enhanced kia picanto 1

First unveiled in South Korea last month, the facelifted Kia Picanto is set to make its debut at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show in March, before going on sale across Europe by the end of that month.

We’ve already seen what the designers have done to the exterior of the A-segment hatch – there’s a new front fascia with a reshaped “tiger nose” upper grille, a larger, more rounded lower grille and smaller fog lights housed in new surrounds. The rear bumper is also now of a sportier design, with a blacked-out lower insert. A sport pack is offered on both three- and five-door models, along with a new 14-inch wheel design.

Inside, the Picanto gets chrome trim around the instrument binnacle and air vents, a new fabric seat pattern and a new fascia for the audio system. As on the Korean-market model, cruise control and speed limiter is now available as an option, as is Kia’s new audio-visual navigation (AVN) system with a seven-inch display, available from Q3.

enhanced kia picanto 2

Moving forward, there will be three interior colour packs offered – a Red Pack with black faux leather and red cloth seats plus high-gloss red and black door inserts, a Yellow Pack with black part-leatherette seats with yellow stitching and bright yellow dashboard and steering wheel trim, as well as a Brown Pack with brown faux leather seats and piano black dashboard trim. Footwell illumination come with any of these packs.

Under the skin, there are new Euro 6-compliant engines, including a mildly-updated 1.0 litre naturally-aspirated three-cylinder engine. No word on whether performance has improved, however, and there’s also no mention of the 106 PS/137 Nm turbocharged 1.0 litre TCi mill offered in Korea.

Brakes weren’t exactly the Picanto’s weakest link, with standard all-round disc brakes, but 2015 sees the introduction of larger discs – 252 mm at the front versus 241 mm – that will be offered as an option. They bring the stopping distance from 100 km/h down to 37 metres, two meters shorter than before.

Korean-market Kia Morning