First Drive: KIA Picanto X-Line
KIA South Africa will be shaking up the local market with both its latest KIA Picanto X-Line and new brand identity. The South Korean brand has built some of the most reliable vehicles on the market with KIA Picanto stealing the show in terms of sales. Given the current financial state of the country, locals are beginning to look at A-segment vehicles in a new light and KIA clearly knows how to capitalize on this. We recently got to spend a short time with the all-new KIA Picanto X-Line at its local media launch, and we must admit, we thoroughly enjoyed it.
The Picanto X-Line will be replacing the previous generation Picanto SMART, so a refreshing design was expected. At first glance, it is easy to notice that the Picanto X-Line does get both wider and higher than the rest of its range. The front gets a redesigned radiator grille which takes inspiration from KIA’s well-known ‘tiger nose’ design. The front bumper is certainly sportier than anything we have seen on the Picanto range before and immediately sets the notion that KIA does aim to reach a more stylish audience. The Picanto X-Line does get modern touches like LED headlights and rear lights making it easier on the eyes. The Picanto X-Line rides on 15-inch alloy wheels and gets offered in a range of vibrant colours.
Inside, the Picanto X-Line does provide plenty of space, with the front passenger seats being the most spacious. The interior does get a more modern appeal, with the new 8-inch colour touchscreen infotainment system being the overall highlight. The steering has also gotten a lot bulkier than before and gives a larger-than-life impression making one forget how small the vehicle really is. The seats do offer great support and were quite comfortable. In many ways, the Picanto X-Line does offer a range of features that one would find in a B-segment market and finishing touches like its two-tone artificial leather upholstery and optional sunroof are evident of this.
Although the Picanto X-Line does offer a sportier stance than your standard Picanto, it does however remain the same in terms of power. A familiar 1.25-litre petrol engine powers the Picanto X-Line offering 61kW of power and 122 Nm of torque. It comes equipped with either a five-speed manual transmission or a four-speed automatic transmission. The handling on the Picanto X-Line proved to be quite excellent making one feel at ease on the road. Despite its small power output, the Picanto X-Line felt quite nifty at times. Changing gears was as pleasantly smooth as its overall drive.
Our time with the KIA Picanto X-Line was brief but it was certainly enough to leave an impression on us. This new edition is bound to rattle the A-segment market and has elevated the Picanto nameplate to greater heights. Its sporty design and bubbly colours certainly make the Picanto X-Line a more appealing offering than its standard range. The real decider here is not whether it's worth its heavy price tag but rather will consumers be willing to spend this much on an A-segment vehicle. KIA will have a busy year ahead, with at least five new models expected to come out to the local market in the first half of 2021.
KIA Picanto 1.2 Manual X-Line R237 995
KIA Picanto 1.2 Automatic X-Line R251 995