By: IOL Motoring Staff
Kia's Picanto is already widely regarded as the best looking budget hatch on the market, so it's no surprise that its midlife makeover doesn't change too much.
If anything it's a tad bolder up front, with a slightly restyled 'tiger nose' grille and a redesigned bumper with a flatter design and a single large central intake flanked by larger housings for the lower lamps, which are now daytime running lights rather than foglights. Rounding off the exterior changes is a slightly revised rear bumper with a matte black lower edge and buyers can now choose from 10 exterior colours, including a new option called Dazzling Blue.
Inside the Picanto receives a more modern looking fascia surround and the features count remains as before, with both the LX and EX models coming with air conditioning and an MP3/CD/Aux/USB/iPod audio system. The range-topper also gains Bluetooth connectivity and audio controls on the steering wheel. Both models feature dual front airbags, but only the EX has ABS brakes.
As before, the LX is powered by a 1-litre engine credited with 51kW and 94Nm, which has been subtly modified to meet Euro 6 emissions standards, and the EX is fitted with Kia's 65kW/120Nm 1.2-litre unit.
1.0 LX 5-speed manual - R136 995
1.0 LX 4-speed auto - R148 995
1.2 EX 5-speed manual - R149 995
1.2 EX 4-speed auto - R161 995
All models come with a five-year/150 000km warranty; a two-year/45 000km service plan is optional.