Our best-selling city car is ready for a refresh
KIA is continuing the slow drip-feed of teasing pictures and details for its next-generation Picanto city car.
And there are reasons to be excited. Kia's smallest car has been something of a sales champion in the micro car segment: it was second best-seller in 2016 despite only being on sale for a portion of the year, and in 2017 so far it holds nearly 50% market share up against Holden Spark, Mitsubishi Mirage and Fiat 500 competition.
Sharp pricing is one of the reasons: the current Picanto has an RRP of $14,990 drive away with an automatic gearbox.
The next-generation Picanto will be shown to the public at the Geneva motor show next month, where hopefully we'll learn more about the engine or engines, plus the specification we'll receive in Australia.
Kia promises a quieter and more spacious cabin, seven-inch screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, reversing camera, the largest cargo space in its class, enhanced safety including autonomous emergency braking availability, plus improved handling and a new torque vectoring system.
We now know Europe will receive three petrol engines: a 1.0-litre, 1.3-litre and, towards year's end, a 1.0-litre turbo. The current generation in Australia uses only the 62kW 1.3-litre mated to an automatic gearbox, so we'd be keen for greater choice with the new car, in particular the 74kW/172Nm turbo engine and manual gear shifter.
As with most city cars aimed at younger buyers, customisation options are plentiful. Vibrant new colours include Lime Light, Pop Orange and Celestial Blue, while sportier GT-Line spec with red highlights could be offered here.
Full specification and pricing will hopefully be revealed next month before we receive the new car in about the middle of this year.