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Upgraded Kia Picanto: A distinctive new design with 'class-above' technologies

Kia Motors has made substantial upgrades to its smallest model, the Picanto, due on-sale in Europe 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, and 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.

It also offers Kia’s new ‘Phase II’ UVO Connect telematics technologies, enhancing vehicle connectivity and control to take the stress out of journeys. Enhancements to the Picanto’s petrol powertrain line-up include Kia’s optional new Automated Manual Transmission (AMT) for a smoother drive.

Emilio Herrera, Chief Operating Officer for Kia Motors Europe, commented: “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.”

The upgraded Picanto will offer Kia’s industry-leading 7-Year, 100,000-mile warranty as standard when sales commence in Q3 2020. UK specification, on-sale date and pricing will be announced in due course.

Improved infotainment screens and new 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, and 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, with the upgraded model finished with a range of new upholstery textures for a more contemporary, higher quality look and feel. The cabin is finished with black, silver or gloss black highlights in the door, on the dashboard and around the gear selector.

The upgraded Picanto is also available with a range of trendy interior colour packs to enhance customers’ ability to customise the cabin of their car, 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’ engines innovations increase efficiency

The upgraded Picanto is available in Europe with two new ‘Smartstream’ petrol 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, and a naturally-aspirated 1.0-litre engine, producing 67 ps.

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

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

The updated Picanto is the first model equipped with Kia’s new Automated Manual Transmission (AMT). The AMT is based around 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-use of an automatic transmission, without sacrificing the fuel efficiency of a conventional manual transmission.

Kia will announce emissions and efficiency data for the upgraded Picanto’s powertrains closer to the car’s European on-sale date.

UVO Connect ‘Phase II’ telematics with an upgraded touchscreen

The Picanto features a larger 8.0-inch ‘floating’ touchscreen satellite navigation system, replacing the earlier 7.0-inch system. It also features 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.

Offering Kia’s UVO system, the Picanto gives drivers access to live traffic information, weather forecasts, points of interest, fuel prices, and details of potential on- and off-street parking – including price, location and availability. The UVO App, compatible with Android and Apple smartphones, enables owners to activate a range of functions and features remotely. Depending on country, users can remotely send route directions to their car before a journey, check the location of their vehicle, and access vehicle reports and diagnostic notifications.

Furthermore, the Picanto will be one of the first Kia models to offer the brand’s latest ‘Phase II’ UVO Connect telematics features, providing owners with several new benefits to enhance their user experience, on-board and via Kia’s UVO smartphone app. Kia will reveal more details of UVO Connect ‘Phase II’ technologies before sales of the new model commence.

Wide range of new ADAS, safety and convenience technologies available

The upgraded Picanto features several of Kia’s latest Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), and a range of new active safety systems to enhance occupant safety, 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 to keep the car in the centre of its lane. The Picanto 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 the 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 Picanto 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 under braking and cornering.

The updated 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.

On sale: updated Picanto arrives in Europe in the third quarter of 2020

The updated Kia Picanto will go on sale across Europe in the third quarter of 2020, with the company’s unique 7-Year, 100,000-mile warranty as standard. UK specification, on-sale date and pricing will be announced in due course.