The Kia Picanto used to be one of the most popular small cars in the Philippines, but since it’s a small hatch designed for global markets and is assembled in South Korea, it eventually became too expensive compared to the Toyota Wigo or Honda Brio, both of which were designed and assembled specifically for Southeast Asian needs and budgets. Here’s the newly facelifted 2024 Kia Picanto, and the chances of offering this small hatch in the Philippines are almost nonexistent at this point.
Last updated in 2021, the new 2024 Kia Picanto gets a very comprehensive facelift. Bringing it in line with Kia’s more modern and stylish new models, the Picanto adopts the brand’s “Opposites United” design language, gaining a new front end with new LED headlights while Y-shaped LED daytime running lights surround the lights. This is then connected by an LED light bar in the middle. The side profile remains unchanged, but the rear end has been given a new set of LED taillights that are connected by an LED light bar. There’s also a new rear bumper to complement the updated looks.
What you see here, however, is the GT Line, which comes with a sportier front bumper, side skirts, and two-tone 16-inch wheels as opposed to the 14 inches in standard models. Though despite the sportier looks, the Picanto’s engine range has been simplified for the global market. Gone are the turbocharged engines. What remains now is a 1.0-liter three-cylinder with power figures not yet revealed, while the bigger 1.2-liter four-cylinder produces 83 horsepower. Power is then sent to the front wheels via a five-speed manual or a five-speed automatic.
Despite its budget positioning in the Kia range, the Picanto is one of the finer-driving cars in its segment. The Picanto was known for its above-average sporty handling provided by its quick steering and sporty setup for the suspension, and that carries over unchanged for this model year.
Inside, the new 2024 Kia Picanto receives less significant changes, though it is still noticeable. The overall dash design is unchanged from 2021, but it now comes with a new segment-type digital instrument cluster as standard along with an 8-inch touch screen infotainment system on higher-end models. This, of course, comes with the usual Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
A lot of manufacturers have abandoned or are less enthusiastic about small internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles like the Picanto, no thanks to emissions regulations forcing automakers to electrify their lineup. As a result, this made small cars too expensive to even be worth considering for the average buyer, opting instead for a similarly-priced non-electrified crossover instead. We won’t be surprised if this will also be the last update we see for the Kia Picanto.