- Selected as top super-mini in 8 out of 9 European group tests
- Reflects improved quality and styling catered to European consumers
(SEOUL) August 30, 2004 - Over the course of the year since its introduction to the European market, the overwhelmingly popular Picanto has been selected as the number one super-mini offering in 8 out of 9 group tests conducted by leading automotive publications across the region.
Among the group tests, the UK’s Autocar presented the most competition for the Picanto, with a total of 10 cars reviewed. Yet the Picanto came out on top of the pack for being “a car that has been built with kit and quality that - pound for pound - rivals a Mercedes S Class.”
In Austria, Alles Auto pitted the Picanto against the Hyundai Getz, Fiat Panda, Renault Twingo, and Smart Fourtwo. The Picanto edged out the Hyndai Getz for first place, as it was the most fun car of the group to drive. Auto Bild of Germany put the Picanto, Fiat Panda and Daihatsu Cuore to the test, with the Picanto left standing in the winner’s circle thanks to its good braking, fun driving performance, value and equipment levels, and precise power steering, among other credentials.
The Netherlands’ AutoWeek praised the Picanto as a spicy and comfortable car, and was the clear winner, with its good driving capabilities and plenty of space. Competitors in the group test were the Hyundai Atos and Suzuki Alto. According to France’s Auto Plus, the Picanto 1.1 EX came out ahead of the Renault Twingo 1.2 16V Expression. Road testers liked Picanto’s ‘neo retro’ styling, high quality and well designed interior, and generous equipment levels. They also found Picanto very enjoyable to drive.
In Portugal, Autohoje put the Picanto 1.1 EX to the test against the Fiat Panda 1.1 Active and the Atos Prime 1.1 Style V. Lauded as a very competitive car with excellent equipment levels and a good quality finish, the Picanto came out on top once again.
Spain’s Car & Driver found the Picanto to feature “the best and most attractive interior, while it is well finished and without vibration. The price, product and performance are as good as the car’s design. It has the best stability in curves, the best interior space and the most comfortable interior. The Picanto also beats the competition in terms of engine, transmission, performance, and fuel consumption.” Car & Driver pitted the Picanto 1.1 EX against the Fiat Panda 1.2 Dynamic, Hyundai Atos Prime 1.1 GLS, and Daewoo Matiz 1.0 SE. In another test by a leading Spanish automotive publication, AutoPista, the Picanto 1.1 stole the show from the Tata Indica 1.4 thanks to its engine and good driving performance, as well as interior, safety features and value.
Italy’s AUTO, rated the Picanto as superior to the Fiat Panda in terms of design, interior layout, acceleration, fuel consumption, and braking, although Fiat Panda scored a photo-finish victory.
According to Yong-Hwan Kim, Executive Vice-President and COO of Kia Motors, “The recent group tests conducted throughout Europe are clear evidence that we are making great strides in improving the quality and styling of our products to make them more attractive to European consumers. Going forward, we plan to fully utilize our R&D centers in the US and Germany to produce even more vehicles tailored towards different regional tastes.”
Founded in 1944 and now celebrating its 60th anniversary, Kia Motors Corporation (www.kiamotors.com) is Korea’s oldest manufacturer of automobiles. As part of the Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group, Kia is among the world’s fastest growing automobile companies and aims to be a top five global automaker by 2010. Kia’s 15 manufacturing and assembly operations in 12 countries make more than a million vehicles a year that are sold and serviced through a network of distributors and dealers covering 190 countries. Kia today has 30,000 employees and annual revenues of $12 billion. It is the major sponsor of the Australian Tennis Open and an international sponsor of the Davis Cup.