“The Power to Surprise” is the tagline of the Kia brand, and – although their biggest “little” car on the road, the Picanto, seems to be a straight-forward compact car – there is more to it than meets the eye. At the Kia dealership in Gold Reef, Johannesburg South, even the littlest offering from the Kia brand gets the special treatment when being showcased to me. Guided through the vehicles on show by Sales Executive, Aboo Seedat, I am told that Kia maintains its popularity due to the consistent quality inherent in both products and services, presented expertly at Kia Gold Reef.
An experienced salesman and product specialist, Aboo forms part of a team that pride themselves on being able to connect with clients and cater to their needs. Hearing what the client wants is a concept that the Kia brand itself takes very seriously, and as such, the Picanto was designed to meet the growing demand for an affordable, yet modern vehicle. Having been serving the greater Johannesburg area for the past 11 years, Kia Gold Reef is the place to go to learn more about this vehicle.
The Picanto looks just as its name suggests – racy, lively and exciting. It has a fresh and athletic design that really appeals to my belief that I am still a youngster at heart, with really great, sharp lines and a cheeky look thanks to a bolder grille than the previous model. Together with a slightly longer wheelbase and an upgraded dashboard design, the interior of the Picanto feels much more spacious and has a definite modern focus than its predecessor; the dashboard is drawn to a focal point at a new 7-inch touchscreen for the infotainment system. A nice little touch for me is also the front centre armrest for the driver to make use of when cruising along the cityscape.
Whilst the Picanto is a compact car by all standards, it is also most definitely a package filled with surprises: the multifunction steering wheel, easy-to-access controls and dials and infotainment make it feel like a more sophisticated, futuristic vehicle than just a light, speedy runner. It sits comfortably and I am not crowded or claustrophobic, feeling quite content in the driver’s seat. As a compact car, I don’t expect to be able to load a football team in the back (and is obviously a little tight in the rear), but it is more than sufficient for a student, newlyweds or even small family.
In hard-core traffic, the Picanto patiently takes the stop-and-go flow in its stride, humming away joyfully with little to no effort – it zips ahead with lovely agility, and proves to be a fun and spirited drive that delivers precisely on what it promises to. With cutting-edge safety features and the familiar Kia build quality, this little car has a ton of charisma, stability and the promise of security embedded within it (thanks to the use of more than 44% Advanced High Strength Steel to enhance rigidity).
With the Kia 5 year/unlimited kilometre warranty, generous service plans and 3 year/unlimited kilometre roadside assistance plans available at purchase, the Picanto becomes more and more provocative for the city-dweller who is looking for a reliable, agile vehicle that proves to be both economical – yet funky – to make the daily grind worthwhile. Being thoroughly impressed with the comprehensive package of benefits which the Picanto offers, I return to Kia Goldreef as a definite fan.
Back at the Dealership, I am reminded of Kia’s famous hospitality that is firmly ingrained in every aspect of life here; numerous customer care accolades have been won by this specific team in 2015 and 2016, earning them the title of CSI Aftersales Dealer of the Year, 2015 and 2016 parts dealer of the year. With exciting launches on the horizon for the remainder of the year, Kia Gold Reef is looking forward to growth and even more brand awareness going forward. With releases lined up for the likes of the Kia GT Sport Sedan, the Kia Stinger, and a Hot Hatch, Kia Ceed later on this year, Kia is bound to cash in on their “power to surprise”!
By Desh Pillay Bechan