Kia Motors South Africa entered the A-segment market back in 2004 with the boxy Picanto, which if we are honest didnt capture the markets attention in quite the way the South Korean brand wanted.
This changed with the unveiling of the second generation Picanto in 2011, which also resulted in global sales totalling 1.4-million units. Now though, there is a new Picanto and I travelled to Cape Town to find out if it has what it takes to remain one of the most popular Kia models to date.
The first generation Picanto was a bit of a hit and miss in terms of styling. The second generation however featured a more youthful yet modern design which seemed to be just what the public wanted.
This new model builds on that with a seemingly more mature design, the result of a collaboration between Kias design centres in Namyang, South Korea and Frankfurt, Germany.
The front end features strong, straight lines which run horizontally across the front of the car There is also the trademark tiger-nose grille and new headlights as well as a distinctive line down the side and around the wheel arches.At the rear, the Picanto features a revised bumper and taillights. The engineers have also increased the width of the C-pillar which now stands more upright than that of the previous model.
When I got into the Picanto, I was impressed with the layout of the dash. I immediately got a sense that Kia were trying to play the premium card.
This is due to the stylish design of the dashboard which features a snazzy satin chrome-effect strip, the new top mounted infotainment screen and nicely designed climate control dials. The instrument cluster also features a more up-to date look with the same going for the steering wheel.
About that infotainment system
As mentioned, one of the cabins standouts, on high spec models that is, is the seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system incorporating Bluetooth, USB and Aux inputs, as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Lower spec models make do with a 3.8-inch monochrome TFT LCD display.
On the launch, I got the opportunity to put the Picanto through various scenarios which included navigating the narrow streets of the Cape Town CBD, as well as heading out into the wine lands to fully exploit its talents.
There are two engine options available a 49kW/95Nm 1.0-litre three-cylinder and a 61kW/122Nm 1.2-litre four-cylinder. While they might not be the most powerful motors around, the Picanto does weigh less than the previous model, with the former motor also benefitting from a new cooling system and shut-off valve.
All models are fitted with a five-speed manual gearbox as standard with a four-speed automatic optional on some versions.
From Start to Smart
At launch, the Picanto will be available in a choice of four trim levels mimicking those of the Soul. The base Start gets a two-speaker Bluetooth enabled sound system with USB and Aux inputs, trip computer, dual front airbags and air-conditioning but importantly, does not feature ABS while the next step up Street receives front electric windows, remote central locking and ABS.
Building on this, the Style adds a four-speaker sound system, steering wheel audio controls, projection type headlights with daytime running LEDs, 14-inch alloy wheels and automatic lights.At the top of the range, the Smart benefits from 15-inch alloys, Bluetooth with voice activation, electric rear windows, bi-projection headlights, the aforementioned infotainment system, leather wrapped steering wheel and gear knob, reverse camera and rear parking sensors.
After spending time with the new Kia Picanto, I can conclude that it remains an attractive option within the A-segment. I like the styling, the features and the range of new colours. I also found the ride and handling impressive considering its size.
Its no high speed cruiser though and did feel a bit out of its comfort zone when rushed. Considering one? I would, especially when the price remains virtually unchanged from the previous model.
Picanto 1.0 Start - R134 995
Picanto 1.0 Street - R149 995
Picanto 1.0 Style - R159 995
Picanto 1.0 Style AT - R172 995
Picanto 1.0 Smart - R179 995
Picanto 1.2 Start - R150 995
Picanto 1.2 Start AT - R163 995
Picanto 1.2 Street - R165 995
Picanto 1.2 Style - R175 995
Picanto 1.2 Syle AT - R188 995
Picanto 1.2 Smart - R195 995
A five-year / unlimited km warranty is standard across the Picanto range with a service plan being optional.
Article written byJustin Jacobs - 09.06.2017 Autodealer.co.za -https//www.autodealer.co.za/Motoring/New-Models/Kia-Picanto-reimagined-3261.html
Kia heads US J.D. Power Initial Quality Survey Kia has topped the J.D. Power Initial Quality Survey in the United States for a second time with the least number of problems per (PP) 100 vehicles experienced during the first 90 days of ownership.
With an industry average of 97 PP100 vehicles, the Korean auto giant came out ahead with 72 PP100 followed by sister brand Hyundai's Genesis luxury division (77 PP100), Porsche (78 PP100), Ford (86 PP100), Ram (86 PP100), BMW (88 PP100), Chevrolet (88 PP100), Hyundai (88 PP100), Lincoln (92 PP100) and Nissan (93 PP100).
Aside from the Forte (Cerato), Soul, Sorento, Cadenza, and Niro hybrid coming out tops in their respective segments, other winners include the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and Silverado HD, Chevrolet Sonic, GMC Terrain, BMW 2-series, 4-series and X6, Mini Cooper, Chrysler Pacifica, Ford Expedition, Ford Mustang, Infiniti QX80, Lexus GS, Mercedes-Benz GLA, Nissan Frontier (Navara), Porsche 911 and Macan, and the Toyota Camry.
"Automotive manufacturers are responding to consumer feedback and producing vehicles of the highest quality. The industry has improved significantly in each of the past three years. Todays vehicles have more things that could go wrong but fewer things that actually do go wrong," J.D. Power Global Automotive Vice President, Dave Sargent, said.
The survey also noted a significant improved compared to 2016 with a record eight percent improvement in customer satisfaction, and 27 of the 33 brands surveyed bettering their overall quality. Highlighted problem areas are driver assistance system such as Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Departure Warning, Blind Spot Warning and Collision Avoidance Alert, as well as certain infotainment display system.
Out of the worst performing marques, Fiat come in last with 163 PP100 in front of Jaguar (148 PP100), Volvo (134 PP100), Mitsubishi (131 PP100), Land Rover (131 PP100), Mazda (125 PP100), Audi (115 PP100), Subaru (113 PP100), Jeep (107 PP100) and Infiniti (107 PP100).
The Kia Rio has been a phenomenal success for the South Korean brand within the local automotive market, although this was not always the case.
The first generation model graced South African shores at the turn of the century, and was a rather forgetful but dependable econobox. The second generation was better, but failed to capture the sales figures Kia were looking for.
But, in 2011, South Africans were introduced to the third generation Rio, an all-new product with a design language that appealed to the masses. Some 37 237 local unit sales later, the third generation has been replaced by the fourth iteration, which I drove in Johannesburg recently.
The latest Rio certainly demonstrates the newfound maturity of the Kia brand first seen in the latest Sportage. We now have a car with a more grown-up, upmarket exterior design. While not the most radical of departures from its predecessor, I feel that consumers will still get the idea that this is most certainly a new model.
Up front, we see an evolution of Kias signature Tiger Nose grille, which is now slightly shorter and thinner. There are also new headlamps and U-shaped daytime running lights. The side profile is typically hatchback and at a glance, could be something more premium, more German, which is a good thing.
At the rear, there are new LED taillights that benefit from an arrow motif, while keen observers will note that the rear overhang is a bit shorter than before. Overall, the Rio continues to display the brands successful interpretation of modern motoring design with aplomb.
For those accustomed to Rio interiors of old, the new model is not likely to surprise, particularly in the entry-level models. The basic ergonomic layout is commendable, with all of the controls and their placement being easy and logical when put into practical use.
Kia also claims that there are new, improved materials used throughout the cabin, but expect the odd hard plastic surface to linger. The big change to the interior though has to be the inclusion, or option should I say, of a touchscreen infotainment system. There are three options within the range the more basic models get a 3.8-inch mono-TFT screen with Bluetooth, USB and Aux compatibility.
Moving up the range, we have a five-inch colour touchscreen unit with the same features as the mono-TFT, while flagship models receive the brands new seven-inch touchscreen setup complete with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and voice control. The top-line system really improves the look of the cabin and modernises the facia, a useful option worth ticking.
In terms of the powertrain department, Kia has decided to stick with the more tried and trusted variants, with the much anticipated 1.0-litre turbo mill still under consideration for South Africa. Instead, we get mildly revised versions of the 1.2 and 1.4-litre naturally aspirated petrol motors.
The entry-level unit produces 62kW/120Nm through a five-speed manual gearbox, and the 1.4-litre 74kW/135Nm with transmissions consisting of a six-speed manual or four-speed automatic. I drove the top-of-the range 1.4-litre manual TEC derivative at launch up at altitude.
I have to say that the car does feel rather underpowered most of the time, add a hill into the equation and the problem is compounded. That said though, it wasnt frustratingly slow with the lack of power being made-up somewhat by very little road noise and a good level of interior comfort, two traits buyers in this segment want, along with low costs and fuss-free motoring, which the Rio delivers.
While Kia hasnt really re-invented the wheel, so to speak, with the new Rio, it didnt really have to. The updated looks, improved quality, added interior technology and the fact that the new model is similarly priced to the older version, will likely ensure that this generation Rio is as successful as its predecessor.
Warranty and service
All Rio models come with a four-year/60 000km service plan as well as a five-year/unlimited mileage warranty.
Rio 1.2 LS - R 219 995
Rio 1.4 LX - R 234 995
Rio 1.4 LX AT - R247 995
Rio 1.4 EX - R 249 995
Rio 1.4 EX AT - R262 995
Rio 1.4 TEC - R 274 995
Rio 1.4 TEC AT - R287 995
Article written by Sean Nurse - 09.06.2017 Autodealer.co.za - https//www.autodealer.co.za/Motoring/New-Models/Kia-ups-its-game-with-new-Rio-3166.html
5 Advantages of Purchasing Pre-owned Bakkies Instead of New
With the economy the way that it is and the Rand steadily plummeting in value, it is now more difficult than ever to afford a new vehicle. Those who drive bakkies are usually quite dependent on them for an income or for a reliable form of transport, and reliability is vital.
Many people still question the second-hand car market, and horror stories about vehicles costing a fortune to repair just after they were purchased can be really daunting. However, times have changed and if you need to purchase a bakkie, it is now a better time than ever to enter the market for pre-owned bakkies. When it comes to used vehicles, there are several advantages over purchasing a new vehicle, and these include
If you need further convincing that buying pre-owned bakkies instead of new ones is actually better, we recommend that you come and talk to our floor managers at Bakkie Deals, and we will clarify it for you!