Kia’s tiny Picanto is out to prove economy cars

Kia’s tiny Picanto is out to prove economy cars 1

The 2017 Kia Picanto has been revealed ahead of its official debut at the Geneva motor show in March. It will go on sale in the UK in May, and should cost from around £9000.

For the first time in the Picanto’s lifespan, the city car will gain sportily styled GT-Line and GT-Line S trims, which get more equipment, a muscular body kit, bespoke paintwork and a new steering wheel.

On the driving dynamics front, the torsion beam rear axle has been redesigned with lighter trailing arms, whereas the all-new steering rack is 13 percent quicker than the previous unit. Translated into numbers, that’s 2.8 turns lock to lock instead of 3.4 turns. Reduced weight ahead of the car’s front axle also helps with handling by reducing inertia for more agility.

Front-wheel drive and a five-speed manual transmission come standard regardless of which engine is chosen. The 1.2-liter engine is available with a four-speed automatic gearbox at an extra cost. Performance specifications haven’t been announced, but the Picanto’s target buyer cares more about the turning radius — which checks in at roughly 30 feet — than the zero-t0-60 time.

The 2017 Kia Picanto will go on sale across Europe a few months after it greets the show-going public in Geneva. As of publication, Kia isn’t planning on expanding its U.S. lineup with a model positioned below the Rio, so the Picanto will remain on the other side of the pond.

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