A new look, more safety equipment and higher prices for what was formerly Australia’s cheapest car
The facelifted Kia Picanto city car is on sale in Australia boasting a fresh look, an updated interior, and more safety features. But with the update comes rising price rises, which mean it’s no longer Australia’s most affordable car, just.
With the new lineup kicking off from $17,890 before on-road costs, or $20,690 driveaway, that pushes it above competitor MG3’s $19,990 driveaway price for its entry-grade model – which makes the MG the only remaining vehicle in Australia that can be purchased below the $20,000 mark on road.
While the Picanto has seen price increases across the range between $1600 and $1950, that has come with an update to its specifications and also a tweaked model lineup, which has been reduced from five to four variants.
The range-topping GT grade has now been dropped, with an entry-level ‘Sport’ variant replacing the ‘S’, while the ‘GT-Line’ is now the top-spec Picanto.
Changes for the current third-generation small car include facelifted front and rear styling that has brought the Picanto in-line with Kia’s signature vertical light designs.
Upgraded tech and safety features mean that the base-spec S comes equipped with features including a new digital instrument cluster, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter, and power-folding exterior mirrors.
Safety is also bolstered with blind-spot alert, rear cross-traffic alert, lane departure warning and lane-keep assist standard on the Sport.
Powering all variants is the Picanto’s familiar 1.2-litre inline-four cylinder naturally-aspirated engine which remains unchanged and delivers 62kW or power and 122Nm of torque.
All variants are front-wheel-drive and both S or GT-Line grades can be optioned with either a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission, which commands an extra $1000 upcharge.
While the small car segment is no longer the powerhouse it once was in Australia, the Picanto and competitors like the MG3 still continue to do good business for their respective brands.
So far this year the Picanto has delivered 7298 units for Kia. While this is behind the ever-popular MG3 (14,702), it’s ahead of the likes of the Suzuki Swift (6486), Mazda 2 (4855), Kia Rio (4064) and Toyota Yaris (1887).
It is worth noting that the Kia is regarded as number one in its ‘micro’ small car segment, with the aforementioned competitors classed as larger ‘light cars’.
Some selected key features across both variants include:
Picanto GT-Line: (in addition to Sport)
Kia Picanto 2024: prices in Australia
All prices listed are before on-road costs.
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