After making its world premiere at the 2017 Geneva International Motor Show, Kia's A-segment hatchback - the Picanto, has officially arrived in the Philippines. Featuring a bolder exterior, along with a new GT Line trim model, the 2018 Picanto is the Korean automaker's third iteration of their small hatchback.

"As one of Kia's best-selling models across the globe, we knew it would be a challenge to improve on the current version. This new model retains all of the outgoing model's strengths but now offers increased performance and new technologies," said Hernando Ganac Jr., Columbian Autocar Corporation's (CAC) vice president of sales and marketing.

2018 Kia Picanto makes Philippine debut

Immediately noticeable is the Picanto's sportier design. In fact, its styling cues appear to be taken from the Rio, it's larger hatchback sibling. Going to the details, the Picanto now features a more prominent 'tiger nose' grill which is flanked by the sleek new headlights that come with projector halogens and LED daytime running lights (DRLs). Completing the aggressive front fascia are the larger side air-vents helping the engine stay cool.

Moving to the side, the upward sweeping window line of the out-going Picanto has been retained. At the rear, one is met with a familiar design of the outgoing Picanto. Kia has however rounded off the rear bumpers and updated the look with new C-shaped LED tail lights.

When specified as a GT Line model, the Picanto gets red accents on the grill, front air vents, side skirts and rear bumper.

With regards for size, the Picanto has retained its overall length at 3595 mm. However, it does have a longer wheelbase that measures 2400mm (+15). As for girth, the all-new Picanto comes in at 1595mm.

2018 Kia Picanto makes Philippine debut

Inside, the sportier theme of the 2018 Picanto's exterior carries on. There is now a three-spoke leather-wrapped steering wheel and vertical vents at the ends of the dashboard. In front of the driver, there is a new dual-pod display with a multi-information function. Other features of the 2018 Picanto include manual climate control, digital radio with Bluetooth, USB, AM/FM radio and Aux support, and cloth-wrapped seats. The rear seats can be split folded 60:40.

2018 Kia Picanto makes Philippine debut

Powering the 2018 Kia Picanto is the 1.2-liter Kappa four-cylinder engine with multi-point injection (MPI). It puts out 84 PS at 6000 rpm and 121 Nm of torque at 4000 rpm. Available transmissions include a four-speed automatic and a five-speed manual. Both the manual and automatic versions roll on 15-inch alloy wheels that are wrapped in 185/55 tires.

Standard safety kit on the 2018 Kia Picanto include: dual SRS airbags, anti-lock brakes, keyless entry with alarm and ISOFIX anchors for child seats (rear seats).

2018 Kia Picanto makes Philippine debut

Pricing for the 2018 Kia Picanto is as follows: 

Picanto 1.2 M/T - Php 625,000

Picanto 1.2 A/T - PhP 685,000