Kia’s smallest model is about to get a big safety boost, which should help further strengthen its mighty grip on the Australian micro car segment.
The facelifted version of the Picanto will arrive in Australia in the third quarter of this year. Its Korean market counterpart, the Morning Urban, was revealed on Tuesday.
The updated Morning adds lane-keeping assist, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert. There’s also a driver’s knee airbag, in addition to the existing front, front-side and curtain airbags.
The expanded safety equipment roster means the Picanto may further shade the larger, more expensive Rio.
The current Picanto already offers autonomous emergency braking with forward-collision warning across the range while the Rio only offers it in range-topping GT-Line trim. Likewise, lane-keeping assist is exclusive to the top-spec Rio.
The interior looks much the same but there’s plenty of new kit.
While the base Morning features less equipment than our entry-level Picanto S, the up-spec Prestige and Signature significantly up the ante.
The most visible additions are an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and satellite navigation, as well as a 4.2-inch colour LCD screen in the instrument cluster.
The current Australian-market Picanto has a 7.0-inch touchscreen and a 2.6-inch monochromatic instrument cluster display.
Other additions include automatic climate control, push-button start, a heated steering wheel, heated front seats, wireless phone charging, and a segment first: a ventilated driver’s seat
All updated Kia Morning models use a naturally-aspirated SmartStream G 1.0-litre three-cylinder engine producing 55kW of power and 95Nm of torque. It’s mated to a four-speed automatic transmission. There’s also a torque-vectoring system available.
Actual cosmetic tweaks to the Picanto are minimal, limited to new LED daytime running lights – similar to those of the Cerato GT – plus new wheel designs, a revised grille and new front and rear bumpers.
Kia Australia couldn’t comment on which, if any, of these features will be included in the updated Picanto due later this year.