The mid-cycle update for the Kia Picanto brings with it the standard range of cosmetic enhancements and additional equipment. But mention must be made about the updated 1.0-litre petrol engines that have been heavily reworked to make them more fuel efficient. The Picanto now gets connected car technology and the option of an automated manual transmission.
Three years into its existence, the third-generation Kia Picanto has received a mid-cycle update to spruce up its appeal. All the ‘facelift’ basics are in place with a restyled front grille and headlamps that now get LED DRLs. The GT Line and X Line models get red or black inserts, respectively, in the new front grille while all models get new LED tail lamps. GT Line and X Line models also get new front and rear bumpers, the GT Line’s new front bumper gets wider air intakes, restyled fog lamps and gloss black inserts while the X Line gets a faux skid plate with X Line branding and the car gets lower body cladding all around.
But the real change for the updated Kia Picanto comes in the form of its updated engines. The 1.0-litre engines for the Picanto have seen significant updates. The performance-orientated three-pot 1.0-litre turbo petrol engine gets a new 350 bar fuel injection system to make it more efficient while the naturally aspirated 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine’s indirect fuel injection system has been replaced by a dual-port fuel injection system for more optimised injection timing, thereby bettering fuel efficiency. The engines feature optimised intake valve timing and improved exhaust gas recirculation systems, to make them as fuel efficient as possible. Both engines are equipped with a new integrated thermal management system for more effective combustion chamber cooling.
With the update, the Kia Picanto for the first time features AMT automatic variants alongside its five-speed manual counterpart.
When it comes to the interiors, much about the car remains the same, aside from a new UVO II infotainment system with an 8.0-inch screen, replacing the earlier 7.0-inch system. The new infotainment system features connected car technology that can be used to give drivers a range of information, such as traffic updates, weather forecasts, fuel prices, and details of potential on- and off-street parking - including price, location and availability and more. The UVO mobile phone app is available for both Apple and Android mobile devices, through which owners can send directions for travel to the infotainment system, before they enter the car, while also being able to remotely check the location of the car, etc. Needless to say, the new infotainment system features Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
To liven up the cabin, Kia is offering a range of interior colour packs that spruce up the cabin with various trim colour inserts available in the Red, Orange, Green and Lime colour pack options.
Kia has also updated the 2020 Picanto with its latest driver assistance systems that include forward collision-avoidance assist, blind spot assist, lane keeping assist, lane following assist, rear cross traffic assist and driver attention warning systems. High-end variants of the car feature the aforementioned safety features in addition to seven airbags. What is offered as standard are - straight line stability system, hill start assist, corner brake control, torque vectoring by braking and Kia’s vehicle stability management system.
"The Picanto is one of our best-selling models in several regions worldwide, and a particular favourite among European A-segment drivers. The upgrades to the model are designed to keep the Picanto one step ahead of its competitors thanks to its vibrant design and fun-driving attitude, combined with 'class-above' connectivity and safety technologies. We are confident the updated Picanto will further extend our market share in this highly competitive segment," said, Emilio Herrera, Chief Operating Officer for Kia Motors Europe.
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