It’s been three years since the third-generation Kia Picanto made its world debut, and while 36 months may seem like a short time in the grand scheme of things, this is when high volume city cars like the Picanto are due for an update.

With that, our spy photographers have managed to catch a prototype unit of the Picanto facelift for the first time. In northern Sweden, no less. It’s still fully clad with camouflage wrap and protective covers, but reports suggest that the production car will officially make its debut later this year, if not in early 2021.

There’s not much for us to go on regarding design changes, but expect a revised front face, new wheel designs, and perhaps small tweaks to its rear end. Similarly, the cabin will get subtle revisions, perhaps with updated tech such as a larger infotainment display (up from the current 7.0-inch unit) with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support. It won’t likely get the Seltos‘ 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system with split-screen functionality, though.

For powertrains, the existing range of engines will be carried over, including the range-topping 1.0 litre T-GDI three-potter which makes 100 PS and 172 Nm of torque. Other naturally-aspirated options are the 1.0 litre MPI unit making 67 PS and 96 Nm, as well as the familiar 1.25 litre MPI engine with 84 PS and 122 Nm of torque. Transmission choices include a five-speed manual or four-speed auto.

Expect no changes to boot space – the Picanto offers a decent size of 255 litres, along with a two-step boot floor which can be raised or lowered by 145 mm. The rear seats feature a 60:40 split-folding mechanism, which when folded provides 1,100 litres of space.

Lastly, expect Kia to up the ante with regards to safety. Currently, it has six airbags (front, front side and curtain airbags; knee airbag optional), ABS with EBD and brake assist, stability control, hill start assist, ISOFIX rear child seat anchors, tyre pressure monitoring system, autonomous emergency braking, and forward collision warning system.

Moving forward, Kia has plans to produce a pure electric version for all its models, including the Picanto. Kia Europe COO Emilio Herrera said while it is ‘a big challenge’, it will have to be done sooner or later. Could there be a pure electric version of the third-gen Picanto, then?