The Kia Picanto has been a unique proposition among those looking for their first new car. Unlike most of its competitors which have been designed mainly for developing countries in mind, the Picanto was uniquely, undeniably chic and European, backing with it the style and driving dynamics that make it seem like a smaller version of a bigger car, rather than feeling like a small car, period, but there’s a tiny, but very important problem. Read on to find out what that is.
This new generation brings with it Kia’s new design language, which means it has Kia’s new iteration of their Tiger Nose grille. The wheels have been pushed further into the car’s corners, making the overhangs shorter than those from the previous generation, making the car look sportier and more aggressive. This, additionally, increases the passenger space inside the car.
Inside, the Picanto’s interior has been heavily redesigned, now featuring completely new materials in order to elevate the cabin’s tactile quality, making it feel less like a budget car. The Picanto also boasts a lower step in height for easier access. The Picanto also adopts the brand’s new interior design language, featuring a primarily horizontal design, with a floating center screen for the infotainment touch screen system (or in our market’s case, a miserably tiny dot-matrix screen from the ’90s, while almost all of its competitors now utilize a touch screen infotainment system) and toggle switches for the air conditioning that are borrowed from the bigger Kia Rio.
The Kia Picanto receives numerous changes in the suspension and steering that help it provide better handling and stability. It still utilizes a MacPherson Strut front suspension and a torsion beam rear suspension, but the spring rates have been revised in order to reduce body roll under hard cornering, and nose dive under hard braking. A quicker electric power steering enables the Picanto to have a better response when changing directions.
Powering the Kia Picanto is either a 1.0 liter 3-cylinder petrol engine, producing 67 hp and 96 Nm of torque, or a 1.25 liter 4-cylinder engine, producing 84 hp and 122 Nm of torque. The 1.0 liter is solely mated to a 5-speed manual, while the bigger engine is solely mated to a 4-speed automatic.
Shown during the launch was a Picanto GT Line, essentially a Picanto in a sharper suit, but without the sharpness in terms performance to match. Think of it as a skinny dude who wears athletic clothing, and claims to be part of a varsity team, until you found out it’s actually a chess varsity team, if such a thing even exists. The Picanto GT line is inspired from Kias with a sharper design language. Basically the Picanto became jealous of the handsomeness of the Kia Cee’d GT and Kia Stinger GT, and thought it was a good idea to acquire some of these Kia’s handsomeness. It rides in 15 inch alloy wheels, and comes with goodies such as projector headlights with LED daytime running lights, LED tail lights, and a rear wiper. The GT Line even gets more safety features such as Anti-Lock Brake System with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution, and ISOFIX child seat anchors. This is now the problem we’ve discovered. Why isn’t ABS with EBD even standard? We’re very disappointed, especially considering it’s 2017, and there’s already a heavy proliferation of advanced safety systems in the market such as Automatic Emergency Braking, Blind Sport Warning, etc. The omission of even basic safety features is intensely disappointing to us here at Go Flat Out. We believe ABS with EBD, and any forms of Electronic Stability Control (ESC) should be standard on all cars.
So, if you think P625,000 for the 1.0 liter variant, and P685,000 for the 1.2 liter variant is worth it without any essential safety features, despite having some European style and flavor, then so be it.