by Eric Tipan
If all city cars are beginning to blend together and look the same, Kia is certainly out to prove that such is not the case with the all-new Picanto.
After getting nothing but positive reviews since its debut early this year at the Geneva Motor Show, the third-generation Picanto was officially unveiled right on the red carpet and amid the backdrop of a blue horizon at the newly opened Kia showroom at the 5/F of SM Megamall Building B.
On display was the GT-Line bathed in immaculate white, donning minimal but quite detailed red accents and the repositioned fog lamps for more pronounced air vents in front, and twin exhausts in the rear.
The SL variant makes do minus the exterior enhancements, but all trims still come with daytime running lamps, LED-type rear combinations lamps, side-mirror signal repeaters, projection fog lamps and high-mounted rear stop lamps.
Inside, the all-new Picanto feels more accommodating because of a 15mm increase in the wheelbase and a host of new updates, including a 2.6-inch info LCD right smack in the middle of the instrumentation panel, a revamped audio system that stands upright just above the center air vents (connectivity allows for AUX-in and USB only, sorry no Bluetooth yet), and now it also comes with ‘Auto’ headlamps so you don’t have to fiddle in the dark when you suddenly enter a tunnel.
Along with the all-new design is a lighter body as well, made possible by lightweight, high-strength sheet metal that not only increases rigidity but also ups fuel efficiency as well.
It comes powered by the same engine as the previous generation — a 1.0L three-cylinder engine with Variable Valve Timing (VVT) that’s mated to a 5-speed manual transmission with an output of 68 HP and 94 Nm of torque, and a 1.2L four-cylinder engine with dual Continuous Variable Valve Timing (CVVT) sending 82 HP and 121 Nm to a 4-speed automatic transmission.
“As one of Kia’s best-selling models across the globe, we knew it would be a challenge to improve on the current version. This new model retains all of the outgoing model’s strengths but now offers increased performance and new technologies,” said Hernando D. Gañac, Jr., vice president of Sales and Marketing, Columbian Autocar Corporation (CAC), distributor Kia.
All over the Philippines, four other dealerships also premiered the all-new Picanto: Kia Carmona in Southern Luzon, Kia Pampanga in Central Luzon, Kia Gorordo-Cebu in Visayas, and Kia Davao in Mindanao.
Prices are as follows: – Picanto 1.0L MT SL at P625,000; Picanto 1.2L AT SL at P685,000; and the Picanto 1.2L AT GT at P787,000.
Priced within segment range and coming in totally glitzed up from the inside out, there’s no question, the all-new Kia Picanto is the marque’s most vibrant city car yet.