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by Matt Campbell

 

The 2015 Kia Picanto city car has been unveiled ahead of its potential introduction to the Australian market.

The facelifted Kia Picanto is set to be uncovered at the 2015 Geneva motor show, and while the brand hasn’t officially confirmed the car for local sale, we’d expect to see it hitting local showrooms late in 2015.

If it comes it’ll slot in beneath the recently refreshed Kia Rio light car, which kicks off from $15,990 plus on-road costs, and is likely to give the South Korean brand a budget offering to compete with the likes of the Hyundai i20 (from $12,990) and Nissan Micra (from $13,990).

kia_picanto_4The updated Picanto – which was leaked in January in South Korean specification (where it’s known as the Kia Morning) – sees a range of changes, including new-look front and rear bumpers and a revised version of the brand’s “tiger-nose” grille. A new 14-inch alloy wheel design has been added to the options list, and both three- and five-door models have an optional sport pack.

No official images of the updated Picanto’s interior have been made available as yet, but it is said to have seen a range of changes, too, including a revised dashboard with new-look instrument cluster and air-vents, while a new fabric trim is said to “boost the car’s youthful appeal”.

Adding to that is a new touchscreen media system, which is optional in European markets. The system includes the most up-to-date version of the brand’s AVN (audio-video navigation) infotainment with a 7.0-inch touchscreen interface. Cruise control is also available as an optional extra.

Kia is set to offer the new Picanto with a choice of “three interior colour packs”, which the brand says will allow owners to “customise their Picanto and stand out from the crowd”.

The Red Pack has seats trimmed in black faux-leather and red cloth, accompanied by red and black panel inserts; the Yellow Pack has black faux-leather with yellow stitching and a bright yellow dashboard and steering wheel trim; and the Brown Pack has fake leather trim in, you guessed it, brown, along with piano black dash trim.

Underneath, the Picanto is said to receive improved braking performance thanks to larger front brakes (now 252 millimetres in diameter compared to the previous version’s 241mm discs). The car’s 1.0-litre three-cylinder has also been refined to help it hit Euro 6 emissions standards.

kia_picanto_1Stay tuned for more news on the Kia Picanto in the coming months.




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