Nevertheless, the question now is, what has Kia done with the “enhanced” Picanto?
The multi award-winning Picanto already packs a serious punch in the A-segment with groovy styling to appeal to buyers across the spectrum and its excellent value proposition. In a nutshell, despite sticking to its winning recipe, Kia managed to create an improved model with only skin-deep cosmetic changes.
After a nip here and tuck there the Picanto emerged looking even sharper than before. From a personal point of view the most noticeable surgical procedure the little Kia has undergone is the revised back bumper, featuring a matte black lower edge, rising up at the sides to house reworked rear fog lamps.
From the front it gets interesting with more subtle changes. The new flatter bumper now features a singular large air intake. Compared to the pre-facelift model, which featured a smaller kidney-grille, the revised model showcases a new smoother and prominent tiger-nose grille.
The new lamp housing is also more refined with a square finish and daytime-running lights - a new feature on the Picanto - making sure the little Korean is visible at all times.
On the inside, the Picanto received minor tweaks to improve the overall perceived quality. A modernised fascia is now used to clad the audio system to create a splash of chic sophistication.
At the Vereeniging Karting Circuit, Kia allowed journalists to properly test the capabilities of the revised Picanto. In short, the little car is as capable on a Picanto-sized circuit as it is on the road with no mechanical difficulties, even after a morning of spirited fun.
The Picanto 1.0-litre LX retails for R136 995, while the meatier 1.2-litre EX sells for R149 995. For an additional R12 000 an automatic gearbox can be had on any of the models. Both models also come with a five-year/150 000km warranty as standard.