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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
One thing I have found annoying in my base model Picanto "S" is the rock hard plastic gear knob (automatic transmission) which - unlike the plastic steering wheel - is quite slippery for someone with dry hands like me. I don't have the same issue with the steering wheel because of course it is heavily textured in a grippy finish and even though it is ostensibly described as a hard plastic, it is more like a ultra-hard and ultra-durable rubber sort of finish with a tiny amount of "give". The gear knob, however, just hard slippery plastic.

I noticed I can purchase the exact OEM "leather" knob used in the GL Line here in Australia (and probably the better UK models from the last few years) for a fairly reasonable price - about $60.

But before I blow my money, has anyone compared the leather OEM gear knob to the cheaper hard plastic OEM one? My hope would be that the leather finish (I realise it likely isn't real leather) would afford some grip versus the hard plastic one and probably give a nicer, higher class feel too. Just because it is an automatic doesn't mean the gear shift doesn't get a lot of use - it does!
 

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Well I haven't used the plastic one but I can say that the leather gear shift grip on our Picanto 2 Automatic seems quite grippy & is pleasant to hold.
Not sure if that's any use to you ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well I haven't used the plastic one but I can say that the leather gear shift grip on our Picanto 2 Automatic seems quite grippy & is pleasant to hold.
Not sure if that's any use to you ?
Yes, that is of use! Thanks. I might make it an Easter treat. The stock plastic one is a smooth finish with little to no texture and I often change ratios manually. Not anywhere to the extent I obviously would have when I used to drive manuals but I will often swap from 4th to 3rd when the speed limit is 50 kmh in built-up areas and I don't want it to try and use 4th and also into 2nd if I am crawling along in traffic and don't want it trying to go into 3rd. The "slip" when using the smooth plastic knob is very annoying as you have to grip it harder than is necessary given the actual force needed is quite low.

I actually would have happily gotten the higher spec version with the better knob and "leather" wheel except that it comes with those 17 inch wheels which are just bad news on Victoria's uneven coarse chip roads.
 

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Yes, that is of use! Thanks. I might make it an Easter treat. The stock plastic one is a smooth finish with little to no texture and I often change ratios manually. Not anywhere to the extent I obviously would have when I used to drive manuals but I will often swap from 4th to 3rd when the speed limit is 50 kmh in built-up areas and I don't want it to try and use 4th and also into 2nd if I am crawling along in traffic and don't want it trying to go into 3rd. The "slip" when using the smooth plastic knob is very annoying as you have to grip it harder than is necessary given the actual force needed is quite low.

I actually would have happily gotten the higher spec version with the better knob and "leather" wheel except that it comes with those 17 inch wheels which are just bad news on Victoria's uneven coarse chip roads.
Must admit I don't shift manually with mine (might try it now you've mentioned it) but glad to hopefully help a bit.
I'm sure I saw a video on youtube about removing the shift knob, I think it's just pulled upwards.

17" wheels & low profiles, not much use on UK roads either IMO. I prefer 14" & high profiles, I don't drive on the Nurburgring but I do drive on crappy roads !
 

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Each to their own I suppose.
I like a softer ride & a 14" wheel & higher profile tyre puts more rubber between rim & road so that's bound to help both ride & keeping wheel away from the ever present (& annoying) pot holes. Aesthetically (& I know i'm doubtless in a minority) I like the look of a thicker tyre too.
To be honest i'd quite happily have had steel wheels & 'trims instead of alloys if the "2" trim level had come with them !
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'm sure I saw a video on youtube about removing the shift knob, I think it's just pulled upwards.
Yes, I had already tried it a couple of weeks ago. It does just pull upwards but the first time requires a lot of "pull". Probably about 40 kg worth. Best to put it into 2nd range as that gives the best angle to pull it straight up. Once it is off the first time it only requires a "hard" pull to remove but that first time. Just keeping piling on the muscle power more and more...and it will pop off!

I've read a few questions from people who were mystified trying to remove Kia gear knobs but it is simply that they are on seriously tightly when new.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
They come with 16" wheels and they are fine. My daughter has done 90K and got 75K out of the 16" tyres.
Sorry, yes 16 inch. But I sure wouldn't be wanting those on Victorian rural city roads where I live. The 14 inch ones with the high profile tyres are at my comfort limit of tolerance which is why when I get the second car next year (will still be keeping my orange Picanto) I am tossing up amongst the base Picanto with the same 14 inch wheels or perhaps a base model Rio with 15 inch steels and high profile rubber or even Cerato with 16 inch steels and high profile rubber.

I really can't stand modern cars with their large wheels and low profile rubber. They just don't look right and I don't think the ride compromise compared to base models makes much sense where I live given the condition of the roads. Infact I wouldn't buy these sorts of cars no matter where I lived and how good the roads are. But each to their own. I see a few of the GT Line Picantos in my town and although I grimace when I see them traversing the same bits of road that I do, they obviously can't mind too much.

The bigger problem with the Picanto versus something like the Cerato and even the Rio is that it can't override real world laws of physics and the combination of small wheels, light weight and short wheelbase just makes it so much harder for it to achieve a nice overall ride quality - even though I admit it is astonishing for what it is and does an admirable job.

Probably does not help that I as I age I put more weight into ride quality and refinement versus what I might have when I was young. Oddly enough though, the Picanto actually shines in this respect on the freeway and 100 kmh country roads since the engine remains perfectly smooth and unobtrusive. Yet on the larger engined cars the engines are much more intrusive and give out more vibration even though they are doing less RPM. So that evens the score up a fair bit in my book. The press like to criticise the Picanto on highways and high speed backroads but in my experience it is then in its element and better than most cars I have driven, regardless of size and power outputs.
 
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