The new, third-generation Kia Picanto has been spotted undergoing winter testing in Lapland ahead of its predicted 2017 release date. This compact city car has previously done well on space and build quality but has, so far, struggled to generate the same desirable image as its key rival, the Volkswagen Up.
While we’ve no idea what it’ll look like, these spy shots from autoevolution let us see the new Picanto’s overall shape. We can also catch our first glimpse of the interior under heavy cladding that shows a cleaner dashboard with fewer buttons.
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2017 Kia Picanto styling
Despite looking larger overall, the styling shouldn’t be a great departure from the current model. The main changes will mostly be seen up front where the firm’s latest signature ‘tiger’ grille will be found flanked by new headlight clusters with bold LED daytime running lights.
The rest of the changes will extend to a set of redesigned brake lights and new body creases down the side. The majority of current Picanto customers opted for the more practical five-door, so it’s possible new model will only be offered in this body style.
2017 Kia Picanto interior
It’s not clear whether the new Picanto will use an updated version of the existing platform or a totally new one but, either way, it will benefit from a larger interior increasing both boot space and rear seat leg- and headroom. The larger bodywork should also translate to larger doors making access easier.
A redesigned interior will bring a new steering wheel, new instrument dials and horizontal vents that now sit centrally on the dash below the infotainment system. The climate control dials have been pushed downwards and now sit above a larger storage area in front of the gear lever. The current Kia Picanto is already well built but the third generation model should employ smarter looking materials at eye-level to increase perceived quality.
2017 Kia Picanto engines
The replacement Picanto is expected to use heavily revised versions of the existing 1.0-litre and 1.25-litre petrol engines. To keep Kia’s new city car competitive, expect to see a reduction in CO2 emissions along with improved fuel efficiency.
Kia’s excellent 1.0-litre turbocharged, three-cylinder engine used in the Cee’d may also be a possibility, but whether Kia decides to fit the 98hp variant into the Picanto is yet to be confirmed. If it does, this model could be the basis for a sporty Picanto later in the car’s life. The current Picanto is one of the few city cars to offer a true automatic gearbox – most rivals use clunky automated manuals – so, hopefully, the new Picanto will continue this trend.
2017 Kia Picanto price
With the Kia Picanto currently costing less than £8,500, the new third-generation Picanto is predicted to remain in this price bracket to stay competitive amongst rivals including the Toyota Aygo, Peugeot 108 and Volkswagen Up.
2017 Kia Picanto release date
With an expected on sale date in 2017, the production Picanto might not appear until late 2016 at the Paris Motor Show.
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