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Thread: 2017 Kia Picanto

  1. #91
    Super Grandmaster FiestaST's Avatar
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    Tested: Kia's 'grown up' Picanto 1.2 Smart

    Things move swiftly in the motoring world. It seems just the other day that touchscreen infotainment systems first began appearing in luxury cars, but in a short space of time they’ve filtered down into the budget segment.
    Now, just like in a grand Mercedes S-Class, in the new flagship Smart version of the Kia Picanto you can touch-operate your audio system on a large TFT screen which also comes with a reversing camera.

    The Bluetooth-equipped system has auxiliary and USB ports, voice recognition, and supports Android Auto (not yet available in SA) and Apple CarPlay for full smartphone integration.

    It’s a terrific toy to have in a market segment that was until recently about basic motoring, although this fully-loaded infotainment system is for now available only in the top-of-the-range Picanto Smart models; in the other more humble versions you get a humbler 10cm monochrome touchscreen audio system.

    Perhaps a more controversial omission in the lesser-priced Picantos is ABS brakes, a safety feature that should really be a basic prerequisite in every car.

    The entry-level Picanto Start models are also equipped with just a driver’s airbag while the rest of the range gets inflatable safety for both front seats. Some essential safety features, it seems, are taking a lot longer to filter down to mass-market cars than fancy audio systems.

    This aside, the third-generation Kia Picanto has grown into a generally fine example of mini motoring with improvements to its refinement, handling and space utilisation.

    At 3 595 mm the new Picanto’s the same length as before but a slightly stretched wheelbase and a longer rear overhang have freed up a little more cabin and boot space.

    At 6ft tall I fitted in the rear seat with my knees pressed not-too-tightly against the front seat, and headroom was fine too, while the angle of the rear backrest is slightly more reclined for a more relaxed posture.

    The boot’s also grown from 200 to 255 litres and incorporates a two-step floor that allows some items to be hidden under the floor from prying eyes, although it still gets a biscuit-sized spare wheel.

    Folding down the rear eats expands the cargo bay to a surprisingly roomy 1 010 litres.

    Additional space-optimising craftiness sees the base of the dashboard moved upwards for increased knee and leg room in the front seats, though the steering column’s still adjustable only for height, not reach.

    There’s added oddments space too including a new central armrest/storage compartment between the front seats.

    The new Picanto’s cabin adopts a richer-feeling vibe with new materials and layout, which raises the sense of perceived quality. Cloth-upholstered seats are available as standard, while high-spec models are fitted with two-tone black and grey leather seats.

    With prices ranging from R134995, the new 11-model Picanto range is available as before with a 1-litre petrol engine (49kW/95Nm) or a 1.2-litre (61kW/122Nm) and four different spec levels: Start, Street, Style and Smart.

    Both engines are paired with a five-speed manual transmission feeding the front wheels, with some versions also available with an optional four-speed automatic.

    On test here is the range- topping Kia Picanto 1.2 Smart manual selling for R195 995.

    If the pricetag doesn’t scare you off the car comes with every luxury you’d expect in a modern mini and then some.

    These include automatically-activating headlamps, LED daytime running lights, LED tail lights, trip computer, electrically-folding and heated side mirrors, aluminium pedals, two-tone cloth and leather upholstery, a leather-upholstered steering wheel and gear knob, and the abovementioned full colour infotainment system.

    It all gets moved along by a 1.2 engine that’s 4kW down on power on the old unit but gets 2Nm of extra torque.

    Together with an unthirsty 5.8 litres per 100km consumption our test car tootled about town with decent pace and wasn’t out of its depth on the open road.

    It holds the freeway speed limit comfortably but doesn’t have much quick-overtaking prowess.

    I’d be keen to see Kia’s new 74kW/127Nm 1-litre three-cylinder turbo under that bonnet, but for now that engine’s not destined for our market.

    Kia has used more sound deadening to reduce noise and vibration on the third-generation Picanto, and it’s all quite refined for a small car.

    The engine becomes more vocal when it’s worked harder but not irritatingly buzzy.

    Stiffer anti-roll bars tweak the handling and reduce body roll, and in conjunction with sharpened-up electric power steering the Picanto’s a nimble little thing that scoots about like an excited rodent.

    The ride quality is reasonably choppy however, despite the lengthened wheelbase, and I’ve driven some small cars that felt cushier.

    The clutch is also an odd-feeling thing with no gradual play; it’s like an on-off switch. However you get used to this pretty quickly.

    The price includes Kia’s 5-year/unlimited distance warranty and roadside assistance, and a service plan is optional.


    Kia’s likeable baby hatch has grown up into a more refined and feature-rich car, and the Picanto range has deservingly been chosen as one of the ten finalists in the 2018 WesBank South African Car of the Year competition.

    The fully-loaded Smart version’s R195 995 pricetag isn’t exactly in the budget league, but if you don’t need all the toys the 1.2 is also available in lesser-specced derivatives starting at a more wallet-friendly R150 995.


    Kia Picanto 1.2 Smart

    Engine: 1.2-litre, 4-cyl, petrol
    Gearbox: 5-speed manual
    Power: 61kW @ 6000rpm
    Torque: 122Nm @ 4000rpm
    Top speed (claimed): 170km/h
    Boot volume: 255 litres
    Price: R195 995
    Warranty: 5-year/unlimited km
    Service plan: Optional


    Kia Picanto 1.2 Smart 61kW/122Nm R195 995
    Chevrolet Spark 1.2 LT 60kW/108Nm R173 500
    Fiat Panda 0.9 TwinAir Lounge 63kW/145Nm R199 900
    Ford Figo 1.5 Titanium 82kW/136Nm R203 900
    Hyundai Grand i10 1.25 Motion 64kW/120Nm R186 900
    Suzuki Swift hatch 1.2 GL 63kW/113Nm R169 900
    VW Polo Vivo hatch 1.4 Trendline 63kW/132Nm R183 500

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  2. #92
    Super Grandmaster FiestaST's Avatar
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  3. #93
    Super Grandmaster FiestaST's Avatar
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    3 Reasons Why Kia Picanto 1.0 Style is #CarsAwards Finalist

    What makes the Kia Picanto 1.0 Style a strong contender in the Budget Car category of the 2017/18 Consumer Awards programme – powered by WesBank? Read on...

    Kia introduced the 3rd-generation Picanto earlier this year with a fresh, modern look and a newly designed interior. Not only is the new Picanto more refined than the model it replaces but its ride quality, interior material quality and practicality has improved too.

    3 reasons why the Picanto 1.0 Style is a #CarsAwards finalist…

    1. Attractive pricing and warranty

    The new Kia Picanto 1.0 Style is attractively priced at R159 995 while offering a comprehensive 5-year/unlimited km warranty. Service plans are, however, optional. Furthermore, Kia is well-established in South Africa with strong dealership support across the country and its latest products, including the Picanto, show the brand’s intentions to move upmarket and produce stylish vehicles, which means you get good value at this price point.

    2. Modern interior and fair specification

    The Picanto 1.0 Style offers nice-to-have features such as 14-inch alloy wheels, front electric windows, air conditioning, Bluetooth functionality, USB/Aux connectivity and a multifunction steering wheel that’s adjustable for rake and reach. The driver's seat is also adjustable for height. In terms of safety, a total of 2 airbags are fitted as well as featuring ABS with EBD. ISOfix child seat mounts are also fitted.

    3. Practical urban runabout

    With its improved practicality, the Picanto’s luggage bay is larger at 255 litres and includes a 2-step boot floor that can be lowered by 145 mm to access more space or to keep valuable items hidden out of sight. The rear seats are split in a 60:40 configuration and with the seats folded down, space increases to a useful 1 010 litres. Clever retractable cup holders and a movable armrest are also fitted.

    With its naturally-aspirated 1.0-litre engine offering 49 kW and 95 Nm of torque, fuel consumption is good with a claimed figure of 5.0 L/100km, making the Picanto a practical daily runner.

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