The set-up of the Picanto has concentrated on making it able to compete effectively in urban driving with a willing engine, smooth gear change and excellent all-round visibility. Add this to precise steering and pin-point manoeuvrability and the Picanto driver can be confident about taking advantage of that small gap in the traffic or that parking space that other drivers tend to overlook.
Whilst on the open-road the refinement of the car at motorway speeds will surprise those getting out of larger capacity cars and the suspension, assisted by the fitting of standard 14-inch wheels, is more composed than many cars offering a much longer wheelbase. All-in-all it is a more comprehensive package than was previously expected in this size of car, making those forays to the High Street something to look forward to and that journey to friends 200 miles away something that doesn’t need a second thought.
The Picanto is 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 will be introduced in 2005.
The Picanto’s fuel economy and excellent CO2 figures, just 118 g/km on the 1.0-litre five seater and 119 g/km on the 1.1-litre 4-seater, reflect Kia’s push towards leaner, greener vehicles. The 1.0-litre has an urban cycle fuel consumption of 47.9 mpg while the 1.1-litre 4-seater has a combined fuel consumption of 57.6 mpg.International recognition
Picanto was launched last month in left hand drive markets and is already meeting with critical acclaim. Picanto convincingly won a group test in Auto Bild magazine (30 April) with testers praising the engine, suspension, seating and overall quality of the car as well an excellent emergency braking performance that was equated with a "Golf size" car.
Europe is expected to account for 50% of the total Picanto production.
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