The all-new Kia Picanto is slated to go on sale in Europe from the second quarter, after its Geneva Motor Show debut. Now in its third-generation, the new Kia Picanto brings a new, more youthful and energetic character to the A-segment. Boasting an assertive new design and a high-quality, high-tech new cabin, the latest model also offers buyers greater potential for customization and promises to be the most versatile car in its class.

The new Picanto will be powered by one of three petrol engines, including Kia’s new 1.0-liter turbocharged gasoline direct injection (T-GDI) power unit. When the new 1.0-liter T-GDI engine goes on sale in quarter four, it will be the most powerful engine ever offered in the Picanto, and the first time this car has offered a turbocharged petrol engine.

In looks, the new Picanto has a more assertive stance with bolder body lines. With the wheelbase extended to 2,400 mm, the wheels have been pushed further out to the corners of the car for a 25 mm shorter front overhang, making the car look more planted on the road. Straight lines run horizontally across the front of the car, emphasizing the ‘tiger-nose’ grille and angular new wrap-around headlights with LED indicators and DRLs. Vertical lines that encompass the side intakes and lower grille enhance the Picanto’s more confident new ‘face’.

The side of the compact is characterized by distinctive lines running along the side skirts, shoulder and around the wheel arches, and subtly-sculpted body. Additionally, the new Picanto adopts Kia’s wide C-pillar as a design motif, which stands more upright than that of the previous model. From the rear, the shark fin antenna will replace the existing aerial antenna.

The new Picanto is offered in 11 body colors, along with the standard 14-inch steel wheels, or aluminium alloy wheel designs; ranging from 14-inch to 16-inch in diameter. Lastly, the GT-Line Picanto will be made available for the first time. The GT-Line comes with red, silver and black highlights in the grille, side intakes, along the side skirts and in the rear valance, as well as chrome-tipped twin exhausts.

Inside the new Picanto, a more modern, refined cabin is the main transition from the 2nd-generation model. New materials and layout add a greater sense of quality for occupants. The predominantly horizontal design adds greater visual width to the interior, highlighting the increased cabin dimensions.

The dashboard layout is now more centrally aligned, with a large 7.0-inch ‘floating’ touchscreen HMI (human-machine interface) sitting at the heart of the center console and moving many of the car’s controls further up into the driver’s line of sight. A satin chrome-effect strip runs across the dashboard for a higher quality ambience, and large, vertical air vents at either end ‘bookend’ the front passenger compartment. While black and grey cloth seats are available as standard, buyers can also personalize their new Picanto with one of five optional color packs, featuring contrast artificial leather upholstery and stitching.

The Picanto meets the increasing trend towards five-door models in the A-segment, with Kia discontinuing the three-door model for the third generation car. Offering maximum practicality, the new model is no larger than the model it replaces, at 1,485 mm in height, 3,595 mm long and 1,595 mm wide. The new platform boasts a longer wheelbase and longer rear overhang, however, freeing up more space in the cabin and boot (200 liters to 255 liters). The bigger dimensions denote extra head- and leg-room for occupants. Various interior highlights include new central armrest, ample small storage compartments, vanity mirror with LED lights and a strip of mood lighting, adjustable headrests and a more reclined back rest, as well as a bunch of refinements.

The new Picanto is the safest A-segment car Kia has ever made, featuring double the proportion of Advanced High Strength Steel (AHSS) compared to the outgoing model and a selection of active safety technologies. Highlights comprise of 44 percent bodyshell cast in AHSS, reduced body-in-white weight by 23 kg, improved tensile steel strength, and stronger steel for the floor pan, roof rails, engine bay and A- and B-pillars.

The stronger, lighter body is supported by six standard airbags (front, front side and curtain airbags), and an optional knee airbag, as well as a range of active safety features. These include standard Vehicle Stability Management (VSM) with Electronic Stability Control (ESC) to ensure stability under braking and cornering. Furthermore, the new Picanto will be available with Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB). a key technology adopted to enhance safety in the predominantly city and urban environments, and an indirect TPMS (Tyre Pressure Monitoring System). .