Johannesburg - Although various other models in the latest Kia Picanto range have been available in automatic guise since launch, until now those opting for the flagship 1.2 Smart derivative have had to make do with a five-speed manual gearbox.
Yet in response to customer demand for such a model, Kia South Africa has decided to offer the well-appointed flagship with the option of a four-speed automatic gearbox.
As before, power is provided by Kia’s 1.25-litre CVVT normally aspirated petrol engine, rated at 61kW and 122Nm.
Priced at R212 495, the 1.2 Smart auto commands a R13 000 premium over its manual sibling. It boasts the same generous features list, which includes an 18cm touch-screen audio system with Apple CarPlay and reverse camera.
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Also part of the deal is Kia’s five-year, unlimited kilometer warranty and three year’s worth of roadside assistance, although a service plan is an optional extra.
Automatic gearboxes are still quite rare at this end of the market and the closest that Kia’s newcomer has to a direct rival is the Ford Figo 1.5 Titanium auto at R217 900.
If you’re prepared to let go of a few features, however, Hyundai’s Grand i10 1.25 Motion auto is a good option at R203 900, and if you’re looking for a more affordable lower-spec alternative (other than what Kia already offers lower down its range, as listed below), consider the Honda Brio 1.2 Comfort auto at R185 000 or the Suzuki Swift 1.2 GL auto at R186 900.
|1.0 Start manual||R137 995|
|1.0 Street manual||R152 995|
|1.0 Style manual||R162 995|
|1.0 Style auto||R175 995|
|1.0 Smart manual||R183 495|
|1.2 Start manual||R153 995|
|1.2 Start auto||R166 995|
|1.2 Street manual||R168 995|
|1.2 Style manual||R179 495|
|1.2 Style auto||R192 495|
|1.2 Smart manual||R199 495|
|1.2 Smart auto||R212 495|