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This is the new Naza Picanto, just launched by Naza Kia Sdn Bhd a few days ago at The Curve. Yes, this is the CKD Picanto that was previously called the Naza Suria, but now the Suria name has been dropped and replaced by the Kia name, though the Naza badge remains. The Suria name was probably inspired by the Picanto’s Korean market name, which is the Kia Morning.

The most obvious change is of course the aesthetic update to the latest look that has been available from Kia internationally. With the latest facelift in Korea, there were actually two different front ends available but Naza has picked the version with the rounded foglamps to sell here. There is another one with leaf-shaped look foglamps and funkier alloy wheels, probably some kind of special edition.

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On the inside, the interior has been updated with orange backlighting for the controls and meter cluster. The meter cluster is complete with an RPM meter but there is no water temp meter. The head unit provided is a 1-DIN design with USB support so you can read your MP3 files off a USB thumbdrive and do away with carrying CDs in your Picanto. The 1.1 litre engine revs up to 6k RPM and puts out a peak of 64 PS at 5,500rpm and 96Nm of torque at 2,800rpm. I like the fact that peak torque is made under 3,000rpm, which is usually the point an automatic car would shift gears if driven gently. But in any case acceleration from 0 to 100km/h will take a long 15.1 seconds.

In terms of safety, the front passenger and driver get two airbags – one each. The airbags are only available on the more expensive EX model. None of the models have ABS. There are four 3-point belts and a lap belt for the rear center. Wheels are 14 inch steels for the LS and 15 inch alloys for the EX, wrapped with 165/60R14 and 175/50R15 tyres respectively. The EX goes for RM46,800 while the LS goes for RM44,500. If you are in the market for one I’d recommend you just go for the EX since you get alloys and two airbags for a premium of RM2,300.

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Also note that the Picanto is basically the original car that the Hyundai i10 was based on, and the i10 is sold at a higher price of RM48,888 in Malaysia. But the i10 comes with ABS brakes and a 5-year warranty while from the Naza Kia website it appears the Picanto gets 2 years, though it looks like a (optional?) 2 year extended warranty program is also available. Also, the i10′s CKD packs come from India, while the Picanto’s CKD packs probably come from Korea.

Look after the jump for an E-Brochure and a gallery of the Picanto.

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