Kia’s Picanto picks up on power

  • More power for Kia’s superbaby
  • It comes nine months after launch
  • Unlimited-distance warranty
2016 Kia Picanto Image: Kia Motors
BABY KIA GETS POWER BOOST: The 2016 Kia Picanto range now has a 1.2-litre, four-cylinder, engine. Image: Kia Motors

Kia Motors SA has added a 1.2-litre engine to its Picanto range in LS specification to fill the gap between the 1.0 LS and 1.0 LX models. The original cars were launched in late 2015.

Gary Scott, Kia SA’s sales director, told The Corner in a media releases: “The need for reliability still sees many value-seeking people opting for a smaller new car rather than a bigger pre-owned car.

“Price continues to drive the trend of downsizing in South Africa so, it makes sense for Kia to expand its Picanto line-up in the hotly contested A segment.

2016 Kia Picanto Image: Kia Motors
 STILL ON TARGET: Deal still offers ‘significant value without compromising on awesomeness’. Image: Kia Motors

“Since its introduction in October 2015 the Picanto LS – a globally renowned vehicle – has become the best seller in the range without sacrificing any of its award-winning design or exceptional quality.”

Scott was confident that the new 1.2-litre LS wouldl follow in its sisters’ footsteps – especially given Kia’s new five-year unlimed distance warranty.

The Picanto made its debut at the 2011 Geneva auto show and, the automaker says, “remains the best example of how an affordable car doesn’t have to make any compromise”.

The new Picanto 1.2 LS is positioned just above the entry-level Picanto 1.0 LS and, it is hoped, will continues Kia’s history of “significant value without compromising on awesomeness”.

picanto pos 3 (2)
2016 Kia Picanto. Image: Kia Motors

The new model is visually identical to the one-litre Picanto LS with body-colour bumpers, door releasess and external mirrors. It rides on 14″ steel wheels shod with chunky 165/60 tyres and bearing full rim covers.

Standard are aircon, tilt-adjustable steering, a trip data computer, height-adjustable head restraints and a 60:40 split rear folding seat ahead of a boot that has box in the boot floor.

The car does not, however, come with a radio – but two front speakers and an auxiliary/USB connection are factory-installed and wired to work with an after-market radio unit.

The 1.2 LS shares its powertrain and five-speed manual transmission with the Picanto EX: an efficient four-cylinder, 1.2-litre Kappa MPI engine producing 65kW at 6000rpm and 120Nm at 4 000rpm. This engine has continuously variable valve timing, a cast-aluminium block, off-set crankshaft, maintenance-free long-life timing chain and low-friction ‘beehive’ valve springs.

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The car also features a gearshift indicator light on the manual gerbox to help the driver save fuel. Unlike the one-litre units, the 1.2 LS is available with an auto automatic transmission.

The Picanto is also one of a limited number of cars equipped, in the interests of crash protection, with ring-shaped steel reinforcing loops in the B and C pillars that continue across the floor pan and roof.

A driver’s crash bag bag and IsoFix kiddie seat anchors are standard and all models ship with KIA’s class-leading new five-year unlimited distance warranty and five years of roadside assistance.

The Picanto range is available in 10 colours. Here are the models and their prices:

Kia Picanto 1.0 LS – R129 995
Kia Picanto 1.2 LS – R139 995
Kia Picanto 1.0 LX auto – R172 995
Kia Picanto 1.2 EX – R178 995
Kia Picanto 1.2 EX auto – R191 995

A two-year/45 000km service plan is available across the range at an additional cost; 1.2 EX models can be specified with an optional sunroof (R7500).

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