Kia Picanto enters the crossover ring

Compact crossover cars are all the rage in today’s daily motoring, and with the Kia Picanto reinventing itself for this genre, clearly there’s no turning back for this popular segment of city cars.

The new Picanto has not entered the ring to make numbers but brings a determined fight to a fiercely competitive market with the new X-Line derivative in its new, wide range . So how does the new Picanto gets noticed in a busy market full of attractive contenders?

What Kia did is to keep the Picanto model affordable while it added plenty of attractive features to it. These include, from the front, an all-new radior grille between smart LED headlights and a pugnacious bumper.  The bodylines are a bit pumped up and yet smooth.

The cool crossover styling of the X-Line in the exterior is completed by 15-inch alloy wheels, while the baseline models get by on 14-inch wheels. But there’s more for the X-Line, in the form of the sunroof, that is if the customer wants it.

Interior

The Kia Picanto X-Line’s definition of cool is better felt inside, dominated by two-tone artificial leather upholstery, while the dash is held together by an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The screen also reflects the workings of the reverse camera. The radio experience is bolstered by  RDS and MP3 capability. The AUX and USB connector jacks are also standard, and so is Bluetooth connectivity. 

The power steering wheel is now standard, with an adjustable steering column, manual air-conditioning,

Performance

The new Picanto may look exciting with its aggressive crossover design but it still a small car. However, despite the 1.0-litre engines of the baselines derivatives (Smart and Street) and  1.2-litre for top-ranger models Style and  X-Line, the Picanto  gives  pretty decent performances for their size, and near-perfect performance.

The 1.0-litre 3-cylinder engine gives 49 kW and 95 Nm, with the option of 5-speed manual and 4-speed automatic gearboxes across the entire range. The 1.2-litre engine models not too shabby with 61 kW and 122 Nm performance turnover,  either with a 5-speed manual gearbox or a 4-speed automatic transmission.

Prices

Picanto 1.0 Manual START                              R187 995

Picanto 1.0 Automatic START                        R201 995

Picanto 1.0 Manual STREET                            R201 995

Picanto 1.0 Automatic STREET                       R215 995

Picanto 1.0 Manual STREET                            R211 995

Picanto 1.0 Automatic STYLE                         R225 995

Picanto 1.2 Manual STYLE                              R210 995

Picanto 1.2 Automatic STYLE                         R224 995

Picanto 1.2 Manual STYLE                              R220 995

Picanto 1.2 Automatic STYLE                        R234 995

Picanto 1.2 Manual X-Line                            R237 995

Picanto 1.2 Automatic X-Line                      R251 995

Picanto 1.0 Manual Runner                          R207 995

All Picanto models feature an Unlimited Kilometre, 5-year warranty (inclusive of Roadside Assistance), as well as a prepaid 2-year / 30,000km service plan.

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