Small but perfectly formed

Monday, 23 February 2004

The all-new Kia Picanto, which goes on sale in time for The Sunday Times Motor Show (27 May), presents customers with a winning combination of innovative European-inspired design, class-leading interior space, great fuel economy and ultra-low emissions, in an unrivalled value-for-money package.

The chic and modern Picanto is the embodiment of Kia's ‘young, sporty and friendly' brand aspirations and has been designed to fit squarely into the UK's vibrant A-segment as well as meeting the needs of lower B-segment customers not wishing to ‘up-size' to the latest supermini offerings.

Paul Williams, Managing Director, Kia Motors UK said:  "The Picanto is a fresh and new entrant into what is becoming a dynamic and competitive market segment. With a modern European-focussed design, a fun driving experience and high specifications at very competitive prices, the Picanto will meet the needs of a new and younger customer base for Kia."

The Picanto is ‘best-in-class' in most major cabin dimensions and will be available as both four-seater and five-seater versions, with a choice of two petrol engines and  manual or automatic transmission (1.1-litre only).  

The Picanto's fuel economy, and particularly its class-leading CO2 figures - as low as 118 g/km - reflect Kia's push towards leaner, greener vehicles.  A diesel version of the vehicle will be released in 2005.

Exterior and Interior Styling

Designer Kang Lee has given the new small car a distinctive and attractive appearance. The front view of the Picanto features a trapezoid radiator grille with vertical strips for visual impact and headlamps with multi-focus reflectors for maximum illumination.

At the back of the car, the curvaceous rear windscreen, large light clusters, and broad bumper create a robust quality and secure stance that are uncommon in the A-segment. 

The Picanto's exceptionally roomy interior makes it ‘best-in-class' in many ways.  Front headroom is an impressive 1,003 mm (966 mm rear), front legroom is 1,041 mm (872 mm rear), and shoulder room is 1,300 mm (1,290 mm rear). 

The generous passenger space is enhanced by 19 storage areas around the cabin.  The trunk has a capacity of 157 litres with the rear seat raised, expanding to a maximum of 882 litres with the rear seat folded flat.  The rear seat is split 60/40 to offer up to seven different configurations. 

The two-tone interior trim - dark upper and pale lower - highlights the internal space. The seats and door trim are available in three different two-tone variations matching the range of exterior colours - black-silver, black-orange and black-blue, to give customers a choice of vibrant interior décor.

Engines and Transmissions

The 1.1-litre engine generates 65 ps at 5,500 rpm and 9.9 kgm of torque at 2,800 rpm, making the Picanto one of the most powerful cars in its class.  This engine is offered with a choice of 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmissions.  The 1.1 Picanto will accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in
15.8 seconds, and reaches a maximum speed of 152 km/h (95 mph).  With a 35-litre fuel tank, the Picanto will travel 700 kilometres (435 miles) between fuel stops. 

The 1.0-litre engine, which is mated to a five-speed manual transmission, produces 61 ps at 5,600 rpm and 8.8 kgm of torque at 3,500 rpm.  In terms of CO2 emissions, this Picanto is also one of the world's cleanest, most efficient cars, emitting just 118 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometre. 

Ride and Handling

Fully independent suspension designed to deliver both agile handling and a supple, comfortable ride on European roads, is fitted.  At the front, MacPherson strut suspension enables the Picanto to steer and manoeuvre with minimal effort and low tyre scrub. 

In most European countries, the standard wheel and tyre package for Picanto is a 14 inch diameter, 5.0 inch wide steel wheel, with 165/65 R14 radial tyres. 

The Picanto offers customers a choice of a manual temperature control system or optional air conditioning unit with a germ-proof filter.

Most Picanto models feature powered windows (with an auto-down feature on the driver's window), powered outside mirrors (adjusted using a switch on the driver's door armrest), and powered remote central locking (for all four doors and the tailgate). 

Safety and Security

Unusually for this class of vehicle, Picanto comes with disc brakes as standard - backed up by state-of-the-art ABS anti-lock and load-sensitive EBD (electronic brake force distributor).  This highly effective system enables the Picanto to stop from 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 41 metres. 

The Picanto is equipped with high-tensile steel beams in each door to resist side impact forces, reinforced front and rear bumpers, child safety locks on the rear doors and three-point seatbelts for all five occupants.  Driver and passenger front airbags are installed as standard, while side airbags in both front seats are also available. 

Security on Picanto is enhanced by the fitting of central locking and remote releases for both the tailgate and the fuel filler flap.  Picanto is fitted with an engine immobiliser and (as an option) keyless entry and an anti-theft alarm.

The Picanto benefits from a 3 year unlimited mileage manufacturer's warranty with 3 years' European roadside assistance.

For more information on Kia visit

more >>