2017 Kia Picanto revealed ahead of Geneva

6 January 2017
 by 
, GoAutoMedia

Kia has offered a full view of its all-new Picanto compact hatchback ahead of its first public outing at the Geneva motor show in March.

The first pictures of the production car follow a handful of teaser renderings that were released last month, but the more aggressive styling and up-to-the-minute interior styling have carried over from the sketches to the showroom model that will roll out in Switzerland.

The version shown in the latest images is dressed up in the sportiest GT-Line equipment and its front end carries a Kia family resemblance with more angular LED-equipped lamps and a sporty body kit with vents, in place of the more cuddly bulbous lights and smiling lower grille.

Alloy wheels, air intakes and side skirts with red highlights suggest a more driving focused Picanto while the more compact and raised grille hints at the look of the recently introduced Optima sedan.

At the back end the changes are less dramatic with a similar look to the outgoing Picanto, although a new black diffuser complete with twin exhaust is a notable update.

The Picanto has a 15mm longer wheelbase compared with the current model.

On the inside, the Picanto's interior has been given a complete makeover with all new trims, materials and design, but exact Australian specification is yet to be finalised. Either way, it is expected that a single variant will be offered Down Under, as is the current version.

The interior changes are headlined by a new young audience-targeting central touchscreen which appears to offer access to a number of services including navigation, while the surrounding hardware has been modernised with a symmetrical look and digital control panel.

Leather (or perhaps synthetic hide) adorns much of the furnishings including seats, steering wheel, door arm rests and gear gaiter complete with red flashes or stitching.

Dimensionally speaking, the Picanto has a 15mm longer wheelbase compared with the current model, which has increased interior space and imparted a more stable appearance without increasing overall length.

Overseas markets will be offered a wider range of customisation options for more personalisation options, but they are expected to be more limited in Australia.

As previously reported, Kia Motors Australia media and corporate communications manager Kevin Hepworth has already confirmed that the new Picanto will be offered locally as soon as it is available and will "be a much more technologically advanced vehicle with a lot more kit in it and a lot more design."

The South Korean car-maker is satisfied with the company's smallest model Down Under and Mr Hepworth explained that introducing the current model so close to a successor was a "toe in the water" to establish Australian demand.

Does the new more aggressive and sporty look work with a compact hatch? Tell us what you think in the comments below.

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