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New Kia Picanto 2020 detailed: MG 3 rival gets big tech upgrade


The facelifted Kia Picanto 2020 model isn’t just a more aggressively styled city car than the current one – it also has a lot more going for it when it comes to technology and smarts, too.

Details shown on the Kia Korea site suggest the facelifted Picanto, which is due in Australia in the coming months, will see major safety upgrades over the current model.

The upgrades include the addition of safety systems such as lane keeping assist, lane departure warning, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert with Rear Cross Collision Prevention Assist, which can brake the car if the driver doesn’t, and the car’s forward auto emergency braking (AEB) system will also be capable of pedestrian detection. Driver fatigue monitoring will also be included.

Further, the cabin will see the addition of a new 4.2-inch TFT LCD driver information screen with a digital speedometer and more complex trip meter system, as well as an upgraded 8.0-inch touchscreen media system (up from 7.0-inch) with the requisite Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring, as well as sat nav in the top-spec model. There’s even seat heating and cooling available for the driver’s seat.

The touchscreen size has been increased from 7.0-inches to 8.0-inches. The touchscreen size has been increased from 7.0-inches to 8.0-inches.

Of course there are exterior changes, too, with new headlight inlays featuring projector halogen headlights with signature LED daytime running lights, as well as a reshaped grille and front bumper that give the updated Picanto an even more aggressive appearance.

The Kia Morning, as it’s known in Korea, is available in a few different themes, including Prestige, Signature and Edge-Up, and in Korea there will be a “Tuon Black Pack”, with a black roof and rear spoiler, black mirror covers and black exterior door handles.

There has been no images yet, nor confirmation of a new version of the Picanto GT-Line or Picanto GT, not to mention the X-Line – all of which have helped the compact Korean hatch become by far the best selling vehicle in the ‘light car’ segment.

There will therefore be a few different interior trim choices – though these may or may not be offered locally, depending on how the car is specified for Australia. They include a black one-tone interior, a grey interior, and a black finish with orange trim highlights.

All current facelifted Morning models in Korea come with a 1.0-litre ‘Smartstream G’ four-cylinder petrol engine with 56kW of power and 95Nm of torque, mated to a four-speed automatic. Fuel consumption is claimed at 6.3L/100km.

It's unclear if that engine will be offered in Australia, or if our market will continue on with the current 1.2-litre four-cylinder with 62kW/122Nm in the majority of Picanto models. The GT model, if it comes back for a second spell, is likely to keep the current 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbo with 74kW/172Nm.

Kia Australia spokesman Kevin Hepworth told CarsGuide that full details of the facelifted Picanto are a ways off, though he stressed that the Australian model would likely reflect more closely what is offered in Europe, not Korea.

t isn't clear exactly what specifications will change in Australia, where Kia offers a standard model, the sporty-looking GT-Line, the buff X-Line with SUV styling cues, and the speedy little GT variant. Nor can we confirm if Australia will get the full gamut of safety tech, which is typically 'clustered' so that bundles of items have to be specified together, which can drive up the cost significantly - a bit of a no-no for such a price-sensitive part of the market.

The new Picanto range is expected to arrive locally around August, depending on the production climate. 

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