Kia Picanto

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Kia Picanto
Kia Picanto Fünftürer Vision 1.0 CVVT Schneeweiß.JPG
ManufacturerKia Motors
Body and chassis
ClassCity car
LayoutFront-engine, front-wheel-drive
PredecessorKia Visto
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Kia Picanto
Kia Picanto Fünftürer Vision 1.0 CVVT Schneeweiß.JPG
ManufacturerKia Motors
Body and chassis
ClassCity car
LayoutFront-engine, front-wheel-drive
PredecessorKia Visto

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 and Chile, Kia EuroStar in Taiwan, Kia New Morning in Vietnam[1] and the Naza Suria or Naza Picanto in Malaysia.[2] The Picanto is manufactured exclusively at a joint-venture plant with Donghee in Seosan, South Korea.[3]

First generation (2004–2011)[edit]

First generation (SA)
Kia Picanto EX Vorfacelift.JPG
Also calledKia Morning
Kia New Morning
Kia Picanto Morning
Kia EuroStar (Taiwan)
Naza Suria (Malaysia)
Naza Picanto (Malaysia)
AssemblySeosan, South Korea (Donghee)[4][5]
Body and chassis
Body style5-door hatchback
RelatedHyundai Atos[6]
Hyundai Getz[6]
Engine1.0 L Epsilon I4 (petrol)
1.0 L Epsilon I4 (petrol/LPG)
1.1 L Epsilon I4 (petrol)
1.2 L Kappa I4 (petrol)
1.1 L U-Line I3 (diesel)
Transmission5-speed manual
4-speed automatic
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.[7] It is based on a shortened platform of the Hyundai Getz and is 3,495 mm (137.6 in) long, with a five-door hatchback body style.[8] It was available with a choice of either 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.[9] 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)[10] 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 is equipped with such features as CD player (that enables MP1, 2 and 3 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.


Euro NCAP test results for a LHD, 5-door hatchback variant on a 2004 registration:[11]

Adult occupant:3/5 stars17
Child occupant:4/5 stars37
Pedestrian:1/4 stars6
Safety assist:N/AN/A



The Picanto model in Europe was altered slightly in late 2007. Among the minor changes were the light clusters (front and rear), and for the UK market, the indicator stalk was switched to the other side. For the Italian market, a new bi-fuel LPG version debuted, with 1.0 L and 1.1 L engines.


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.[12]


2007 Kia Picanto 
2010 Kia Morning 

Second generation (2011–present)[edit]

Second generation (TA)
Kia Picanto (front quarter).jpg
Also calledKia Morning
Model years2012–present
AssemblySeosan, South Korea (Donghee)[13][14]
DesignerPeter Schreyer
Park Kee-hong[15]
Cho Kwae-jae[16]
Body and chassis
Body style5-door hatchback
3-door hatchback[nb 1]
RelatedHyundai i10
Kia Ray
Engine1.0 L Kappa II I3 (petrol)[17]
1.0 L Kappa II I3 (petrol/LPG)[18]
1.0 L Kappa II I3 (petrol/ethanol) [nb 2][19]
1.25 L Kappa II I4 (petrol)
Transmission5-speed manual
4-speed automatic
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.[20] 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[17] or a 1.25 liter four-cylinder. The Europe-spec 1.25 liter engine features ecoDynamics, Kia's start-stop system.[21] In addition, there is also a petrol/LPG version of the 1.0 liter engine available.[18] The Brazil version is equipped with a flex fuel version of the 1.0 liter engine that uses both petrol and ethanol.[19]

The Picanto is available worldwide (except North America, Venezuela, China, Singapore, and Australia) as a 5-door hatchback while the European market receives the exclusive 3-door variant.[22] 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.[23] 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.[24]

In some countries, the Picanto name is accompanied by a modifier for marketing reasons. Examples include Picanto Ion for Colombia,[25] Picanto R for Ecuador,[26] Picanto Flex for Brazil,[27] Picanto K1 for Thailand,[28] and Picanto 1250 for New Zealand.[29]

Picanto R-Cross[edit]

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.[30]


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.[31]

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.[32]


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."[33] 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."[34] 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."[35] The magazine also ranked the Picanto sixth among the 10 best city cars.[36] 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."[37]


The Picanto won the iF Product Design award in the "Transportation Design" category in 2011[38] and the Red Dot award in the "Automobiles, transportation, commercial and water vehicles" category in 2012.[39][40] Top Gear magazine named the Picanto "Bargain Car of the Year" in 2011.[41] The Association of Scottish Motoring Writers awarded the Picanto as "Best Small Car" in 2011.[42] 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.[43][44]


Euro NCAP test results for a LHD, 5-door hatchback variant on a 2011 registration:[45]

Overall:4/5 stars91
Adult occupant:86%31
Child occupant:83%40
Safety assist:43%3

ASEAN NCAP test results for a RHD, 5-door hatchback variant on a 2013 registration (with and without airbags):[46][47]

Adult occupant protection:4/5 stars
Adult occupant protection (non-airbag):0/5 stars
Child occupant protection:4/5 stars
Child occupant protection (non-airbag):1/5 stars

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.



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).[48]

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


A giant 2:1 scale Kia Morning model on display at the 2011 Seoul Motor Show 
2011 Kia Picanto 3 door - Front view 
2011 Kia Picanto 3 door - Rear quarter view 
2011 Kia Picanto 5 door 1.2 
2011 Kia Picanto 5 door (rear view) 
2012 Kia Picanto 1.25 liter Kappa II engine 
2014 Kia Picanto 1.2 EX A/T (Philippine model) - Front view 
2014 Kia Picanto 1.2 EX A/T (Philippine model) - Grille 


In January 2013, the Picanto was named most reliable car in the UK, according to data published by in conjunction with Warranty Direct. Out of an average Reliability Index (RI) score of 100 (the lower the score, the less problems reported by owners), the Picanto achieved a score of 3.00/100.[49]


The Picanto is an official race car in Poland's Kia Lotos Cup, a racing organization created by Kia Motors Polska.[50][51]


  1. ^ Europe only.
  2. ^ Brazil only.


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  2. ^ Tan, Paul (2006-11-03). "Naza Suria". Retrieved 2012-01-17. 
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  4. ^ "Car Assembly". Donghee. Retrieved 2013-06-05. 
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  7. ^ "Kia Picanto". Auto Express. 2 March 2004. 
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  21. ^ Vijayenthiran, Viknesh (2011-01-03). "2011 Geneva Motor Show Preview: 2012 Kia Picanto". Motor Authority. Retrieved 2012-07-24. 
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External links[edit]