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  • Refreshed design for all models, including GT-Line and X-Line variants

  • A vibrant character: new interior colour customisation options available

  • Advanced safety features include Lane Following Assist and Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist

Kia Motors has made substantial upgrades to its smallest model, the Picanto, which is due to go on sale in select MEA markets during the third quarter of 2020. Offering a range of new safety and telematics technologies often reserved for larger, more expensive vehicles, the upgraded model also boasts lower emissions from newly reengineered powertrains, as well as striking design updates, inside and out.

The upgraded Picanto brings with it a suite of advanced safety technology from Kia’s larger cars, making it among the safest cars in its class. Enhancements to the Picanto’s gasoline powertrain line-up include Kia’s optional new Automated Manual Transmission (AMT) for a smoother drive.

Mr. Yaser Shabsogh, Chief Operating Officer, Regional HQs, Middle East & Africa, said, “The newly improved Kia Picanto marks a big upgrade to one of our most important models. Equipped with new integrated technologies, advanced safety features, and a fierce, refreshed design, the latest model boasts safety, value, comfort, and style in abundance. It may be small, but the Picanto packs plenty in to delight motorists wanting a city car with real zest.”

Refreshed exterior design with a distinct new look for GT-Line and X-Line models

The Picanto line up arrives with an eye-catching new exterior design, with significant updates made to the sporty GT-Line and SUV-inspired X-Line models in particular. The result is a refreshed and more distinctive appearance.

The ‘face’ of both the GT-Line and X-Line Picanto models has been revised to give each car a more purposeful design. This starts with the ‘tiger-nose’ grille, which features a new textured surround and open-link appearance. The chrome-effect surround forms a sweeping shape which extends into the lower part of the redesigned headlamps, and gives the car a wider, more stable aesthetic. Each side of the ‘tiger-nose’ grille features a red highlight on GT-Line models, or more technical black trim on the X-Line models which resemble air intakes.

Both versions of the car now feature redesigned headlights and four-bulb LED daytime running lights. At the rear, the car also features a new LED rear combination lamp design and a slimmer fog light design, creating a more recognisable rear light signature at the same time.

The GT-Line and X-Line models feature revised front and rear bumper designs with sharper creases in the bodywork for a more contemporary appearance. The changes create a more rugged, robust-looking design for X-Line models and, for GT-Line models, an appearance which visually links the car to higher-performance GT models in Kia’s range. A larger, wider air intake in the lower bumper is accented by the GT-Line’s body-coloured bumper with gloss black highlights, and jewel-like fog lamps. X-Line models echo the appearance of SUV protective skid plates, with metal-effect trim bearing the X-Line logo, and a gloss black surround which extends from the front grille into the wheel arch surrounds at the side of the car.

The upgraded Picanto offers buyers greater potential for customisation, with a choice of 10 vibrant paint finishes to choose from. Two new aluminium alloy wheel designs are also available to strengthen the Picanto’s sporty character: a 16-spoke, 14-inch design, or a two-tone diamond-cut 16-inch wheel.

Improved infotainment screens and new interior customisation options

Inside, the Picanto features a series of visual and technological upgrades centred around a larger 8.0-inch ‘floating’ widescreen audio visual navigation (AVN) system (see ‘Infotainment’ for more details), as well as a high-resolution 4.2-inch digital display in the driver’s instrument cluster.

Depending on trim level and market, the Picanto’s cabin is offered with black cloth or synthetic leather seats. The upgraded model is also finished with a range of new upholstery textures for a more modern, higher quality look and feel. The interior is finished with black, silver or gloss black highlights on the door, on the dashboard, and around the gear selector.

The upgraded Picanto is also available in a range of trendy interior colour packs to allow customers to customise the cabin depending on vehicle specification and market.

The Lime Pack features a black single-tone interior with lime contrast stitching and white seat bolsters, silver metal painted transmission and air vent surrounds, and silver-and-lime accents in the doors. Models equipped with the Orange Pack feature a black single-tone interior with orange stitching and cabin highlights, and black-and-orange door accents. Red Pack models are finished in black upholstery with red seat bolsters, as well as gloss black highlights and red-and-black door accents. Finally, the Green Pack offers green highlights throughout the cabin and silver-and-green door accents, as well as stylish denim-effect seat upholstery.

New ‘Smartstream’ engine innovations increase efficiency

The upgraded Picanto will be available in select MEA markets with three new ‘Smartstream’ gasoline engines, each maximising efficiency and lowering CO2 emissions compared to their predecessors. The engine line-up features a 1.0-litre T-GDi (turbocharged gasoline direct injection) engine producing 100 ps, or a pair of naturally aspirated 1.0-litre or 1.2-litre DPFI (dual-port fuel injection) engines, producing 67 ps and 84 ps, respectively.

Among other innovations, the 1.0-litre T-GDi engine features a more efficient 350 bar high-pressure fuel injection system. Meanwhile, the two naturally aspirated engines replace multi-point injection with new dual-port fuel injection technology, with optimised injection timing for maximum fuel efficiency. These features improve exhaust gas recirculation lines and optimise intake valve timing for maximum fuel efficiency.

All three engines are equipped with a new Integrated Thermal Management System (ITMS), which provides more effective combustion chamber cooling. ITMS varies the engine cooling characteristics based on the engine’s operating point.

The modernised Picanto is also the first model to be equipped with Kia’s new Automated Manual Transmission (AMT). AMT is based on a five-speed manual transmission with clutch and gear shift actuators to automate clutch operation and gear shifts. Using a single dry clutch, the AMT is a cost-effective option for customers who favour the convenience and ease of an automatic transmission, without sacrificing the fuel efficiency of a conventional manual transmission.


The Picanto features a larger 8.0-inch ‘floating’ touchscreen navigation system, replacing the earlier 7.0-inch system. It also offers Bluetooth multi-connection, enabling users to pair up to two mobile devices at the same time – one for hands-free phone and media use; the other for media use only. The system features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard.

Wide range of new ADAS, safety and convenience technologies available

The newest Picanto features several of Kia’s latest Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), and a range of new active safety systems to enhance occupant welfare, making it one of the safest cars in its class.

Depending on specification, the Picanto’s new ADAS range includes Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA) with vehicle and pedestrian detection. Additionally, the Picanto is available with Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist (BCA), Lane Keeping Assist (LKA), Driver Attention Warning (DAW), and Lane Following Assist (LFA).

LFA uses the front-facing camera and sensors to monitor road markings, controlling the Picanto’s steering and keeping the car in the centre of its lane. The new model also features Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist (RCCA) which alerts the driver and stops the vehicle if it detects another vehicle approaching from the left or right when reversing out of a parking space.

The Picanto is equipped with an Emergency Stop Signal (ESS), which automatically flashes the hazard warning lights to alert the car behind if the driver has to brake suddenly. Hill-start Assist Control (HAC) holds the car on the brake to ensure the car moves away smoothly from a hill start.

The updated model is also equipped with Kia’s Vehicle Stability Management (VSM), Torque Vectoring by Braking, Cornering Brake Control (CBC) and Straight-line Stability (SLS) systems as standard, helping drivers maintain control when braking and cornering.

The newest Kia Picanto is fitted with up to seven airbags throughout the cabin, including a driver’s knee airbag, depending on specification and market. It also features ISOFIX child-seat tether and anchor points.


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