This white latest generation Kia Picanto (model code TA) was snapped by reader Sean Ooi on the Guthrie Corridor Expressway this week. Notice the stickers on the rear? It looks like a showroom car from another country. This isn’t the only new unlaunched Kia that’s been sighted on test in Malaysia in the past few months – we saw the Kia Rio on the road too, back in March 2012.

I’m not completely sure if it’s Naza Kia testing the Picanto, as the Kia Rio we saw had its badges taped, but this one didn’t, which gives me the impression that whoever put it on the road doesn’t really care much about the impression the public gets from seeing it on the road.

A long time ago I would just assume that if a Kia Picanto is on the road with trade plates, it meant the distributor is putting some miles on the car to see if it suits the Malaysian road environment, but not any more. This is because we’ve previously seen the Toyota Passo Sette (the originator of the Perodua Alza) and the Nissan March being tested on the road before, but not by Perodua and Nissan respectively – instead we identified the trade plates as belonging to Proton, so I suppose they were conducting some benchmarks.

Does anyone recognise the B1400A trade plate? Does it belong to Naza Kia?