Small on the outside, big on the inside.
Now in its third generation, Kia’s pint-sized car has a lot of competition to face coming from the likes of VAG’s up!/Citigo/Mii trio and PSA’s C1/108 twins. The Picanto does have the edge over its rivals when it comes to the trunk’s capacity: a best-in-class 255 liters, prompting Kia to say no other car in the A-segment can match it, let alone surpass it.
Lots of improvements have been made compared to the previous generation, starting with the more youthful exterior design enhanced by the new range-topping GT Line version currently under the glamorous spotlight of the 2017 Geneva Motor Show. Not only that, but the South Koreans have also boosted refinement on the inside by lowering the noise, vibration, and harshness (NVH) levels thanks to the use of 100% more high-strength steel than its predecessor. As a matter of fact, Kia says the new Picanto is the quietest model (at 39 dB) in its class at idle.
Kia is proud to point out the 2017 Picanto is the first car in its class to come with an autonomous emergency braking system, which as the name implies will automatically apply the brakes in case of an imminent collision in order to lower the risks of injuries.
At the heart of the Picanto’s interior is the new seven-inch touchscreen for the infotainment system featuring support for both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The city car is roomier than before thanks to a generous 15-milimeter (0.6-inch) stretch of the wheelbase even though the overall length has not increased over its predecessor. This was possible by pushing the wheels further out to the corners and by shortening the front overhang.
As for the oily bits, the naturally aspirated 1.0- and 1.25-liter gasoline engines have been carried over from the old model. Beginning with the fourth quarter of the year, buyers will be able to order the new Picanto with a turbocharged three-cylinder 1.0-liter engine developing 100 horsepower (74 kilowatts) and 172 Newton-meters of torque (127 pound-feet) of torque. All three engines are hooked up to a five-speed manual gearbox sending power to the front wheels, while the 1.25-liter can be optionally linked to a four-speed automatic.
Kia will kick off sales of the new Picanto in Europe from the second quarter of the year.