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New 2020 Kia Picanto facelift revealed with three updated engines

The Kia Picanto city car has been revised for 2020, adding a handful of cosmetic updates, extra interior technology and a new-look petrol engine range

A facelifted version of the Kia Picanto has been launched, with the updated city car set to rival the recently revealed third-generation Hyundai i10.

The new Picanto features a range of styling updates, a host of technology upgrades and three revised powertrains. The updated model range is due to go on sale in the UK this autumn, with first deliveries expected to arrive towards the end of the year.

On the outside, the new Picanto gains updated headlamp units with restyled LED daytime running lights, fresh LED tail lights and an updated version of the brand’s trademark “Tiger Nose” radiator grille. Buyers will also have their choice of 10 paint finishes and two alloy wheel designs, in either 14-inch or 16-inch sizes.

Kia has also updated the Picanto’s sports-inspired GT-Line and SUV-inspired X-Line trim-levels, fitting new front and rear bumpers to both models. The former model features a broader front air intake, gloss black trim and new LED fog lamps, while the latter comes with new protective skid plates and fresh metal-effect trim.

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Changes in the cabin major on updated technology. The Picanto gets a new 4.2-inch digital instrument cluster and an eight-inch infotainment system with support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The latter is an inch larger than the old Picanto’s touchscreen and can pair with two devices at the same time – one via Bluetooth and one through a USB connection.

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Buyers also have a choice of either cloth or faux-leather seat upholstery and a range of interior colour packs, which add contrasting seat stitching, seat bolsters and dashboard trim. Four options are available – lime, orange, red and green – with the latter adding an unusual denim-effect finish to the seat upholstery.

The new Picanto’s engine range is the same as the outgoing model’s – although the three petrol units have been updated to meet the latest CO2 emissions regulations. Revisions for the range include a new engine management system, a revised fuel injection system and improved exhaust gas recirculation lines.

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The entry point to the updated Picanto range is a naturally aspirated 1.0-litre three-cylinder unit, which develops 66bhp and 96Nm of torque. Above that sits a 1.2-litre four-cylinder, with an output of 83bhp and 122Nm of torque. Both these engines have moved from multi-point to dual-port fuel injection, which Kia says has improved their fuel efficiency.

At the top of the Picanto line-up sits a revised version of the outgoing car’s turbocharged 1.0-litre three-cylinder unit, which produces 99bhp and 172Nm of torque. This engine is also fitted with a new variable valve timing system, which Kia says allows the engine to switch between different combustion cycles, depending on the driving situation.

All three engines come fitted with a five-speed manual gearbox as standard, although Kia’s new five-speed automatic gearbox will be available as an optional extra – replacing the aging four-speed transmission on the outgoing model.

Finally, Kia has fitted a host of extra driver assistance technology to the Picanto. Upgrades include forward collision avoidance assist, blind-spot collision avoidance assist, lane-keeping assist, a driver attention warning system and lane following assist, which can assume control of the vehicle’s steering, braking and throttle on the motorway. 

Buyers also get seven airbags, a range of ISOFIX child-seat anchor points, hill-start assist, a revised traction control system and an emergency stop signal, which automatically flashes the car’s hazard lights if the driver brakes suddenly.

Prices are yet to be confirmed for the updated Kia Picanto but, given the amount of extra technology on offer, we’re expecting a small increase over the outgoing model. Expect a starting price of around £11,000 when the city car goes on sale later this year.

What does the updated Kia Picanto have to beat? Read our list of the best city cars on sale now

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