Upgraded and Safer: Kia Australia Unveils 2024 Picanto Facelift with Enhanced Safety Features
Exciting news is on the horizon for Kia enthusiasts in Australia as the facelifted 2024 Kia Picanto, the beloved city hatchback, gears up for its arrival later this year. Kia Australia has officially confirmed that the upcoming Picanto model will not only sport a refreshed look but will also boast additional safety enhancements to elevate the driving experience.
In a conversation with CarExpert during the Australian media launch for the all-new all-electric EV9 SUV, Roland Rivero, the General Manager for Product Planning at Kia Australia, provided insights into what the facelifted Picanto has in store for eager drivers.
Safety First: A Bump in Safety Equipment
While there won't be new variants or options introduced, Kia Australia is prioritizing safety. Roland Rivero stated, "Picanto [update] will see more added features, particularly added safety assist." Although specific details were not disclosed, a glance at the Korean market offers a glimpse into the potential enhancements.
In Korea, the facelifted Picanto offers an array of driver assistance systems not yet available Down Under. These include adaptive cruise control, blind-spot and rear cross-traffic assists, lane-keeping and centring, along with an upgraded autonomous emergency braking system capable of detecting pedestrians, cyclists, and oncoming vehicles.
With the discontinuation of the larger Rio locally, it's anticipated that Kia will introduce some, if not all, of these safety features to bridge the gap between the Picanto and the Stonic crossover. This move aims to fortify the hatchback's safety and assistance suite, positioning it competitively against popular models like the MG 3, which currently lacks active safety tech beyond basic features.
Current Safety Landscape and ANCAP Rating
As of now, the Picanto offers advanced safety features such as AEB and forward collision warning, with standard passive cruise control across the range. The current model holds a four-star ANCAP safety rating based on 2017 Euro NCAP testing.
Despite the anticipated safety upgrades, it's uncertain whether the new Picanto will address the existing concerns related to its ANCAP rating, including marginal rear passenger protection and whiplash protection for front and rear-seat occupants.
Picanto Power and Pricing Expectations
The 2024 Picanto lineup will exclusively feature the 1.25-litre naturally aspirated four-cylinder petrol engine, as the turbocharged GT variant is being discontinued globally. The current engine generates 62kW and 122Nm, offering both a five-speed manual and a four-speed automatic transmission. While there's speculation about the possible discontinuation of manual options, further details are yet to be confirmed.
In terms of pricing, Kia Australia CEO Damien Meredith hinted at possible minor increases with the new product and specification changes. The current Picanto starts at $16,290 for the S manual and extends to $20,790 for the GT before on-road costs.
As the eagerly awaited 2024 Picanto facelift approaches its local launch before the end of 2023, Kia enthusiasts can anticipate not only a refreshed design but also a safer and more feature-packed driving experience. Stay tuned for further updates as Kia continues to redefine the standards of city hatchbacks in Australia.