Columbian Autocar Corporation (CAC), the Philippines’s official distributor of Kia vehicles, recently upped its game in the hotly contested subcompact hatchback segment. Case in point, the all-new 3rd generation Picanto is finally here, and it boasts a sportier exterior, a refined interior, and a new, soon-to-be-available top-of-the-line variant.
Up front, the 3rd generation Picanto evokes a fascia design akin to that of the recently launched 4th generation Rio hatchback. The brand’s signature tiger-nose grille, for example, has been extended to form a connection between its set of sharper-looking headlights. The lower fascia, on the other hand, carries a redesigned bumper to complete the look.
Changes to its profile were kept to a minimum, albeit the slight kink on the C-pillar (rear side window), the inclusion of an optional red strip on the lower part of the doors, and a refreshed wheel design. Small details these may be, but these sure make the little hatchback look a tad cooler than its predecessor. Moving on to the rear end, the view is highlighted by a pair of redesigned tail lights and a new shaped bumper.
In contrast to the previous model, the all-new Picanto’s wheelbase was stretched 15mm more. This translated to a cabin with more leg room to boot. And speaking of the cabin, the interior theme now looks more refined. Aside from the additional head, shoulder, and leg spaces, the general fit and finish and the materials used were improved to evoke a sense of up-market vibe.
At the center of its horizontal dash is an AM/AF audio system, complete with aux-in and USB port for portable devices. This transmits crisp sound to 4 speakers. It also has safety features that include dual front air bags, ABS, and upper/lower ISOFIX child seat anchors.
The 3rd generation Kia Picanto runs with a gasoline-fed inline 4-cylinder mill, available in 1.0L or 1.2L variants. The former is mated to a 5-speed manual transmission and delivers 67 hp with 96 Nm of torque. The latter, meanwhile, puts out 84 hp and 121 Nm of pulling power. This is paired to a 4-speed automatic gearbox.
Interestingly, CAC launched the all-new Picanto in stile as it was unveiled during the inauguration of its latest showroom. What’s great about this showroom is that it’s located on the 5th floor inside the Building B of the SM Megamall in Mandaluyong City. For the record, this is the first in-mall showroom of the Korean carmaker here in the Philippines.
Moreover, the all-new Picanto was unveiled simultaneously across 5 of CAC’s dealerships, nationwide. These include the Kia Carmona, Kia Pampanga, Kia Gorordo-Cebu, Kia Davao, and the above-mention mall-based showroom.
To cap things off, CAC also introduced the GT-Line, the 3rd generation Picanto’s upcoming new range-topper which made its global reveal a few months ago. What’s great about the Picanto GT-Line is its more aggressive body styling that hides a turbocharged 1.0L engine under the hood.
Of note, CAC has yet to announce the price and availability of the GT-Line. But the sure thing is that the regular version will roll out of the dealerships with a price tag of P625,000 and P685,000 for the 1.0 MT and 1.2 AT variants, respectively.