Kia’s smallest car will get a new badge for 2022, but no new safety or convenience equipment.
An update for 2022 will bring the latest Kia badge to the pint-sized Picanto hatch, but Australia continues to miss out on some of the high-end features available overseas.
Picantos wearing the new logo will start appearing in Australian showrooms in late July or early August of 2021.
Kia Australia chief operating officer Damien Meredith has previously indicated hitting an affordable price is a key part of the Picanto’s appeal, which means it’s not always possible to offer everything available overseas.
That list of unobtainable equipment has grown longer, with the Picanto now offering safety features like blind-spot assist and rear cross-traffic assist in its home market of Korea where it’s called the Morning.
It’s also available with convenience features like a heated steering wheel, wireless phone charging, and heated and ventilated front seats.
In Europe, it offers blind-spot monitoring and lane-keeping assist, while Australian-market models’ list of active safety technology only includes autonomous emergency braking (AEB).
Last year’s facelift did add a number of features to the Australian-market model, however.
That included a larger, 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, plus a larger 4.2-inch colour screen in the instrument cluster.
The Picanto isn’t the only Kia to miss out on features available overseas.
The European-market Rio, for example, offers adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, lane-following assist and traffic sign recognition but in Australia it offers only AEB and lane-keeping assist, and only on Sport and GT-Line models.
That means the Picanto S, which only narrowly misses the title of Australia’s cheapest car, offers AEB while a base Rio S doesn’t.
Current drive-away pricing puts the base Picanto S manual at $17,990, while the Mitsubishi Mirage ES manual undercuts it at $17,490 drive-away.
Despite the Mitsubishi’s edge in pricing, the Kia trounces it in sales. Through to the end of May 2021, Kia has sold 2982 examples of the Picanto against just 473 of the Mirage.