Facelifted Kia Picanto getting ready to ship out to Europe

By CARSIFU | 5 June 2020

SEOUL: Kia Motors has made substantial upgrades to its smallest model and yes...the little Picanto is getting a facelift and its first stop will be Europe in the third quarter with its refreshed GT-Line and the sports utility vehicle-inspired X-Line model variants.

The updated Picanto is touted by the South Korean carmaker to play host to new safety and telematics technologies often found in larger and costlier vehicles while having lower emissions and sporting updates to its interior and exterior.

The Picanto will be fitted with the company's ‘Phase II’ UVO Connect telematics technologies to help enhance the vehicle's connectivity and control.

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Kia's UVO eServices is a subscription-free infotainment and telematics system that allows users to make hands-free calls on their smartphone, stream music, navigate to a location and perform vehicle diagnostics via voice commands.

As an added option, the Picanto can be had with a new Automated Manual Transmission (AMT) which means no clutch-work for drivers when changing gears

At the front of the GT-Line and X-Line variants, the "Tiger-Nose" grille now features a new textured surround and open-link appearance with a chrome-effect surround that forms a sweeping shape extending into the lower part of the redesigned headlamps to give the car a wider stance.

Each side of the grille features a red highlight on the GT-Line models or black trim for the X-Line model to resemble air intakes.

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Both versions of the car now feature redesigned headlights and four-bulb LED daytime running lights while the rear sports newly designed LED combination lights and a slimmer fog light design.

At the rear, both variants feature refreshed front and rear bumper designs with sharper creases in the bodywork for a more contemporary appearance for a more rugged appearance while the enlarged intakes take responsibility for the sporty touch.

New buyers will be spoilt with 10 colours to choose from and two alloy wheel designs (a 14-inch 16-spoke design or a 16-inch two-tone diamond-cut design wheels).

Inside, the cabin features items that include 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.

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Depending on trim level and market, the cabin is offered with black fabric or synthetic leather seats with black, silver or gloss black accents found on the door, dashboard and around the gear selector.

Moving away from standard fitment, there are special feature packs available to provide some semblance of personalisation.

For instance, the Lime Pack provides 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.

In the Orange Pack, features include a black single-tone interior with orange stitching and cabin highlights as well as black-and-orange door accents.

With the Red Pack, models are finished in black upholstery with red seat-bolsters, as well as gloss black highlights and red-and-black door accents while the Green Pack offers green highlights throughout the cabin and silver-and-green door accents, as well as stylish denim-effect seat upholstery.

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Europe will have two engine options to choose from, starting with the 1.0-litre T-GDi (Turbocharged Gasoline Direct injection) engine producing 100PS and a naturally-aspirated (NA) 1.0-litre engine with 67PS.

Among other innovations, the 1.0-litre T-GDi engine features a more efficient 350 bar high-pressure fuel injection system while the NA engine replaces the outgoing multipoint injection engine with new dual-port fuel injection technology and an optimised injection timing sequence for better fuel efficiency. They also 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.

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.

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The 8.0-inch ‘floating’ touchscreen satellite navigation system replaces earlier 7.0-inch system and comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard along with the new Bluetooth multi-connection which allows users to pair up to two mobile devices at the same time – one for hands-free phone and a media use; the other for media use only.

Through the UVO system, drivers will have 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.

Using the UVO app - compatible with Android and Apple smartphones, it enables owners to activate a range of functions and features remotely (country-specific) such as inputting route directions to their car before a journey, vehicle location check 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.

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The upgraded Picanto features several the of the brand's latest Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), and depending on specification, it can include Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA) with vehicle and pedestrian detection, Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist (BCA), Lane Keeping Assist (LKA), Driver Attention Warning (DAW), and Lane Following Assist (LFA) to name a few.

The 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 while the Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist (RCCA) 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.

Also equipped for added safety are items such as Emergency Stop Signal (ESS), Hill-start Assist Control (HAC), Stability Management (VSM), Torque Vectoring By Braking, Cornering Brake Control (CBC) and Straight-line Stability (SLS) systems as standard.

Again, depending on specification and market, up to seven airbags could be found within the cabin as well as Isofix child-seat tether and anchor points.

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