Kia Motors South Africa has expanded its Picanto range with the addition of a new automatic version of the base derivative.

The arrival of the Picanto 1,0 Start Auto sees the line-up grow to 13 derivatives, five of which now feature self-shifting transmissions.

The Kia Picanto 1,0 Start Auto is priced at R158 495, undercutting the 1,2 Style Auto by some R15 000 to become the second-cheapest automatic passenger vehicle in the country (after the Renault Kwid 1,0 Dynamique AMT, which comes in at R149 900).

The new derivative is powered by the South Korean automaker’s familiar naturally aspirated 1,0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine, which sends its 49 kW and 95 N.m to the front axle via a four-speed automatic gearbox.

The Start trim level on this model includes 13-inch steel wheels (wrapped in 155/80 R13 rubber), manual air-conditioning, a single (driver’s) airbag, a radio (with USB and Bluetooth functionality) and tilt adjustment for the steering column.

Note, however, that this model does without ABS and that while a five-year/unlimited kilometre warranty comes standard, the two-year/45 000 km service plan is optional.

At the start of 2018, Kia Motors SA added a new range-topping 1,2 Smart Auto variant to its line-up.