Kia in Chico, CA

All generations of Kia Picanto


One of the priority areas for Kia was the production of small class cars. True, in the absence of their own developments, Seoul automakers had to either borrow other people’s engineering ideas (mainly Japanese or American) or simply produce converted small cars, as was the case, for example, with the Kia Visto.

This A-class car was produced for the markets of South Korea and Indonesia, and in global markets it was known as the Hyundai Atos. The Kia Visto was produced from 1997 to 2000, and all this time Kia engineers and designers worked on creating their own city car.

And yet, they couldn’t come up with anything other than the exterior and interior design of a city runabout, ultimately deciding to borrow the platform and technical equipment from their partner, Hyundai.

The partners just launched the Getz model, and it showed good sales results on the global market. Prototypes of the Visto replacement have been tested at the test site since the beginning of 2003, and already in 2004, a new production model of Kia was presented – the A-class Picanto hatchback.

The small car had a more feminine exterior design than the “unisex” Getz, and was aimed mainly at a female audience.

It was built on the Getz platform, shortened by 81 mm, and was equipped with engines and transmissions from Hyundai. Thus, the basic configuration of the Picanto was equipped with a 1.0 liter four-cylinder petrol engine of the Epsilon series, which was combined with a 5-speed manual transmission.

A 1.3 liter turbodiesel engine was also available, which was equipped with cars sold on the Western European market, and a 1.2 liter gasoline engine of the Kappa series. The latter was paired with a 4-speed automatic transmission.

To arouse the interest of a sophisticated European buyer, the model already in the basic version had a solid level of equipment for those times: a radio with a CD player, air conditioning, central locking with remote control, electric side mirrors, as well as front and rear electric windows.

In 2007, the model underwent a light facelift, which mainly affected the front part of the car: the design of the front bumper, radiator grille, headlights and front fog lights was changed.

In addition, the turn indicators have been moved from the front fenders to the side mirror housings. The rear optics have also changed: instead of rectangular blocks of the brake light and reversing lights, round ones have appeared. The shape of the trunk door has also changed.

In addition, for some European markets, the model began to be equipped with a 1.1 liter gasoline engine and a 1.0 liter engine running on liquefied gas.

In 2010, the Picanto was again subject to a redesign, in which the hand of the company’s new designer Peter Schreyer was already discernible.

The design of the radiator grille was changed again, in which the future corporate style “tiger grin” was already guessed, the shapes of the front and rear bumpers, brake lights, and front fog lights were modified.

In technical terms, there were no changes – they were saved for the second generation Picanto, which was presented on the first day of spring 2011.

In fact, the Kia Picanto-II is a completely different car, differing from the first generation model not only in its exterior and interior design and technical characteristics, but also in philosophy.


The cute little car that the Picanto was in the first generation has been replaced by an aggressive-looking compact city car. The design of the front part of the car is made in the modern corporate style of Kia, with a “tiger grin” radiator grille, a “smiling” large air intake in the front bumper, new headlights and front fog lights.

The profile of the model has become more athletic and expressive, thanks to the relief lines on the sides of the body. The rear optics have changed – the vertical brake lights have taken on the shape of a boomerang.

The front and rear doors and trunk have a different design – they have become more angular, emphasizing the new, unisex style of the model. The car has grown in size, the wheelbase has increased, which made the interior more spacious.

In addition, in the second generation, the Picanto also had a three-door version, which the previous generation did not have.


The interior of the hatchback has also been transformed. More sporty (due to pronounced lateral support) front seats have appeared, and the rear sofa is strictly divided into two seats. The finishing plastic has become softer and of higher quality, as have the seat upholstery materials.

The driver’s seat received a different design: a new steering wheel shape appeared, an instrument panel was “sunk” in wells, the center console became less massive and you don’t rest your knee on it, as was the case in the cabin of the previous generation.


Under the hood of the new Picanto are modernized 1.0 and 1.2 liter petrol engines, which have become more economical than their predecessors, but have not lost any power.

The manufacturer abandoned diesel and liquefied gas engines. The gearboxes have also undergone improvements: the gears of the 5-speed manual shift into gears more clearly, and those of the 4-speed automatic shift more smoothly. The rear suspension was reconfigured – it became a little stiffer than its predecessor.

More details


Inside the driver’s cabin, a modern multimedia system with an 8-inch screen and support for IOS and Android devices awaits. There is also a modern Supervision instrument panel with a 4.2-inch display.

The BCW blind spot monitoring system, parking and reversing assistance functions, as well as a rear view camera with dynamic guides can increase the safety of maneuvering.

The model has been prepared for use in cold climates. The battery and suspension of the Kia Picanto have been improved (ground clearance increased to 161 mm). The buyer also has access to a package of “warm options”: it includes a heated steering wheel and front seats, an automatic temperature control system in the cabin and heated side mirrors.

The AVILON car dealership is the official Kia dealer in Moscow. The company offers to buy the Kia Picanto 2021-2022 model year on favorable terms. There are any trim levels available to choose from, including the GT Line series with an exclusive design. All vehicles come with a warranty. Purchases are available on credit and through the Trade-In program. Book a test drive and find out more about the Kia Picanto over the phone.


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