Leak reveals littlest Kia getting grown-up new face
Kia’s baby hatchback is getting a more grown-up face.
It’s set to arrive here in the second half of this year.
These headlight assemblies feature distinctive vertical and horizontal LED daytime running light elements, plus three separate pods for the other lights.
Changes lower down are less dramatic. There’s still a wide lower opening with a bar running across it, as well as vertical cut-outs in the bumpers.
The grille area continues to be slim, but now forms a continuous horizontal line. Previously, GT-Line and GT models had a trim piece in the centre of the grille area, with only the base S having an uninterrupted, full-width unit.
The GT-Line also features bold, patterned alloy wheels. The latest Hyundai, Kia and Genesis products have some of the most distinctive wheel designs on the market.
Down back, the tail lights retain a similar shape but feature new graphics, along with a light bar running across the tailgate.
There’s also a restyled bumper with a diffuser, plus vertical cut-outs to match those up front.
Inside, the changes are much more subtle. There appears to be a new shifter for the manual transmission, while the analogue instruments are replaced by the new instrument set-up found in variants of the Seltos and Sportage without the full digital cluster.
This features digital read-outs flanking a central information screen.
The current Picanto debuted in 2017, and was updated locally in 2021 with a new face and fresh technology.
Power in Australia comes from either a naturally aspirated 1.25-litre four-cylinder engine (S, GT-Line) or a turbocharged 1.0-litre three-cylinder engine (GT).
The Picanto will play an even more important role in the Kia range going forward, given the Rio won’t be replaced when the current model is retired.
Current Picanto GT
It dominates the (admittedly small) micro car segment in Australia as, with the Mitsubishi Mirage retired locally, it now has only one rival: the ageing Fiat 500.
To the end of April, Kia sold 1961 Picantos against 288 examples of the Fiat 500 and its sportier Abarth spin-offs.
MORE: Everything Kia Picanto