Malaysians really love their smartphones and it’s common to see most drivers rely on it for navigation and messaging (not supposed to) purposes. For a more connected hands-free drive, there’s Android Auto for Android smartphones and Apple CarPlay for those with an iPhone. Unfortunately, you don’t often see them included as standard when you buy a brand new car in Malaysia.
Naza Kia is about to launch the latest Kia Picanto in Malaysia next week which will support these two connected in-car interfaces. This is their compact A-segment car and it appears to be the most affordable brand new car you can get with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay support in the country.
The all-new Kia Picanto for Malaysia will come with a floating 7” touch screen display on the dashboard which allows you to seamlessly connect to your Android or iPhone device. With Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, drivers can make calls, reply messages, play music and navigate to their destination via voice or through the head unit’s touch screen interface. Basically, it allows you to stay connected without taking your hands off the wheel.
To have this feature on a compact car is impressive considering the Kia Grand Carnival in Malaysia which costs almost 3X the price tag doesn’t even have Bluetooth support.
Despite being an “entry-level” Kia, the new Picanto offers top notch safety features with double the Advanced High Strength Steel (AHSS) compared to its predecessor. It still comes with six airbags like its current model for greater peace of mind. The cargo space has been improved as well and it can provide up to 1,010 litres of space with its second row seats folded down.
In terms of pricing, the Picanto could be priced below RM60,000 according to Paultan. This is pretty close to its predecessor which was officially priced at RM61,888.
The new Kia Picanto will be available at selected Kia showrooms in Peninsular Malaysia beginning 10 January 2018 and it will be heading to East Malaysia as early as next month. If you want to check it out yourself, the car will be on display at the Kia on Tour Roadshow that’s happening at High Street, One Utama from 10 – 14 January 2018.