New 2023 Kia Picanto facelift to arrive with revamped design
The Kia Picanto will go under the knife for a second facelift this year, with a series of tweaks inspired by the firm’s latest EVs expected
The city car market is dwindling in 2023 – Skoda, Citroen and others have all pulled out of the sector – but Kia will soldier on with a facelifted version of the Picanto later this year. The firm’s smallest hatchback has been on sale since 2017, and the forthcoming round of updates will keep it competitive with the likes of Toyota’s Aygo X.
These spy shots provide a first glimpse at the new Picanto, which – despite the heavy camouflage – will clearly undergo a significant design rethink. The car’s narrow, upright stance will remain, but the front end will be overhauled with new grilles and updated light clusters, the latter of which will evoke Kia’s seven-seat EV9 concept car.
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Expect the front end to offer subtle hints of the firm’s ‘tiger nose’ styling language, too, with more modern tail lights setting off the rear combined with slim LED running light strips. We could see tweaks to the rear bumper to tie up the design, although this is impossible to make out through the camouflage. Updated wheel designs are certain to make an appearance, with this test mule wearing a new set of diamond cut items.
Given its affordable brief, the Picanto won't adopt the large twin-screw display panel as seen on the latest Niro, but it could receive an improved central touchscreen with Kia's latest infotainment software. Minor tweaks to the interior trims and upholstery options could also differentiate the new Picanto.
It's very likely that the Picanto's core mechanicals will go unchanged, too, with Kia’s 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine available across the range in either naturally aspirated or turbocharged form. These offer 66bhp or 99bhp in the current car, respectively, with the lower-power model gaining the option of a five-speed automatic gearbox.
The Picanto shares its platform with the Hyundai Casper city car, which is currently sold in Korean markets. Reports suggest that the Casper could gain an all-electric version at some point, and if the rumours materialise, it may be feasible to install an EV powertrain in the new Picanto. It’s difficult to draw conclusions at this stage, however.
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