Kia updates Picanto with new engines, tech and styling
5 June 2020 - Autocar
2020 Picanto also benefits from automated manual option and greater personalisation features
The Volkswagen Up rival comes with a total of three new powertrains. Although the size and power outputs are broadly identical, they are all the latest-generation 'Smartstream' units aimed at boosting efficiency.
Two naturally aspirated petrol engines (a 66bhp 1.0-litre unit and an 83bhp 1.2) start the range, switching from multi-port injection to dual-port fuel injection. This, alongside improved exhaust gas recirculation lines, optimised intake valve timing and improved thermal management, is said to make them more efficient.
Topping the line-up once again is a 99bhp turbocharged 1.0-litre engine, featuring a new 350bar high-pressure injection system alongside improved cooling. The Picanto can also be had with a new five-speed automated manual gearbox, claiming to offer the convenience of a normal automatic 'box combined with reduced fuel consumption and cost. Efficiency figures for the new units have yet to be revealed.
Exterior changes are focused on the sporty GT-Line and rugged-looking X-Line models. These feature refreshed bumpers, redesigned front lights and LED rear lights, plus bespoke versions of the Picanto's 'tiger nose' grille. The rest of the range benefits from new colours and alloy wheel choices.
The previous Picanto's 7.0in infotainment touchscreen has now been replaced with an 8.0in item. With Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard, it can also pair with two different Bluetooth devices at the same time. The system features the latest version of Kia's UVO telematics, alongside an upgraded app-based system for a range of live, web-based functions. For example, users can check the location of the car and send route directions to the sat-nav system via their phone.
Th interior also benefits from a range of bright colour packs and new upholstery options to liven it up. Additional safety kit available includes automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blindspot monitoring, lane-keeping assistance and a driver attention warning.
Prices for the updated Picanto have yet to be revealed. It will go on sale across Europe in the third quarter of 2020.