Kia has refreshed its smallest offering, the Picanto city car, with a host of upgrades to the interior, a range of more efficient engines and mild styling revisions. 

The Picanto does away with its 1.2-litre naturally aspirated petrol option, continuing with a pair of 1.0-litre options offering 66bhp or – in top-spec turbocharged cars – 99bhp. A switch from multi-port injection to dual-port fuel injection, alongside improved exhaust gas recirculation lines, optimised intake valve timing and improved thermal management, is said to make the engines more efficient.

Price lists open at £10,745, with entry-level cars specified in ‘1’ trim and equipped with a five-speed manual gearbox. Mid-range 2 and 3 trims are priced from £12,245 and £13,745 respectively, with rugged X-Line cars costing from £13,395. Heading up the range is GT-Line S trim, at £15,795, which is available exclusively with the higher-output engine.

The 99bhp range-topper gains a new 350bar high-pressure injection system alongside improved cooling. The Picanto can be had with a new five-speed automated manual gearbox, claiming to offer the convenience of a normal automatic ’box combined with reduced fuel consumption and cost.

Equipped with the 66bhp engine, the Picanto covers the 0-60mph sprint in between 16.6 seconds with the automated gearbox or 14.1 seconds with the standard manual. The 99bhp car brings that time down to 9.9 seconds. Depending on spec, the Picanto is capable of achieving 52.3-58.9 MPG on the combined cycle and emits 110-123g/km of CO2.

Exterior changes are focused on the sporty GT-Line and rugged-looking X-Line models. These feature refreshed bumpers, redesigned front lights and LED rear lights, plus bespoke versions of the Picanto’s ‘tiger nose’ grille. The rest of the range benefits from new colours and alloy wheel choices. 

The previous Picanto’s 7.0in infotainment touchscreen has now been replaced with an 8.0in item. With Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard, it can also pair with two different Bluetooth devices at the same time. The system features the latest version of Kia’s UVO telematics, alongside an upgraded app-based system for a range of live, web-based functions. For example, users can check the location of the car and send route directions to the sat-nav system via their phone. 

Th interior also benefits from a range of bright colour packs and new upholstery options to liven it up. Additional safety kit available includes automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blindspot monitoring, lane-keeping assistance and a driver attention warning.