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Kia Picanto gets a new grille


THE Kia Picanto has been with us for nearly three years and was due for an update, which it has now received. The car has been a bit of a revelation for the Korean brand as it added to its predecessor’s solid reputation for reliability and frugality by throwing style and desirability into the mix.

Exterior update

The little city slicker has received a mild exterior update which includes a revised “tiger nose” grille and a restyled front bumper. The new grille is slightly larger, and features a silver-painted bezel. The nose on the range-topping EX model also features red bordering to separate the bezel from the black mesh grille.

The new bumper incorporates a smaller kidney grille separated from the lower air intake, which is now narrower and positioned lower. The fog lamps are larger, as are the integrated fog lamp housings. The 1.0 LX features 14-inch steel wheels with wheel covers, while the 1.2 EX features 14-inch alloys.


The same Kia Kappa engines do duty in the Picanto, starting with the 998cc three-cylinder unit with 51kW/94Nm of torque in the 1.0 LX. The beefier four-cylinder in the 1.2 EX produces 65kW/120Nm of torque. Both engines are mated to a five-speed manual transmission and a four-speed automatic transmission is also available.

The Picanto’s high quality interior has reflected the range’s newfound maturity since its début in 2011, and this remains one of the Picanto’s major selling points. Major controls are arranged in an attractive, easy-to-use layout, while the thick-rimmed, uniquely designed, two-spoke steering wheel and the signature Kia “three-cylinder” instrument cluster continues to reflect the consistency with which Kia’s new design philosophy is being used throughout the brand’s product line-up.


Features available on both models include manual air conditioning, an under-floor trunk storage box, retractable dual cup holders and sun visors with vanity mirrors, as well as AUX/iPod/USB connections for the radio/CD player with MP3 compatibility (the EX also sports steering wheel-mounted controls and hands-free Bluetooth.


The 1.0 LX and 1.2 EX boast driver and passenger airbags. ABS is standard on the 1.2 EX, as is an Emergency Stop Signal (ESS) system and Isofix child seat anchors.

All derivatives ship as standard with a five-year/100 000km warranty, while a two-year/45 000km optional service plan is available as an optional extra.



Picanto 1.0 LX R130 995
Picanto 1.0 LX auto R142 995
Picanto 1.2 EX R140 995
Picanto 1.2 EX auto R152 995


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