picanto also embraces the increasing trend towards five-door models in the A-segment, and hence, the three-door model will be discontinued for the third generation car.
For the first time, Kia will also offer the Picanto in a new ‘GT-Line’ specification, in line with company’s more premium products such as the Optima GT, in European and North American markets.
Despite maintaining its on-road footprint, the new platform boasts a longer wheelbase and longer rear overhang, and a 25mm shorter front overhang, at 675mm – this has freed up more space in the cabin and boot. The longer rear overhang means the boot has grown from 200 litres (VDA) to a maximum 255 litres now.
Essentially, the wheels have been pushed further out towards the corners of the car; the Picanto now measures 1,485 mm in height, 3,595 mm length and 1,595 mm width, the wheelbase has been stretched to 2400mm, up by 15mm.
Three gasoline engines will be available to buyers. The 1.0-litre (67PS and 96 Nm) and 1.25-litre (84PS and 122 Nm) 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 gasoline performance in the Picanto for the first time ever. The 1.0-litre T-GDI engine features a single-scroll turbocharger for instant acceleration, as well as an integrated exhaust manifold, and a high-pressure (200 bar) fuel supply to produce 100PS and 172 Nm of torque.
All engines are paired with a five-speed manual transmission, while a four-speed auto will complement the 1.25-litre MPI models, delivering power to the front wheels.
On the inside, Kia’s designers strived to create a modern cabin, the focal point being the 7.0-inch ‘floating’ infotainment touchscreen in the centre of the dashboard; which houses a navigation system with 3D map, and is available with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for full smartphone integration.
Black and grey cloth seats are available as standard, but now, buyers can also personalise their new Picanto with one of five optional colour packs, featuring contrast artificial leather upholstery and stitching.
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. The exterior of the Picanto will be complemented by new projection headlamps with LED indicators and LED daytime running lights, a shark-fin antenna will feature in the near future.
In the ride and handling department, Kia have improved the MacPherson front and torsion beam rear for more stability and comfort. The Picanto’s anti-roll bars are 2% stiffer and mounted slightly lower at the front, and 5% stiffer and slightly higher at the rear. A new steering with new steering ratios (16.5:1 to 14.3:1) has been quickened steering by 13% over the outgoing Picanto, reduced the lock-to-lock turns, from 3.4 turns to 2.8 turns now.
Kia have also paid attention to the safety of the car – now featuring double the proportion of Advanced High Strength Steel (AHSS) compared to the outgoing model; 44% of the new Picanto’s bodyshell is cast in AHSS (up from 22%), reducing body-in-white weight by 23 kg while improving tensile strength by 12%.
The new Picanto is the safest A-segment car Kia has ever made, featuring double the proportion of Advanced High Strength Steel (AHSS) compared to the outgoing model and a selection of active safety technologies. Now, 44% of the new Picanto’s bodyshell is cast in AHSS (up from 22%), reducing body-in-white weight by 23 kg while improving tensile strength by 12%.
The safety suite includes six-airbags (front, front side and curtain airbags) as standard, and an optional knee airbag, as well as a range of active safety features. These include standard Vehicle Stability Management (VSM) with Electronic Stability Control (ESC). Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) will also be offered as an option.
The all-new Picanto will go on sale across Europe from the start of Q2 2017. Following on earlier reports, the all-new Kia Picanto could make its Malaysian debut in 2017 as well.