Kia Picanto (2004–2011)

Model History

May 2004

Picanto launched

The Picanto was launched in the UK and is surprisingly refined for a small car.

It's only 3495 mm (11ft 6in) long x 1595mm (5 ft 3in) wide x 1480mm (4ft 10in) high while the rear seats double fold to give a flat floor.

Luggage space is 157 litres with the rear seats up or 882 litres with them folded. It's available as both a four-seater and a five-seater, with a choice of two petrol engines and manual or automatic transmission (1.1-litre only). A 1.1-litre diesel engine was meant to be introduced in 2005 but never happened.

The Picanto's fuel economy and low CO2 figures, just 118g/km on the 1.0-litre five seater and 119g/km on the 1.1-litre four-seater, mean tax is cheap The 1.0-litre belt cam has an urban cycle fuel consumption of 47.9 mpg while the 1.1-litre (also belt cam) four-seater has a combined fuel consumption of 57.6 mpg. The 1.1-litre engine generates 64 bhp at 5500 rpm and 97Nm of torque at 2800 rpm, making the Picanto one of the most powerful cars in its class. A combined fuel consumption of 57.6 mpg, and a 35-litre fuel tank, makes the Picanto capable of travelling up to 440 miles between fuel stops. The 1.0-litre engine, which is mated to a five-speed manual transmission, produces 60bhp at 5600 rpm and 86Nm of torque at 2900 rpm achieving a top speed of 93 mph.

The initial three model line-up is the 1.0 GS five-seater, 1.1 LX five-seater and the 1.1 SE four-seater. All Picanto models have body colour bumpers, mirrors and door handles, central door locking, front electric windows and tinted glass, while all except the 1.0 GS have a colour-coded grille and side mouldings. Unusually for this class of vehicle, Picanto comes with front and rear disc brakes as standard - backed up by state-of-the-art ABS anti-lock and load-sensitive EBD (electronic brake force distribution). The Picanto originally came with a three year unlimited mileage manufacturer's warranty with three years European roadside assistance.

July 2005

Special edition Picanto Glamour introduced

In conjunction with Glamour Magazine. The model features everything needed to keep the style-conscious looking and sounding glamorous - air conditioning, alloys, body coloured bumpers, sporty looking mesh grille and a MP3 compatible CD audio player.

November 2005

SE+ model introduced

With a 1.1-litre engine, leather upholstery, chrome grille and five seats. It builds on the Picanto's existing internal style by offering leather and cloth seat trim with a 60/40 split in the rear and leather steering wheel and gear knob. The SE+ shares the same high level of specification found in its sister model the LX, with air conditioning, remote central door locking, perimeter alarm, front and rear electric windows, and electrically adjustable and heated door mirrors; four speakers accompany the CD audio with MP3 player.

March 2006

Picanto Zapp! was launched

Comes in at only £300 above the entry level S model but with a specification based on the higher priced GS model. It has additional features over the S model including body coloured bumpers, front electric windows and central locking, the 1.0 litre Zapp! comes in six different colours.

May 2006

Picanto Zipp! and Zipp+ added

Both feature a panoramic electric folding canvas sunroof. The discreet Webasto full-length sunroof has two pre-programmable settings and can be retracted to any position to provide varying degrees of sunlight and warm summer breeze into the vehicle. If it gets too hot, simply close the roof using the one-touch panel and flick on the air conditioning which comes as standard on the Zipp+ model.

The 1.0-litre Zipp! comes with all the benefits of the existing Picanto GS which in addition to the unique canvas roof, also offers ABS with electronic brakeforce distribution (EBD), twin airbags and CD audio with MP3 player. For only £500 extra, customers can enjoy the 1.1-litre Zipp+ which gives the open-top specification of the Zipp! as well as extras such as a leather steering wheel, body coloured side mouldings and remote central door locking. The Zipp! is available in scarlet red and cobalt blue and in addition to these colours, the Zipp+ adds Galaxy Black and Liquid Silver.

November 2007

Picanto facelifted for 2008

The major changes all happen externally with new front and rear bumpers, new headlights, rear clusters, bonnet and wing mirrors. A sporty-looking model will be available for the first time, called the Picanto 3. The range topping model will feature a mesh grille, front fog lamps, black bezel headlamps, 15-inch alloy wheels, heated and electrically adjustable wing mirrors with integrated side repeaters, unique dials, headrests and alloy pedals. The Picanto 3 will be based on the 1.1-litre engine.

In response to customer demand, the indicator stalks are now on the left hand side of the steering wheel. A rounder nose and deeper rear bumper make the new model 40mm longer than before. This new ‘rounded’ theme is also reflected in the light clusters and newly designed grille which will be gradually introduced across the Kia range. Fresh new colours and a restyled rounded exterior create a more intimate feel which continues on the interior as well. New audio equipment and power steering also enhance Picanto's driving experience.

July 2008

Picanto Chill added to the range

Comes complete with air conditioning, remote central locking, full iPod compatibility and a choice of funky colours, including Cool Blue - exclusively available on Chill models. With only four seats this Picanto emits just 118g/km.

November 2009

Picanto Graphite launched

Special edition with an extensive specification including 14-inch alloy wheels, remote central locking, front electric windows, leather steering wheel, rear spoiler, silver centre fascia and CD audio with iPod compatibility as standard. For driver comfort, the Graphite adds driver's seat height adjust, tilt adjustable steering and air conditioning. And it comes with free metallic titanium silver paintwork.

January 2010

Kia introduced a unique seven-year warranty to all its cars including the Picanto. Previously available on Kia's European-built products such as the Cee'd and Sportage, the seven-year warranty will now apply to every vehicle in the Kia range

There is no mileage limit during the first three years, except for vehicles used as taxis where a limit of 100,000 miles applies but there is a 100,000 mile limit between years 4 and 7. Paintwork is covered for 5 years/100,000 miles, the audio is covered for 3 years/60,000 miles, batteries are covered for 2 years. Normal 'wear and tear' on items such as brake linings and clutch linings, etc, are excluded from cover while the warranty is transferable, at no cost, to subsequent owners and is valid across Europe.

July 2010

Picanto Domino special edition introduced

Available with a 1.1-litre petrol engine, with either a manual or automatic transmission. It comes in either white or optional black metallic along with body-coloured bumpers, mirrors and door handles which can be offset with an optional contrasting black or white ‘domino effect' stripes. Front fog lights complement the 14-inch wheel trims (Picanto) while additional reassurance is provided from Electronic Stability Control, which is now fitted as standard across all Picantos. Inside it gets air-conditioning, iPod connectivity, remote central locking and a leather-trimmed steering wheel and gear-knob.

What does a Kia Picanto (2004 – 2011) cost?

List Price from £10,200
Buy new from £10,072
Contract hire from £118.43 per month