The Kia Picanto is one of the brand’s best-selling models worldwide.  On a recent visit to Kia Northcliff, I was welcomed by a helpful and energetic team who introduced me to the third generation Picanto 1.2 Smart.

Brimming with innovation through every make-over, it’s youth and energy are emphasized by the tiger-nosed grille and compact dimensions. Kia has also added a stronger body to the Picanto and a 15mm increased wheelbase.

The distinctive C-Pillar design allows for an upright stance, which, combined with the LED indicators and daytime running lights, put this hatch in the “must-have” category among students, young adults and even the elderly. A smooth drive, cute looks, fuel efficiency and safety make this an all-rounder amongst its competitors.

Although the exterior size affirms the hatchback form, the interior styling looks surprisingly like that of a crossover SUV. The trims and finishes are cutting-edge and sophisticated with a chrome-looking strip under the infotainment system. Referred to as a floating human machine interface (HMI), the infotainment system includes a 7-inch touchscreen with Bluetooth, AUX, USB and AM/FM radio. On the Smart derivative, a rear parking camera and sensors, assist with distance control and easy and safe manoeuvring of the vehicle when entering or exiting a parking bay.

A soft leather gear lever, leather steering wheel and cloth-leather combination seats, superbly enhance driving comfort. The trip computer modernises the cluster and is accessible through the multifunctional steering wheel.

Safety is one of the biggest upgrades in this Picanto. The body is fitted with Advanced High-Strength Steel (AHSS) which provides remarkable firmness. Hot-Stamped Steel was used in central areas of the vehicle for optimal safety in the event of a collision. The braking system works together with the vehicle’s ABS and tyres for maximum stopping power and control.

The drive is rather comfortable and satisfying with adjustable seats and a gear lever ergonomically placed for ease and convenience. Highway driving proved equally pleasing as the Picanto’s 1.2-litre engine managed speed, stability and performance.

Kia includes a 5-year unlimited warranty plan and 3-year unlimited roadside assistance. It is a beautiful compact vehicle with safety, innovation and attraction. Interested? Then head over to Kia Northcliff and speak to Dealer Principal, Colin Thorpe; Sales Manager, Portia Sangweni or Sales Executive, Sibusiso Nkosi.

By Inge Stols

Editor: Kersh Moodley