The Picanto is a city car manufactured by South Korean automaker Kia, sold under various names across Asian markets since 2004. Currently on its third generation, the name was derived from the Spanish word picante, meaning spicy or hot. The Picanto has been a recipient of the Red Dot Design Award in Europe in 2018 for the Car Design category, having been penned by Audi TT designer Peter Schreyer.
In the Philippines, the model is sold in four variants with six exterior color options.
The current-generation Kia Picanto was introduced in 2017, with a facelifted model released in 2020 for the 2021 model year. For the Philippine release, the Picanto is targeted towards young, urban customers with generous interior space, an array of tech features and engines upgraded for fuel economy.
Philippine-market Picanto units measure 3,595mm long, 1,595mm wide, and 1,495mm high, with a wheelbase of 2,400mm. The fascia carries multi-reflector halogen headlamps surrounding the two-tier tiger-nose grille, with added fog lamps on the EX trims. Body-color side mirrors come with electric adjustment. A rear spoiler and rear window defogger are standard, along with a high-mount stop lamp complementing the rear combination lamps. The Picanto rides on a set of 14-inch wheels, steel on the LX trims while aluminum alloys on the EX variants.
Philippine-spec Picanto units feature interior accommodations for up to five occupants, with fabric seats that recline in front and a folding bench for rear passengers. Cargo capacity behind the second row seats is at 255 liters, expandable to 1,010 liters with the rear seats tucked away. The 3-spoke polyurethane steering wheel can be adjusted manually for reach and rake, featuring audio and Bluetooth controls for the EX trim.
Additional storage options across the range include a glove box, center console box, and bottle holders. The EX variants add seatback pockets on the front seats.
Technology & Safety Features
All PIcanto units use a standard instrument cluster featuring analog tachometer and speedometer gauges flanking a 2.6-inch monochrome LCD display. The LX trim of the Picanto sold in the Philippines uses an AM/FM radio head unit with MP3 playback capability, USB, Bluetooth, and AUX input connectivity. For the upper-spec EX variants, a 7-inch touchscreen with USB and AUX input is standard, offering Bluetooth and voice control as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability.
A driver's side airbag is standard across the range, with an added front passenger airbag for the EX variants. The upper trim levels also feature anti-lock brakes, upper and lower anchors for child seats, and a reverse camera with guidelines. All units have 3-point seatbelts with pretensioners as well as child locks on the rear doors.
Platform & Chassis
Kia Picanto units sold in the Philippines are built on the BA platform shared with the Hyundai i10 and Grand i10. The chassis uses over 44 percent advanced high-strength and stamped steel in critical areas that are exposed to stress. The carmaker says this results in rigidity and improved average body tensile strength, as well as better cabin protection.
MacPherson struts with stabilizers are used for the front, while a coupled torsion beam axle brings up the rear.
Engine & Drivetrain
Base variants of the Philippine-spec Picanto come with a 1.0-liter inline-3 gasoline engine that produces 66 hp and 95 Nm of torque, while upper-spec trim levels use a 1.2-liter 4-cylinder engine capable of 83 hp and 122 Nm of torque. Power is directed to the front wheels through either a 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic gearbox. A Motor Driven Power Steering mechanism gives it a turning radius of 4.7 meters.