A small car, grown up – the all-new Picanto

The all-new Kia Picanto, which made its global premiere at the Geneva Motor Show, has been redesigned and re-engineered with stand-out styling that conveys a sense of solidity and maturity. Longer than the previous model, and with an extended wheelbase, the new Picanto promises more passenger comfort and increased cargo space. It is set to completely redefine its position as one of the most competitive vehicles in the A-segment.

“Following the tremendous success Picanto has shown in the South African market, our new Picanto aims to continue this legacy” comments Mr Ray Levin, CEO of KIA Motors South Africa. “The new Picanto will stand out in this segment with an ultra modern exterior, a highly functional interior (with new and exciting features), as well as competitive performance and safety features. It is such a complete car, such a high quality package, offering numerous high-end features and, will raise the fundamental perception of A-segment models to a higher level”, he further adds

“New Picanto will also maintain Kia’s reputation for delivering great value. It will deliver premium features at affordable prices and generate increased showroom traffic at our dealerships”.

“Kia customers will benefit from the next generation Picanto’s greatly reduced CO2 emissions, improved fuel economy and reduced ownership costs and will be a stand-out option in this highly competitive segment”, he concludes.

More space, more style and less drag

Over the last three years the Kia product family has undergone a complete design metamorphosis.

This process started with the iconic Kia Soul, and was accelerated with the arrival of the dramatic new Sportage. These exciting new vehicles all belong to a new design strategy that has redefined Kia as a manufacturer of trendsetting cars with global appeal.

The five-door Picanto hatchback is the newest member to join this exciting and design driven Kia family. Kia has taken a courageous new step with the latest version of its smallest model. The character of the car has been transformed from ‘cute’ and ‘friendly’ into mature and handsome, designed to turn heads while prowling on the streets, thanks to its good looking proportions and dynamic design language. Picanto in its newest form exudes a bold self confidence and maturity which is unique in the A-segment.

Looking at the stance of the new Picanto, for instance, there is a greater sense of stability and strength which is emphasized by the muscular wheel arches and low wide rocker panel.

Up front, the face of the Picanto expresses the same assertive vigour and refinement as the Sportage, and shares with them the same signature ‘tiger nose’ grille – the black mesh surrounded by a painted silver bezel (1.0) or a chrome-plated bezel on the 1.0 LX and 1.2 EX models.

The eyes of the tiger, formed by Picanto’s stylish headlamps, suggest high levels of design sophistication. Combined with a dramatic lower grille opening, the lights create a sporty and distinctive down road graphic.

This bold front end is supported by a strongly-sculpted and dynamic body which emphasizes the strength and maturity of the Picanto and gives the vehicle a real ‘sporty presence’ on the road. The strong body feature line along the side brings a dynamic tension to the car’s profile and beautifully integrates the exterior door handles. This is just another example of the attention to detail which sets the new Picanto apart from its competitors.

Looking from the rear, the Picanto’s new design theme emphasizes chic modernity, with its large rear window framed by the unique rear lamp graphic and supported by a strong purposeful bumper section.

New Picanto makes a strong, well-balanced and cohesive design statement which combines a contemporary fashionable feel with rational functionality.

While its ultra modern styling makes it stand out from the crowd, the new 3.6-meter long Picanto will also remain an extremely practical car. On the outside, overall vehicle length has increased by 60 mm, and the wheelbase has grown by 15 mm. These increases, and some clever interior packaging, have enhanced the cabin space for people (front legroom is up by 36 mm) and for cargo. The length, width and height of the cargo space is increased by 64, 15 and 69 mm respectively, its capacity growing by 27% to 200 litres (VDA).

Attention to small details of the exterior design have improved the new Picanto’s aerodynamics, reducing its drag figure to just Cd 0.31 – better than the vast majority of A-segment cars.

A choice of 14-inch steel (with full wheel covers on 1.0 and 1.0 LX) or 14-inch alloy wheels (1.2 EX) adds extra sophistication to the exterior appearance.

Manufactured exclusively at Kia’s Seosan plant in Korea, new Picanto will be presented in a range of 10 exterior colours – two solid and eight metallic colours:

  • Galaxy Black
  • Clear White
  • Titanium Silver
  • Bright Silver
  • Milky Beige
  • Lemon Grass
  • Alice Blue
  • Honey Bee
  • Signal Red
  • Café Mocha

All three models feature a black cloth interior trim.

Raising the bar with new features

Picanto’s new found maturity is also reflected in the interior design, which sets a new benchmark in its class. The sophisticated interior will offer buyers numerous comfort and convenience features – many of them fitted for the first time on a car in this segment.

The interior architecture shows the same chic functionality as the exterior with major controls arranged in an attractive and easy to use layout which emphasizes the width and space of the cabin. The thick rimmed, uniquely designed, two-spoke steering wheel and the signature Kia ‘three cylinder’ instrument cluster with its clear and precise graphics, reflect the consistency with which Kia’s new design philosophy is being used throughout the brand’s product line-up. The new Picanto features stylish black cloth interior trim on all models.

Features available on all models include manual air-conditioning, an under-floor trunk storage box, retractable dual cup holders and sun visors with vanity mirrors. A ‘gear shift indicator’ is available on al manual models to encourage an economical driving style by prompting you to change gears at the optimum point in the rev range. Other features that are standard include AUX/iPod/USB connections for the radio CD player with MP3 compatibility.

A passenger seat storage tray is standard on both the 1.0 LX/ 1.2 EX for extra convenience. To add to this, an exciting new feature on the 1.0 LX and 1.2 EX: automatic light control with “welcome home and escort” modes. Unique to the 1.2 EX is steering wheel mounted controls and hands-free Bluetooth®. The 1.2 EX model allows a little sunshine into your life with an optional sunroof.

As well as enhancing the ride/handling characteristics and the accident impact resistance of the new Picanto, the stiffer bodyshell structure of Kia’s latest model is the foundation for much improved refinement that will make this Kia the class-leader in the A-segment.

NVH counter-measures include larger hydraulic mountings for the engine and transmission, a triple-layer dashboard bulkhead sound-deadening panel, dual door sealing strips, and two measures to reduce wind noise – sound-blockers within the door mirror mounts and moving the radio antenna towards the rear end of the roof. 4. POWERTRAINS

Highly efficient engines that deliver great fuel economy

Every new Kia Picanto features the highly efficient Kappa engine that helps to improve fuel consumption and lower CO2 emissions.

Two versions of the Kappa will be offered. A four-cylinder, 1,248 cc engine that generates 65 kW and 120 Nm of torque tops the line-up. The three-cylinder, 998 cc unit produces 51 kW and 94 Nm of torque.

Made in Korea, the Kappa family of engines share many common characteristics, including DOHC, dual CVVT (continuously variable valve timing), a cast aluminium block, off-set crankshaft, maintenance-free long-life timing chain and low-friction ‘beehive’ valve springs.

This combination of advanced technologies means that exhaust emissions have been significantly reduced, so that regular models in the new Picanto line-up will have a CO2 rating of 117 to 144 g/km – depending on model and transmission. Fuel economy will range from 4.9 to 6.0 liters per 100 km, lowering running costs.

The ECO indicator is a system that informs you to drive more economically. The green ECO indicator will turn on when you are driving fuel efficiently in ECO ON mode. Just by changing your driving style you can save on fuel and help save the planet. With the ECO indicator it’s very easy to do…

Every new Picanto features front-wheel drive and the standard transmission for all engines will be a 5-speed manual with a high top gear ratio (0.719:1) to optimise fuel economy and enhance refinement by reducing engine rpm during fast cruising.

A 4-speed automatic gearbox will also be available on each engine – this transmission adds just 20 kg to the car’s overall weight.


Improved ride, stability and braking

The new Picanto’s suspension and running gear has been developed from the previous model to retain that car’s responsive handling while improving ride quality and refinement.

Electric power steering is fitted for its good balance between steering precision, feel and feedback, and is available on all models. City driving agility is assured by a turning circle of less than 10 meters.

The MacPherson strut front suspension features an increased castor angle (now 4.1 degrees), for enhanced straight-line driving stability, 12% softer springs and longer wheel travel with shorter (by 20 mm) bump-stops.

At the rear, the CTBA (coupled torsion beam axle) is 60% stiffer (reducing under-steer), with 29% softer springs, shorter (by 15 mm) bump-stops and larger trailing-arm bushes for improved stability and a more compliant ride.

All models are equipped with Kia’s ‘High’ suspension set-up which raises the ground clearance by 10 mm (compared with European-spec models), to 152 mm to ensure a comfortable ride over rough or heavily cambered roads. Overall height is also raised by 10 mm to 1490 mm.

As standard, the Picanto’s braking system features 241 mm ventilated front discs and 180 mm rear drums with ABS available on the 1.2 EX.

Minimum stopping distance for new Picanto from 100 kph is among the class-best at 41.0 metres and is significantly better than many A-segment cars.


Enhanced safety for occupants and pedestrians

The all-new bodyshell created for new Picanto uses a greater percentage of high-strength steel and incorporates ring-shaped reinforcing loops within the B- and C-pillars, and across the floor pan and roof, plus additional bracing at the front between the cowl and suspension towers for improved rigidity.

For greater side-impact protection, the B-pillar and side sills are reinforced with high-tensile steel plates, the anti-intrusion door-beams are extended to overlap the B-pillar and polyurethane pads are fitted within the front door trims.

Available safety equipment will include a driver airbag (1.0 Picanto) and an additional passenger airbag for the 1.0 LX and 1.2 EX. ABS anti-lock braking is standard on the 1.2 EX only.

For additional safety, a new ESS (Emergency Stop Signal) system is standard on the 1.2 EX. Sensors detect when the driver is braking suddenly and hard, and then flash the brake lights three times to alert motorists behind you that the car is slowing rapidly.

Pedestrian safety has also been improved by fitting a new cross-member below the front bumper, creating a deformable cowling ahead of the windscreen and off-setting the hood striker (inside the engine bay) by 50 mm from the car’s center line.

Small children are even more vulnerable to severe impacts. A new feature of the Picanto is the ISOFix child seat anchors securing baby seats quickly and safely without the need for seat belts…


Standard Equipment

Kia Picanto 1.0 Exterior

  • 14-inch steel wheels with hubcaps and 165/60 R14 tires
  • Multi-focus Reflector headlights
  • Multi-focus Reflector rear lamps
  • Black-colour door handles
  • Black door mirror mountings
  • Body-coloured bumpers (4 kph impact resistant)
  • Manual-adjustable door mirrors
  • Matt silver outline radiator grille
  • Tinted glass
  • Heated rear window
  • Roof-mounted micro radio antenna
  • Rear fog lamps
  • High-mounted stop light

Comfort & Convenience

  • MDPS electric power steering
  • Tilt-adjustable steering wheel
  • Manual air-conditioning
  • Gear shift indicator (manual transmission only)
  • Trip computer, odometer and digital clock
  • Dual front sunvisors
  • Front cabin courtesy lamp
  • Cargo bay lamp
  • Heating and ventilation system with 4-speed fan
  • 12 V power outlet
  • Rear parcel shelf cover


  • Radio & CD player with MP3
  • AUX, USB and iPod compatibility
  • 2-spoke soft polyurethane steering wheel
  • Black cloth-covered seat upholstery
  • Front door audio speakers
  • Rear door audio speakers
  • Glove box
  • Centre console storage with cup-holders
  • Front door map pocket
  • Front seatback storage pockets
  • 60/40 split folding rear seats
  • Luggage under floor box – trunk
  • Removable can-type ashtray

Safety & Security

  • Driver airbag
  • Rear Isofix child seat anchors
  • Variable intermittent front windscreen wipers
  • Height-adjustable head restraints for front and rear occupants
  • Child-proof rear door locks
  • Key-less entry system
  • Engine immobiliser
  • Anti-theft burglar alarm
  • Remote central locking (including tailgate)

Kia Picanto 1.0 LX

Additional factory-fitted standard equipment over 1.0 model.


  • Body-coloured door handles
  • Front fog lamps
  • Rear window wiper

Comfort & Convenience

  • Automatic Light Control (with escort and welcome home)
  • Front electric windows


  • Driver seat & seatbelt height adjuster
  • Passenger seat undertray

Safety & Security

  • Front passenger airbag

Kia Picanto 1.2 EX

Additional factory-fitted standard equipment over 1.0 LX model


  • Alloy 14-inch wheels with 165/60 R14 tires
  • Chrome outline radiator grille
  • Chrome door handles
  • Body-colour side sill mouldings

Comfort & Convenience

  • Steering wheel remote controls
  • Electric rear windows
  • Electric-adjustable, heated door mirrors


  • Silver metal accents on steering wheel, centre stack, heater controls, audio controls and power window controls in door trim
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel and gearknob
  • Bluetooth hands-free phone system
  • 2 tweeter audio speakers in dash-top

Safety & Security

  • ABS anti-lock brakes with EBD
  • ESS (Emergency Stop Signal)

Optional Equipment
Optional equipment on 1.2 EX model only.

Comfort & Convenience

  • Powered tilt/slide sunroof


Body & Chassis

Five-door, A-segment hatchback, with all-steel unitary construction bodyshell. Choice of two transversely-mounted engines driving the front wheels via a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission.


  • 1.0-litre 51 kW
  • Type / capacity Kappa (3-in-line), DOHC, three-cylinder, with dual CVVT / 998 cc
  • Power / torque     51 kW @ 6200 rpm / 94 Nm @ 3500 rpm
  • Emissions         from 117 g/km CO2
  • 1.2-litre 65 kW
  • Type / capacity    Kappa (4-in-line), DOHC, four-cylinder, with dual CVVT / 1248 cc
  • Power / torque 65 kW @ 6000 rpm / 120 Nm @ 4000 rpm
  • Emissions from 119 g/km CO2


1.0 / 51kW    1.2 / 65kW

Manual / speeds         5         5
Automatic* / speeds         4         4

Suspension & Damping
Front Fully independent by subframe-mounted MacPherson struts, with coil springs and gas-filled shock absorbers. Anti-roll stabiliser bar.

Rear Semi-independent by CTBA (coupled torsion beam axle) with separate coil springs and gas-filled shock absorbers.


  • Type MDPS electric power-assisted rack and pinion
  • Gearing 3.4 turns lock-to-lock (with MDPS)
  • Turning circle 9.8 metres (minimum)


  • Front 241 x 18 mm, ventilated discs
  • Rear 180 x 7 mm, drums
  • Assistance ABS, ESS (1.2 EX)

Wheels & Tyres

  • Standard Steel 14 in x 5.0J165/60 R14 tyres (1.0 / 1.0 LX)
  • Alloy 14 in x 5.0J    165/60 R14 tyres (1.2 EX)
  • Spare Space-saver steel     T105/70 D14 tyre


  • Exterior Overall length 3595 Overall width 1595 (excl door mirrors)
  • Overall height 1490 Wheelbase 2385
  • Front overhang 700 Rear overhang 510
  • Front track 1415 Rear track 1418
  • Ground clearance 152