The third-generation Picanto will be presented in European specification at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show this coming March. Kia has unveiled the third-generation Picanto city car to take on the new Holden Spark. Now in its third generation, the Picanto has adopted more sporty styling inspired by Kia’s potent Ceed GT and Pro Ceed GT models.
The profile borrows much from the larger Rio, with a simple and subtle look, while the rear of the new Picanto will build on its predecessor’s hooked tail-light design. In GT-Line form, the 2017 Kia Picanto boasts a sporty chromatic identity and a body kit inspired by hot hatchbacks.
The interior exhibits a vibrant design dominated by oval-shaped outer air vents, a neatly integrated touchscreen-based infotainment system, and two-tone part-leather seats. Leather (or perhaps synthetic hide) adorns much of the furnishings including seats, steering wheel, door arm rests and gear gaiter complete with red flashes or stitching.
The interior changes are headlined by a new young audience-targeting central touchscreen which appears to offer access to a number of services including navigation, while the surrounding hardware has been modernized with a symmetrical look and digital control panel.
The main changes will mostly be seen up front where the firm’s latest signature ‘tiger’ grille will be found flanked by new headlight clusters with bold LED daytime running lights. Regarding technology and safety, the highlights come in the form of a more rigid chassis and body, Torque Vectoring Brake Based , Autonomous Emergency Brake, and a knee airbag for the driver.
The theme continues into the cabin, where the Picanto will feature a Rio-like ‘floating’ look for its main display screen – still a popular trend across the market. The Picanto has a 15mm longer wheelbase compared with the current model.The GT Line model features a bright red trim piece from almost every angle.
The replacement Picanto is expected to use heavily revised versions of the existing 1.0-litre and 1.25-litre petrol engines. Kia’s excellent 1.0-litre turbocharged, three-cylinder engine used in the Cee’d may also be a possibility, but whether Kia decides to fit the 98hp variant into the Picanto is yet to be confirmed.
Power for the new Kia Picanto is likely to come from the same 65bhp 1.0-litre three-cylinder and 85bhp 1.25-litre four-cylinder engines, while low emissions and strong fuel economy will give the newcomer a fighting chance in the hard-fought city car class.