New Kia Picanto: prices, specs and release date

Kia’s new city car starts at £9,450; all-new 1.0-litre turbo petrol engine due later in 2017

Pricing has been announced for the new Kia Picanto and the range starts at £9,450. This is enough to secure you a 65bhp 1.0-litre petrol model in entry-level 1 trim, which includes front electric windows, remote central locking and a radio – though you’ll need 2 trim or above if you want alloy wheels or air-conditioning.

There are a couple of things you need to know right off the bat if you’re thinking of buying the new Picanto: the first is that it’s only available as a five-door model and the second is that what’s expected to be the best engine in the range – an all-new three-cylinder turbocharged 1.0-litre petrol – isn’t available from launch, and will be following “later in 2017”.

Until that third and final engine arrives, the most expensive Picanto comes with an 82bhp 1.25-litre petrol engine and costs £13,950 in GT-Line S guise. This mildly sporty trim brings revised front and rear bumpers, red exterior trim highlights and twin exhaust pipes, as well as black and red synthetic leather upholstery, metal pedals and a seven-inch infotainment touchscreen, complete with sat nav, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. A four-speed automatic gearbox is offered for a reasonable £650 with the 1.25-litre engine, although you’ll have to go for trims 2 or 3 if you want this.

And while the new Picanto occupies “not a millimetre more road space” than the car it replaces, its wheels are closer to the edges of its bodywork, meaning interior space has improved by a fair deal, and it should be easier to place on the road, too. The Picanto competes with the recently facelifted Skoda Citigo and Volkswagen up! as well as other city cars like the Renault Twingo and Toyota Aygo.

The new Kia Picanto is on sale now – you can read our review here.

New Kia Picanto engines

Under the bonnet, there’ll eventually be a choice of three engines and two gearboxes, although the 1.0-litre T-GDi turbocharged petrol engine (that also features in the Kia Rio supermini and Kia Cee’d family hatchback) isn’t available from launch. Due to a new road-tax system introduced at the start of April, all Picantos will cost £140 a year to tax.

When the Picanto goes on sale in May, you’ll be able to order it with either a 65bhp 1.0-litre or an 82bhp 1.25-litre non-turbo petrol engine. A five-speed manual gearbox will be standard across the range, with a four-speed automatic offered as an option in combination with the 1.25-litre engine.

The 1.0-litre engine officially manages 64.2mpg, while the 1.25-litre returns 61.4mpg. While city cars of this size often aren’t offered with an automatic gearbox at all, note that the four-speed auto available with the Picanto is a relatively conventional (read old-fashioned) four-speed ‘torque converter’, not a sophisticated dual-clutch affair. That means pairing this gearbox with the 1.25-litre engine sees economy drop by almost 10mpg.

Kia says suspension and steering improvements have been made to make the new Picanto more involving to drive, while the longer wheelbase should make it smoother and more stable at speed.

Trims

The Picanto is available in five different trim levels. The first three keep with Kia’s convention of ascribing simple numbers to its trim levels, while the highest two – GT-Line and GT-Line S – are geared towards sporty looks. The range highlights are:

1: The entry-level car has automatic headlights, front electric windows, remote central locking, a trip computer, hill-start assistance and a two-speaker stereo with USB and aux inputs.

2: Moving up one rung gets you 14-inch alloy wheels, air-conditioning, all-round electric windows, body-coloured, power-adjustable and heated wing mirrors, a chrome radiator surround, upgraded cloth upholstery, a multifunction leather steering wheel, a four-speaker stereo and Bluetooth connectivity. The 2 costs £1,300 more than the 1.

GT-Line: This trim costs roughly £1,200 more than the Picanto 2, but is aimed at younger drivers who like a slightly more aggressive-looking car. It brings more distinctive front and rear bumpers with red highlights dotted around the outside of the car. There’s also a rear diffuser, black and red synthetic leather seats, chrome interior door handles and stainless-steel pedals, as well as upgraded headlights and LED rear lights.

3: This version gets 15-inch alloy wheels, a seven-inch touchscreen with sat nav and the latest smartphone pairing systems, front foglights, LED indicator lights, automatic air-conditioning, cruise control, a centre console storage cubby and armrest, a six-speaker stereo and reversing sensors. The 3 costs £1,400 more than the 2, but you also need to spend £500 upgrading to the 1.25-litre engine if you want this model.

GT-Line S: The range-topper includes the same sporty aesthetic touches as GT-Line, but adds more kit including the 3’s sat nav and infotainment system. GT-Line S also brings keyless entry and go, a split-level boot, chrome exterior door handles, an electric sunroof and (weirdly) an illuminated driver’s sun visor; all other models of Picanto, for some unknown reason, do without the illumination. GT-Line S trim costs around £1,500 more than the GT-Line and roughly £1,300 more than the 3.

Personalisation

As has become common in the class, there’ll be numerous personalisation options for the Picanto and Kia is describing it as a “youthful and energetic” car. A total of 11 paint colours will be offered, including Lime Light, Pop Orange, Sparkling Silver and Aurora Black.

Interior

On the inside, five optional colour packs will be available, while the top-spec GT-Line car will boast red, silver and black highlights all over, as well as chrome-tipped exhausts. A seven-inch infotainment touchscreen is the focus of the dashboard, while all the latest in-car tech will also feature, include Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity, plus wireless phone charging and sat nav with 3D mapping.

Practicality

In addition to the 15mm wheelbase extension mentioned above, the Picanto’s dashboard has also been moved up 15mm, giving more leg and kneeroom up front. Buyers will be able to specify four or five seats and a central armrest plus extensive interior storage will also feature. Kia is claiming best-in-class boot space of 255 litres (a 55-litre improvement on the old Picanto) and when you drop down the 60:40 split-folding rear seats, a total of 1,010 litres is freed up.

New Kia Picanto price and on-sale date

The new Picanto is priced from £9,450 and sales start in May. Most buyers are expected to choose the 2 model, which brings the cost up to £10,750, or £11,250 if you choose the 1.25-litre engine. The range tops out at £13,950, for which you’ll get the GT-Line S model with the more powerful engine.

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