Facelifted Kia Picanto debuts with bold new look

Published Jul 4, 2023


The smallest Kia has just taken a whole lot of inspiration from the biggest Kia on the block.

The facelifted Kia Picanto was revealed abroad on Tuesday, with a brand new face inspired by the Kia EV9 electric SUV that debuted earlier this year.

While it might divide opinions on the subjective matter or styling, the makeover certainly gives the compact hatchback a bolder presence on the road, particularly in GT Line guise, which flaunts a model-specific nose, diamond-cut 16-inch alloys and a larger diffuser round back.

Keep in mind, however, that the LED headlights and Daytime Running Lights that you see in the pictures are an optional extra.

At the back end of the new Picanto we see a redesigned bumper and new taillights that are now connected by a strip that crosses the tailgate.

But when is it coming to South Africa?

Kia SA says the new model is coming “in due course” with launch timing as well as prices and local specifications to be released at a later date.

The 1.0-litre (49kW) and 1.2-litre (61kW) normally aspirated petrol engines look set to carry over, however, as this is the case overseas. Interestingly, though, the international info pack mentions an optional five-speed automated manual gearbox, whereas local models are still offered with a conventional four-speed torque converter autobox.

Kia has also made some improvements to the vehicle’s structure, which gains additional hot stamping for the front sub-frame and B-pillar for improved safety.

Stepping inside, an 8.0-inch (20.3cm) infotainment system is now fitted as standard, in certain international markets at least, along with a 4.2-inch (10.6cm) digital information display in the instrument cluster.

Also depending on the market are features like Kia Connect on-board services, including live traffic information and parking locator, as well as an Online Voice Recognition system, Kia Connect App with Last Mile Navigation, and over-the-air update capability.

Available driver assistance gizmos include Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist with vehicle, cyclist and pedestrian detection, and items like Lane Keeping Assist, Lane Following Assist, Rear Cross-Traffic Alert and much more.

“As one of Kia’s best-selling models, the new model comes with more standard features than ever before, while its driver assistance systems help make driving in busy cities easier and more comfortable,” Kia said.

The local features list, of course, could differ. Watch this space for more information on the Kia Picanto closer to launch.