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Kia Picanto gets cosmetic facelift

Kia has given its smallest model - the Picanto city car - an exterior refresh with boxier looks inspired by the new EV9 SUV

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The pint-sized Kia Picanto has been given an exterior makeover, which gives the car a squarer front end and brings the model up to date with the Korean brand’s latest design ethos.

With the larger Kia Rio hatchback set to be pulled from production, Kia has decided to give its smallest model boxier exterior looks to make the car seem larger than it actually is, as part of an effort to attract buyers who would consider buying a slightly larger model.

The city car’s front and rear design are inspired by the new all-electric EV9 SUV, which Kia hopes will leave a “bold and futuristic impression” on would-be buyers. Replacing the oval LED headlights and grille strip of the current model, the facelifted Picanto features Y-shaped light signatures, as part of a slightly stockier front end with a raised nose and a new front bumper design.

Top-spec ‘GT-Line’ models get full-width LED lights that stretch across the front fascia and boot lid. On standard models, these lights are replaced by black bodywork pieces.

The car’s interior layout remains the same – specced with a eight-inch infotainment touchscreen and a four-inch digital instrument cluster. Two additional interior colour options will be available, with a green and a brown trim finish being added to the options list.

The engine options have been altered – the naturally-aspirated 1.0-litre petrol engine will continue to be sold, but the turbocharged variant of this unit currently offered exclusively with the range-topping ‘GT-Line S’ version will no longer be available. Instead, Kia says that it will be offering a larger 1.2-litre petrol engine, which the brand says offers better performance “driving at high speeds or uphill”.

That sums up what we know about the upcoming Picanto facelift so far. More details, including the UK trim list and pricing, will follow in the coming months. Kia is also yet to announce exactly when this facelift will be arriving in British showrooms.

The Kia Picanto’s review scores place it in the midfield of our Expert Rating Index city car segment, with praise for its practicality, interior quality and driving dynamics, and criticism surrounding its rather poor three-star Euro NCAP safety rating. It currently holds an Expert Rating of 72%.

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Sean Rees
Sean Rees
Sean is the Deputy Editor at The Car Expert. A enthusiastic fan of motorsport and all things automotive, he is accredited by the Professional Publishers Association, and is now focused on helping those in car-buying need with independent and impartial advice.