2012 Kia Picanto Details and Specs

2012 Kia Picanto Details and Specs

With the world premiere of the all-new Picanto at the Geneva Motor Show Kia has introduced a very well prepared car for the A-segment.

The new redeigned Picanto promises big cars qualities in a small city car package. The looks of the car has become closer to the rest of the Kia’s current range and that gives the car an identity. It is no loner a faceless Korean car!

The improvements on the new model have been really thorough and are not limited to the exterior. A nicely designed high quality interior and a range of highly efficient engines top it off. The Picanto will be offered for the first time with a choice of 5-door and 3-door body styles and benefits from greatly reduced CO2 emissions, improved fuel economy and reduced ownership costs.


Here’s complete details and specs of the 2012 Kia Picanto:

More space and more style

The Picanto is the newest member to join the exciting and stylish 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 ‘feminine’ into mature and handsome, designed to turn heads on the high street, thanks to its good looking, sexy proportions and dynamic design language. With a greater sense of stability and strength which is emphasised by the muscular wheel arches and wide set alloy wheels.

Up front, the face of the Picanto expresses the same assertive vigour and refinement as its bigger brothers, the Venga and the Sportage, and shares with them the same signature ‘tiger nose’ grille.  Picanto’s daylight running lights emphasis the high level of design and high tech sophistication.

This bold front end is supported by a strongly-sculpted and dynamic body which embodies the strength and maturity of the Picanto and gives the vehicle a real ‘premium presence’ on the road.  The strong body feature line along the flank 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 will set the new Picanto apart from its competitors.

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

The 3-door model, with its unique treatment to C-pillar, bumpers and grille, offers an exciting exterior theme which will broaden the Picanto’s appeal to a wider audience when it goes on sale later in 2011.

The graphic composition of the 3-door Picanto’s front face has been subtly moulded to increase the sporty characteristics of the vehicle.  The expression is more aggressive, the message is livelier – this car is looking for action!  Likewise from the rear, the contrasting bumper insert emphasizes the car’s width and strength.  It’s all finely tuned to create a car with a distinctly different character to the 5-door model.

While becoming more stylish, the new 3.6-metre 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 luggage, with boot capacity increased by 27% to 200 litres.

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.

Projection-style headlamps and LED rear lamps will be available, together with a choice of steel or alloy wheels up to 15 inches – bringing added sophistication to the exterior appearance.

Kia expects the new 3-door model to account for around 30% of Picanto sales.  The sportier-looking 3-door will be key in driving ‘conquest’ sales to new, younger consumer groups.

Raising the benchmark with ‘big car’ comforts

Manufactured exclusively at Kia’s Seosan plant in Korea, Picanto’s new found maturity is also reflected in the interior design, which sets a new benchmark in its class for material quality and trim choices, new Picanto will be presented in the UK with a wide range of six exterior colours.

New Picanto’s sophisticated interior will offer buyers numerous ‘big car’ 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 emphasises the width and space of the interior.  The thick rimmed two-spoke steering wheel and the signature Kia ‘three cylinder’ instrument cluster with its clear and precise graphics, reflect the consistency with which the new design philosophy is being used throughout the Kia product line-up.

New Picanto will also be available with automatically controlled air-conditioning, electronic and heated folding door mirrors with side repeaters, automatic light control with ‘escort’ and ‘welcome’ modes, steering wheel mounted audio controls, retractable dual cup holders,

Other new features available include smart-key entry system with engine start/stop button, AUX, iPod and USB connections for the RDS radio CD player with MP3 compatibility, Bluetooth® hands-free with voice recognition,  heated front seats and Intelligent Stop and Go that further enhances fuel economy.

Highly efficient engines deliver great fuel economy

In Europe, every new Picanto will come with a highly efficient Kappa engine that helps lower this model’s CO2 base-line to just 95 g/km and improves fuel consumption to as much as 67.3 mpg.

Three versions of the Kappa will be offered – two in the UK.  A four-cylinder, 1,248 cc engine that generates 85 ps and 121 Nm of torque tops the line-up.  Two three-cylinder, 998 cc units will present customers with a choice of petrol or Bi-fuel technologies (LPG + petrol) – Bi-fuel is available in selected countries but not the UK.  The petrol engine produces 69 ps and 95 Nm of torque.  The Bi-fuel unit delivers 82 ps and 94 Nm of torque.

Made in Korea, the Kappa family of engines share many common characteristics, including 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 the new, petrol only, Picanto line-up will have a CO2 rating of 99 to 125 g/km.  Fuel economy will range from 67.3 to 42.2 mpg, contributing to lower running costs.

Selected models will also be available with Kia’s fuel-stretching EcoDynamics technologies (automatic stop-start – ISG, advanced alternator control, upgraded starter motor and low-rolling resistance tyres), cutting emissions even further – to between 95 and 102 g/km.

The standard transmission for all engines in new Picanto will be a 5-speed manual, while a 4-speed automatic gearbox will be available as an option on the 1.25-litre 85 ps engine.

Improved ride, stability and braking

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.

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

At the rear, the Coupled Torsion Beam Axle is 60% stiffer to reduce under-steer, with 29% softer springs, 15 mm shorter bump-stops and larger trailing-arm bushes for improved stability and a more compliant ride.

The Picanto’s all-disc braking system, which is standard on all models fitted with Electronic Stability Control, is backed up with standard ABS anti-lock, electronic brake force distribution and emergency ‘brake assist’ systems.  Stopping distance from 100 kph (62 mph) is among the class-best at 41.0 metres.

Enhanced safety for occupants and pedestrians

The all-new bodyshell created for the Picanto uses a higher percentage of high-strength steel and incorporates ring-shaped reinforcing loops within the B- and C-pillars, 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 up to six airbags, electronic stability control and hill-start assist.

For additional safety, an Emergency Stop Signal system is standard in Europe.  Sensors detect when the driver is braking suddenly and hard, and then flash the brake lights three times to alert following drivers 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 by 50 mm from the car’s centre line.

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 of the roof.


1.25-litre 1.0-litre 1.0-litre Bi-fuel
Displacement cc 1,248 998 998
Power output ps 85 @ 6000 rpm 69 @ 6200 rpm 82 @ 6400 rpm
Torque output Nm 121 @ 4000 rpm 95 @ 3500 rpm 94 @ 3500 rpm
Engine details Kappa 4-in-line, DOHC, four-cylinder with dual CVVT Kappa 3-in-line, DOHC three-cylinder with  dual CVVT


Transmission type Five-speed manual Five-speed manual Five-speed manual
Four-speed auto

Suspension, steering and braking

Front axle Fully independent subframe-mounted MacPherson struts    with coil spring, gas-filled dampers and anti-roll stabiliser bar.
Rear axle Semi independent CTBA with separate coil springs and gas-filled shock absorbers
Braking system Ventilated front discs 241 x 18 mm, and solid rear discs (234mm x 10mm) with ABS and EBD and ESC
Steering MDPS electric power-assisted, rack-and-pinion, 3.4 turns  lock-lock
Wheels 13 inch x 4.0B/ 14 inch x 5.0J/ 15 inch x 5.5J
Tyres 155/70 R13 / 165/60 R14 / 175/50 R15

Dimensions and weights

Wheelbase mm 2,385
Overall    l / w / h mm 3,595 / 1,595 / 1,480
Front / Rear overhang mm 700 / 510
Front / Rear track mm 1,421 / 1,424
Head / Leg / Shoulder room front mm 1,002 / 1,070 / 1,290
Head / Leg / Shoulder room rear mm 962 / 820 / 1,280
Minimum kerb weight (manual)* kg 855 845 885
Maximum kerb weight (manual)* kg 955 945 985
Turning circle metres 9.8
Drag coefficient Cd 0.31

Performance and fuel consumption

1.25-litre 1.0-litre 1.0-litre Bi-fuel
Acceleration (0-100 kph)* seconds 11.4 14.4 14.4
Maximum speed* kph 171 153 153
Fuel consumption** mpg 65.8 67.3 47.9 (LPG)
CO2 (with ISG)
g/km 105
Fuel tank capacity litres 35 35 35 LPG /10 petrol

* Figures stated are manufacturer’s estimates

** Combined cycle

Further Readings:

  • KIA Sorento by Cobra
  • 2011 Kia Sorento wins safety award from IIHS

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