Kia Picanto preview-19

The second-generation Kia Picanto is now in Malaysia, with an official launch scheduled for the first half of next month. The A-segment five-door hatch was previewed at Naza Kia’s roadshow in Sunway Pyramid over the weekend, and we were there for a closer look and to dig for some info from the sales personnel.

UPDATE: Pricing for the Picanto has been confirmed – RM54,888 for the M/T and RM59,888 for the A/T, OTR with insurance. Test drive report here.

According to a friendly SA, the car you see here is the exact local spec car, which is officially classified as a locally-assembled model. Like big brother Rio, the Picanto will be delivered with Kia badges. The TA Picanto is powered by a 1.25 litre Kappa engine, which has 87 hp/120 Nm in the current and next-gen Hyundai i10.

This four-cylinder CVVT engine is paired to either a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic gearbox – yes, Naza Kia will be offering a manual here as well, which is pretty surprising given the traditionally low take up rate for stick shift variants. We’re not complaining.

Kia Picanto preview-23

Perhaps more surprising is the standard safety kit list, which includes ABS, Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and six airbags for BOTH the manual and the automatic, we were told, in addition to all-round disc brakes, which is uncommon in this segment.

As you can see from the cabin shots below (display car was locked), the Picanto will also come with steering wheel controls for the factory audio system. Phone buttons sit on the right steering spoke, hinting at the availability of Bluetooth pairing. We zoomed in and spotted manual air con and auto headlamps, too. LED DRLs and distinctive claw-style LED rear signature lighting add some pizzazz.

According to the SA, the estimated price range is from below RM60,000 to around RM64,000 for the auto. The cheaper manual is expected to lose out on some toys such as keyless entry with push start button. An ad of the new Picanto has appeared on our sister classifieds site, and you can view it here.

It all sounds pretty good for a small car, and the Picanto looks rather cute as well. What do you think?