It’s an A+ for the new Picanto

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Supermini scores top of the class on quality, technology and versatility

The third generation of Kia's popular Picanto city supermini, has proven to be a sales revelation in South Africa – and with good reason too.

The latest version of the Picanto has more road presence and sports a more much sporty and youthful design than its predecessor. According to Kia, it features the latest technology – a first for this segment- and also has the largest luggage capacity in the city car class. There’s greater potential for customisation too, more colour options (14 in total), new wheels and trimmings as well.

Underpinning the all-new Picanto’s quicker, more responsive steering is a range of highly efficient small-capacity petrol engines. Serving to minimise the weight over the front axle, the downsized engine line-up also delivers the sprightly acceleration and immediate powertrain responses that customers expect of an urban car.

Although it's no longer than before, the latest model has a slightly longer wheelbase (15cm) which has enabled designers to free up more interior space. The company claims that the new Picanto has more leg and head room than best-selling rivals while boot capacity has been increased to a whopping 255 litres– up from 200 litres - the most of any car in the class.

The luggage compartment features a two-step floor, which can be raised or lowered by 145 mm to create additional space as required, as well as creating an under-floor storage area. The 60:40 split-folding rear seats can be folded down completely flat at the touch of a lever. With the seats down cargo capacity is boosted to 1,010 litres.

Kia claims that buyers will have access to some of the most advanced infotainment and convenience technologies available in the class including a large, 'floating' seven-inch touchscreen at the centre of the dashboard which houses a navigation system with 3D map, and is available with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for full smartphone integration. A rear-view parking camera with dynamic guidelines is also on offer as is an optional wireless smartphone charger and USB port, located at the base of the centre console.

Worldwide, more than 1.4 million of the current-generation Picanto have been sold since it was launched in 2011, with more than 300,000 of those sold in Europe. Despite the car approaching the end of its lifecycle in showrooms, KIA sold more than 55,000 Picanto models in Europe in 2016, representing year-on-year sales growth of 3%. The new Picanto is priced from R185 495.

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