Motoring News

Think small! Cool KIA Picanto getting bigger in the SA market

  • SA KIA Picanto range revised for 2020
  • More protection features on entry models
  • Unlimited distance, five-year warranty
2020 KIA PICANTO: Image: KIA Motors SA

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – KIA Motors SA has revised the 2017 third iteration of its Picanto city cars with more features and what it says is better pricing 17 years after the model’s initial launch.

Stephen Crosse, KIA SA’s sales director, told The Corner in a media release: “The Picanto has been a great success in South Africa and is recognised by industry experts and the motoring media as one of the best entry-level cars you can buy.

”We’re very excited about the revisions for 2020.”

2020 KIA PICANTO: Image: KIA Motors SA

There are four models – Start, Street, Style, Smart – and each has undergone changes. Here’s what’s been done…


THE MOST notable revisions, KIA says, are the addition of a front passenger crash-mitigation bag and anti-lock brakes – each now standard in every Picanto – as are IsoFix child-seat anchors.

”The Picanto,” KIA says, ”is the safest A-segment vehicle we have created – 44% of its bodyshell is pressed or cast in high-strength steel to reinforce the Picanto’s floor pan, roof rails, front and middle body pillars, and engine bay.

”Overall, 67m of joins are reinforced with structural adhesive. The result is 32% better torsional stiffness than previous units. Various safety tests have shown the Picanto’s bodyshell to be one of the safest in its segment. The addition of a second ‘airbag” and ABS means all Picantos are up-to-date on safety specification.”

2020 KIA PICANTO: Image: KIA Motors SA

Also standard across the Start range are power-assisted steering, adjustable steering column, manual aircon, audio, Bluetooth, and two speakers. Power will be delivered to the tar from a 49kW/96Nm, one-litre, three-cylinder, engine through a five-speed manual or four-speed auto.

KIA Picanto 1.0 Start – R167 995
KIA Picanto 1.0 Start a/t – R181 995


THESE UNITS build on the Start with the addition of power front windows, steering-wheel audio controls, key-fob central locking, intrusion alarm/immobiliser, driver’s seat-height adjustment, and some more ”notable new features” for 2020.

First is an infotainment system with 20cm colour touchscreen – previously only available on the range-topping Smart but now every modes from Street up are so equipped – including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.


The range also adds rear power windows, heatable external mirrors, and 14” steel wheel rims.

Crosse commented: “Affordability does not have to mean compromise on convenience features. The added features the give budget-conscious customers complete option.”

2020 KIA PICANTO: Image: KIA Motors SA

Street units will have a choice of  the same 49kW engine as the Start or a four-cylinder,  1250cc, 61kW/122Nm unit. It has the same transmissions with the Start.

KIA Picanto 1.0 Street – R179 995
KIA Picanto 1.0 Street a/t – R193 995
KIA Picanto 1.2 Street -R188 995
KIA Picanto 1.2 Street a/t – R202 995



Stepping up, the revised Picanto Style models have all the safety and convenience features of the Street but adds a leather-clad, three-spoked, steering-wheel with audio remote controls, and a leather-clad gear-shifter. External mirrors now host turn indicators and also gain power folding for tight spaces and to deter vandalism. The Picanto Style has 14” alloy wheel rims.

2020 KIA PICANTO: Image: KIA Motors SA

KIA Picanto 1.0 Style – R189 995
KIA Picanto 1.0 Style a/t – R203 995
KIA Picanto 1.2 Style – R198 995
KIA Picanto 1.2 Style a/t R212 995


KIA SAYS the range-topping Picanto Smart ”has always been the go-to urban runabout” thanks to its luxury and convenience features so ”offers a solution without compromise”. It starts with diode daytime running lights, alloy wheel rims, and leather upholstery.

2020 KIA PICANTO: Image: KIA Motors SA

Crosse again: “The Smart has always punched above its weight. Buyers have given us feedback on what is really needed, and what is not. This feedback was crucial to our product planning.”

READ MORE KIA features on Carman’s Corner

For example, KIA says infotainment and connectivity are most important so some features – parking radar, reversing camera – have been discontinued* but a sunroof – previously an option – is now standard.

The Picanto Smart will only be available with a 61kW/122Nm, 1.2-litre multi-port, fuel injection engine but with either a five-speed or 4-speed a/t transmission.

*Still available as addable accessories.

KIA Picanto 1.0 Style – R189 995
KIA Picanto 1.0 Style a/t – R203 995
KIA Picanto 1.2 Style – R198 995
KIA Picanto 1.2 Style a/t – R212 995

2020 KIA PICANTO: Image: KIA Motors SA

Crosse again: “In tough economic times these revisions will bring significant value to the marke. The Picanto has always been ahead of the pack with looks and build quality. With more features where they matter and significant value for money, the range is once again at the top of its game.”

  • Each unit will be delivered with a five-year unlimited-distance warranty/roadside assistance and a two-year or 30 000km (wcf) service plan.

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