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As you mature, you realise that it’s not about the cup that you drink the coffee from, but rather the quality of the coffee itself. What am I on about? Before I elaborate, I hope you like coffee. If not, imagine a drink that you love – so as not to soil my analogy.

Value. It is simple: in life, we are easily drawn to the lure of an expensive, glossy brand. We don’t ask the question – is it worth the money? Instead, we buy it, wear it or drink it; believing it will elevate our status. This myth is pure nonsense. You are being ripped off, and it is your fault – the only thing being elevated is your ego.

Rather, I’ve learned to look for quality.  And that relates to everything in life – friends, food, objects and even cars!

Okay, I’m almost done being Oprah.

Taking into consideration what I’ve just said, and that this article is supposedly about cars, not an inspiration and motivation - albeit why not? - I’d like to say that KIA’s mini hatch, the 3rd, and all new generation Picanto is darn smart. You know what they say, “begin with the end in mind”. Well, KIA has.

This compact city car is smart, for many reasons: it offers great quality at an affordable price. This simple concept is what has made brands like H&M, ZARA, IKEA and MINISO.

The Picanto is good looking, modern without removing the joy of driving it and despite its compact proportions, the Picanto is roomy. If that isn’t enough reason to label the Picanto “smart”, it has the largest boot within its class (255-l).

The 3rd generation KIA shares the same proportions as its predecessor. Now optimised, it has more interior space, is super quiet and drives with the same refinement levels as you would find in a larger, more expensive car. Fitted with either a 1.0-l 3-cylinder or the 1.25-l 4-cylinder, both mated to a slick shifting 5-speed manual gearbox or a 4-speed automatic. The 1.0-l model offers 49kW/95N.m, and the 1.25-L offers 61kW/122N.m - both ample. Top speeds are 155 to 170 km/h while average fuel consumption ranges between 6,0 to 7,1-l per 100km.  You’re not going to win the Le Mans in the new Picanto, but there’s ample power for city driving. This can be attributed to a gearbox that is perfectly mated to the engines power curve; there is no need to drop a gear down.

On the inside, you are presented with a spacious and stylish cabin. Materials feel good to the touch and contemporary in their layout. There is an aesthetical function to it all. In lower specification models, the large, ‘floating’ HMI at the centre of the dashboard houses a 3,8-inch red coloured LCD audio system. While the higher specification models feature a 7,0-inch full-colour touchscreen infotainment system, offering a Bluetooth connection to smartphones to play music on the go. The 7,0-inch touchscreen system also supports Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™ for full smartphone integration*.

Pick between either a START, STREET, STYLE or SMART model: the START models feature manual air-conditioning, tilt-adjustable steering, a radio with RDS and MP3 capability, Aux and USB connector jacks, Bluetooth connectivity and two speakers, to name but a few. Moving up in the line-up, the STREET models build on the standard specification of the START models by adding ABS breaks, electric front windows, steering wheel-mounted audio remote controls, remote central locking with an alarm and immobiliser, as well as driver’s seat height adjustment. The STYLE models see the STREET specification extended with the addition of front projection fog lamps, daytime running lights, automatic light control, a rear window wiper and front seatback pockets.

The top of the range is the SMART models. They gain bi-function projection headlights, LED daytime running lights, LED rear combination lights, electrically-folding, heated side mirrors with integrated LED indicator lamps, aluminium pedals, two-tone cloth and leather upholstery, a leather-upholstered steering wheel and gear knob, the 7-inch full colour infotainment system, Bluetooth with Voice Recognition and a Rear Park Distance Control system with an integrated Reverse Camera with dynamic guidelines.

Hard to fault. Easy to love. The new KIA Picanto is in my mind as the new class leader. Would I buy one? 100%. In fact, I am crossing fingers that this is the winner of the WesBank Car of the Year competition 2018.


Plus +

  • Comfort
  • Build Quality
  • Refinement

Minus –

  • The START, the entry-level model, doesn't have ABS brakes!



Datsun Go, Hyundai i10, Suzuki Celerio, Toyota Aygo/Etios/Yaris, Peugeot 208, Renault Kwid/Sandero and VW UP!



Picanto 1.0 START Manual - R134,995

Picanto 1.0 STREET Manual - R149,995

Picanto 1.0 STYLE Manual - R159,995

Picanto 1.0 STYLE Auto - R172,995

Picanto 1.0 SMART Manual - R179,995

Picanto 1.2 START Manual - R150,995

Picanto 1.2 START Auto - R163,995

Picanto 1.2 STREET Manual - R165,995

Picanto 1.2 STYLE Manual - R175,995

Picanto 1.2 STYLE Auto - R188,995

Picanto 1.2 SMART Manual - R195,995


Service and Warranty

The KIA Picanto package is KIA’s class-leading 5-year/Unlimited Kilometre Warranty, inclusive of 3-years/Unlimited Kilometres Roadside Assistance as standard. A service is available as an option through KIA Financial Services.


My Choice

Picanto 1.0 SMART Manual                          R179,995


Picanto 1.2 STREET Manual                          R165,995





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