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The Kia Picanto is a city car produced by the South Korean manufacturer Kia Motors since 2004. It is also known as the Kia Morning in South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan (first two generations) and Chile, Kia EuroStar in Taiwan (first generation), Kia New Morning in Vietnam[1] and the Naza Suria or Naza Picanto in Malaysia (first generation).[2] The Picanto is primarily manufactured at the Donghee joint-venture plant in Seosan, South Korea,[3] though some countries locally assemble complete knock-down versions of the car.

Kia Picanto
2018 Kia Picanto 3 Automatic 1.2 Front.jpg
Overview
ManufacturerKia Motors
Production2004–present
Body and chassis
ClassCity car
Body style
LayoutFront-engine, front-wheel-drive
RelatedHyundai i10
Chronology
PredecessorKia Visto

First generation (SA; 2004–2011)Edit

First generation (SA)
 
Overview
Also called
  • Kia Morning
  • Kia New Morning
  • Kia Picanto Morning
  • Kia EuroStar (Taiwan)
  • Naza Suria (Malaysia)
  • Naza Picanto (Malaysia)
Production2004–2011
Assembly
Body and chassis
PlatformHyundai-Kia SA
Related
Powertrain
Engine
Transmission
Dimensions
Wheelbase2,370 mm (93.3 in)
Length3,535 mm (139.2 in)
Width1,595 mm (62.8 in)
Height1,480 mm (58.3 in)
Curb weight836–945 kg (1,843–2,083 lb)

The first generation Picanto was revealed at the 2003 Frankfurt Motor Show.[10] It was based on a shortened platform of the Hyundai Getz and was 3,495 mm (137.6 in) long, with a five-door hatchback body style.[11] The car was available with a choice of two petrol engines: a 1.0-litre, with 61 hp (45 kW) and 86 N⋅m (63 lb⋅ft), or a 1.1-litre, with 65 hp (48 kW) and 97 N⋅m (72 lb⋅ft), both with multipoint injection.[12] In Europe, a 1.1-litre three-cylinder diesel engine (based on the Kia Cerato's 1.5-litre four-cylinder unit) was also available, with direct injection and a variable geometry turbocharger, the power reaching 75 hp (56 kW) and a torque of 153 N⋅m (113 lb⋅ft). The petrol engines had a combined consumption of 5.1 L/100 km (55 mpg‑imp) and 5.2 L/100 km (54 mpg‑imp) respectively, while the diesel used 4.4 L/100 km (64 mpg‑imp). An automatic gearbox (with torque converter)[13] was optional for the petrol units. In some countries, it was sold with a 1.2-litre engine, also used on the newer Hyundai i10.

To increase its appeal in the European market, the Picanto was equipped with such features as CD player with MP3 audio playback, air conditioning, front and patented rear electric windows, remote central locking, and electric mirrors. These features were advertised in a short-lived ad campaign starring Marcus Grönholm.

SafetyEdit

Euro NCAP test results for a LHD, 5-door hatchback variant on a 2004 registration:

Euro NCAP test results
Kia Picanto (2004)[14]
Test Score Rating
Adult occupant: 17      
Child occupant: 37      
Pedestrian: 6     

FaceliftEdit

2007

The Picanto received a facelift in late 2007. Among the minor changes were the light clusters (front and rear), a new bumper and front grille. For the UK and Cyprus markets, the indicator stalk was switched to the opposite side. For the Italian market, a new bi-fuel LPG version debuted alongside the 1.0 L and 1.1 L engines. This model also saw a change in power steering configuration from hydraulic to electric.

2010

For the 2010 model year, the Picanto received some minor interior and exterior changes, including a new front fascia that incorporates the "tiger nose" grille.[15]

GalleryEdit

Second generation (TA; 2011–present)Edit

Second generation (TA)
 
Overview
Also calledKia Morning
Production2011–2017
2019-present (Pakistan)
Assembly
DesignerPeter Schreyer
Park Kee-hong[20]
Cho Kwae-jae[21]
Body and chassis
Related
Powertrain
Engine
Transmission
Dimensions
Wheelbase2,385 mm (93.9 in)
Length3,595 mm (141.5 in)
Width1,595 mm (62.8 in)
Height1,490 mm (58.7 in)
Curb weight840–900 kg (1,852–1,984 lb)

The second generation Picanto made its debut at the Geneva Motor Show in 2011.[26] Designed by Kia's European design team based in Frankfurt, Germany, under the direction of Peter Schreyer, the new model is longer in wheelbase and overall length than its predecessor. The Picanto is offered with a choice of two gasoline engines: a 1.0 liter three-cylinder[22] or a 1.25 liter four-cylinder. The Europe-spec 1.25 liter engine features ecoDynamics, Kia's start-stop system.[27] In addition, there is also a petrol/LPG version of the 1.0 liter engine available.[23] The Brazil version is equipped with a flex fuel version of the 1.0 liter engine that uses both petrol and ethanol.[24]

The Picanto was available worldwide (except North America, Venezuela, China, and Singapore) as a 5-door hatchback while the European market received the exclusive 3-door variant.[28] The 3-door version is the same length as the 5-door model, but it sports new windows and doors, different bumpers and a front grille with silver or red trim.[29] In South Korea, the Morning is offered in a Sport Pack, which consists of the 3-door's front and rear bumpers, as well as a digital speedometer.[30]

In some countries, the Picanto name is accompanied by a modifier for marketing reasons. Examples include Picanto Ion for Colombia,[31] Picanto R for Ecuador,[32] Picanto Flex for Brazil,[33] Picanto K1 for Thailand,[34] and Picanto 1250 for New Zealand.[35] In the Indonesian market, the 1.0 liter variant was named Morning 1.0 to distinguish it from the 1.2 liter Picanto; this variant was sold in 2015 only.[36]

The second-generation Picanto for the Pakistani market was launched at Pakistan Auto Parts Show (PAPS) 2019. It is locally assembled at Kia Lucky Motors' plant in Karachi and will be equipped with 1.0 liter engine. Production commenced in August 2019, with actual sales expected starting October 2019.[37][38][39]

Picanto R-CrossEdit

In November 2013, Kia Netherlands released a limited edition model called the Picanto R-Cross. Marketed to compete with the Volkswagen CrossUp, this model features a black body kit that wraps around the wheel wells and is fitted with 14" alloy wheels. Only 500 units of the R-Cross were produced.[40][41]

MarketingEdit

As part of the marketing campaign for the Picanto, Kia produced a promotional video featuring the world's first nail art animation. Over 900 artificial nails and 1,200 bottles of nail polish were used in a span of 25 days (with each nail taking two hours to paint) to create images of the Picanto in motion.[42]

In the UK, the Picanto is the official sponsor of the ITV dating game show Take Me Out. Kia UK released a series of viral videos on their YouTube channel to promote both the car and the programme. Each video features actress Natasha Barrero, as she drives a black Picanto 3-door before being swooned over by different men.[43]

A Lemon Grass Morning appears as the transforming robot Tobot D in the South Korean animated series Tobot.[44]

ReceptionEdit

The Picanto was met with positive reviews in the UK. Top Gear magazine gave it a score of seven out of 10, describing it as "a well-made, well-equipped, practical and affordable little thing that’s cheap to run and ought to put the wind up more expensive European cars."[45] What Car? magazine gave it three out of five stars, commenting that it has "a classy cabin and a fine driving position. Most versions are decently equipped and there’s a market-leading seven-year warranty."[46] Auto Express rated it 3.8 out of five stars, calling it "one of the best looking cars in its class, with chunky styling and the firm’s distinctive ‘tiger-nose’ grille – it makes the Hyundai i10 look dull and the Fiat 500 a bit old-fashioned."[47] The magazine also ranked the Picanto sixth among the 10 best city cars.[48] Ben Barry of Car Magazine gave it four out of five stars, calling it "a very accomplished car, one that looks good and is fun to drive whether you’re in town or out on the open road."[49]

AwardsEdit

The Picanto won the iF product design award in the "Transportation Design" category in 2011[50] and the Red Dot award in the "Automobiles, transportation, commercial and water vehicles" category in 2012.[51][52] Top Gear magazine named the Picanto "Bargain Car of the Year" in 2011.[53] The Association of Scottish Motoring Writers awarded the Picanto as "Best Small Car" in 2011.[54] In South Africa, the Picanto took the Standard Bank People's Wheels Award for "Budget Buys - Affordability First" three years straight from 2011 to 2013.[55][56] In 2016, J.D. Power and Associates awarded the Picanto on UK Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS) in the City Car category.[57]

SafetyEdit

Euro NCAP

Euro NCAP test results for a LHD, 5-door hatchback variant on a 2011 registration:

Euro NCAP test results
Kia Picanto (2011)[58]
Test Points %
Overall:      
Adult occupant: 31 86%
Child occupant: 40 83%
Pedestrian: 17 47%
Safety assist: 3 43%
ASEAN NCAP

ASEAN NCAP test results for a RHD, 5-door hatchback variant on a 2013 registration (with and without airbags):[59][60]

Test Score
Adult occupant protection:      
Adult occupant protection (non-airbag):      
Child occupant protection:      
Child occupant protection (non-airbag):      

The airbag variant tested was the Malaysian model equipped with six airbags, Electronic Stability Control (ESC), and Isofix. The non-airbag variant tested was the Thai version, which is similarly equipped as the Philippine and Indonesian models.

Australian NCAP

Australian NCAP test results for a RHD, 5-door hatchback variant on a 2016 registration:[61]

Test Score
ANCAP safety rating:      
Overall score: 34.26 out of 37
Frontal offset: 15.12 out of 16
Side impact: 14.14 out of 16
Whiplash protection: Acceptable
Pedestrian protection: Marginal
ESC: Standard
Seat belt reminders: 3.0 out of 3

FaceliftEdit

2014

For the 2014 model year, the Morning in South Korea uses the European three-door's front and rear bumpers with the headlights incorporating a new LED daytime running light system. The interior features a revised instrument cluster that uses a digital speedometer. The silver trim is replaced with a gloss black trim. A touchscreen multimedia stereo system is offered as an option. The new model is equipped with seven airbags, a Cornering Brake Control system, a handbrake alarm, and height adjustable seat belts. Aside from the standard 1.0 liter gasoline engine, the Picanto is offered with a new "Eco-Plus" engine mated to a continuously variable transmission (CVT).[62]

The international version of the Picanto remains unchanged aside from the new front bumper.[63]

2015

For the 2015 model year, the Picanto receives redesigned front and rear bumpers with new fog lamps. In addition, the car is offered with a turbocharged version of its 1.0 liter Kappa II engine, which increases power output from 69 hp to 106 hp.[25] The refined engine meets Euro 6 standards.[64] The Picanto is also offered with optional 252 mm (9.9 in) front disc brakes (an increase from the stock 241 mm (9.5 in)).[65]

The facelifted Picanto debuted at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show in March and went on sale across Europe by the end of the month.[64]

GalleryEdit

Third generation (JA; 2017–present)Edit

Third generation (JA)
 
Overview
Also calledKia Morning
Production2017–present
Assembly
DesignerPeter Schreyer
Powertrain
Engine
Transmission5-speed manual
4-speed automatic
Dimensions
Wheelbase2,400 mm (94.5 in)[67]
Length3,595 mm (141.5 in)[67]
Width1,595 mm (62.8 in) (with mirrors: 1,880 mm (74.0 in))[68]
Height1,485 mm (58.5 in)

In January 2016, spy shots of the third generation Picanto were published online.[69] The third generation Picanto made its official global debut at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show.[70] The Picanto is equipped with a choice of three engines: the outgoing model's 1.0-liter Kappa II three cylinder engine in the multi-point injected and turbocharged direct-injected versions, and the 1.2-liter Kappa II four-cylinder engine. Both 1.0-liter engines are mated exclusively with a 5-speed manual transmission, while the 1.2-liter engine is also offered with an optional 4-speed automatic transmission.[71][67] The car features all-new safety features such as Torque Vectoring Brake Based (TVBB) system, Straight Line Stability (SLS), Forward Collision Warning System (FCWS) and Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB).[72]

While the Picanto is launched globally through the 2017 calendar year, it is expected to enter the Indian market in 2019 to introduce the Kia brand to the country.[73]

For the Malaysian market, the third generation Picanto was launched in January 2018. It is powered by a 1.2-litre naturally-aspirated four-cylinder engine and was initially available with only one trim level (EX) with 4-speed automatic transmission. In January 2019, the GT-Line variant was announced which adds Autonomus Emergency Braking (AEB) and many other new features after its preview at the 2018 Kuala Lumpur International Motor Show. In May 2019, a base variant KX and X-Line was added, priced at RM44,888 and 57,888 respectively.[74] [75] [76]

For the Indonesian market, the third generation Picanto went on sale in October 2019 after the distribution of Kia vehicles were taken over by Kreta Indo Artha, a subsidiary of Indomobil Group. It is powered by a 1.2-liter naturally-aspirated four-cylinder engine and offered in GT-Line and EX trim levels with either 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmission.[77]

MarketingEdit

Kia Motors in South Korea debuted the Morning in January 2017 with a series of TV commercials featuring actors Shim Eun-kyung, Park Jung-min, and Jin Kyung.[78] For the international release of the Picanto and the fourth generation Kia Rio, Kia Motors produced two music videos featuring Korean-American singer Kate Kim and American musician Lee Radde in May 2017.[79][80]

The Picanto GT Line was featured in Season 2 episode 3 of The Grand Tour, where co-presenters James May and Richard Hammond drove it on a "lunchtime office car park racing" track at Houghton Hall business park in the Luton/Dunstable Urban Area.[81]

ReceptionEdit

The third generation Kia Picanto was met with positive reviews in Europe and Australia. Top Gear rated the car 7 out of 10 with the tagline: "Another string to Kia’s ever more impressive bow, the Picanto is a fun and interesting city car."[82] Richard Ingram of Auto Express gave it four out of five stars, calling it "a more grown up alternative to the Renault Twingo, and its mature manners should see it give the Skoda Citigo something to worry about. Plusher, more refined and better to drive than its predecessor, the cheap-to-run Picanto is an exciting class contender".[83] Matt Saunders of Autocar gave it three-and-a-half out of five stars, commenting that it "sets a high bar on refinement, packaging and out-of-town dynamism, but avoid the entry-level engine".[84] Australian car website Motoring gave the car a score of 78 out of 100, pointing out that "Where the Picanto excels is in the areas of comfort and, more importantly, refinement. It delivers the kind of polished ride quality you might expect from a larger hatchback while the build quality and materials used throughout the cabin add to the car’s grown-up feeling."[85] Chris Evans of the Daily Mail gave the Picanto "2" trim two out of five stars, saying that "Not only is the Picanto ‘2’ unbearably depressing and oppressive visually, all the interior surfaces are ugly and hard." He gave the Picanto GT-Line S a rating of four out of five stars, commenting that "This is it a much better car all round. A whole new world for just £3k more. I know it wasn’t the car I was meant to review, but sometimes it’s more useful not to play by the rules."[86]

AwardsEdit

The third generation Picanto won the iF product design award in the "Transportation Design" category [87] and the Red Dot award in the "Car Design" category in 2018.[88]

What Car? named the Picanto "Best City Car" in their 2018 Car of the Year Awards.[89]

SafetyEdit

Euro NCAP

Euro NCAP test results for a LHD, 5-door hatchback variant with standard equipment on a 2017 registration:

Euro NCAP test results
Kia Picanto w/ standard equipment (2017)[90]
Test Points %
Overall:      
Adult occupant: 30.3 79%
Child occupant: 31.6 64%
Pedestrian: 22.8 54%
Safety assist: 3 25%

Euro NCAP test results for a LHD, 5-door hatchback variant with optional safety pack on a 2017 registration:

Euro NCAP test results
Kia Picanto w/ optional safety pack (2017)[91]
Test Points %
Overall:      
Adult occupant: 30.3 79%
Child occupant: 31.6 64%
Pedestrian: 22.8 54%
Safety assist: 5.7 47%

GalleryEdit

ReliabilityEdit

In January 2013, the Picanto was named most reliable car in the UK, according to data published by Moneysupermarket.com in conjunction with Warranty Direct. Out of a Reliability Index (RI) of 100 (the lower the score, the fewer problems reported by owners), the Picanto achieved a score of 3.00/100.[92]

MotorsportEdit

 
Kia Lotos Race-spec Picanto.

The Picanto is an official race car in Poland's Kia Platinum Cup, a racing organization created by Kia Motors Polska and Polish Automobile and Motorcycle Association. The organization started in 2006 as the Kia Picanto Cup before establishing a partnership with Grupa Lotos to form the Kia Lotos Race a year later. Following the 2017 season, the organization was changed to Kia Platinum Cup after PKN Orlen replaced Grupa Lotos as the title sponsor.[93][94]

The Morning is also an official race car in the Korea Speed Festival.[95]

In 2018, the Kia Picanto GT Cup was established in Portugal by Kia Motors Portugal and CRM Motorsport.[96]

Chinese copy controversyEdit

 
Yogomo 330 electric car.

In 2015, a Chinese low-speed electric vehicle manufacturer Yogomo released the Yogomo 330 electric car, which is a near-exact copy of the second generation Picanto.[97][98][99]

NotesEdit

  1. ^ Second generation, Europe only.

ReferencesEdit

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