Micro Kia making giant impact

Only months into its release, the all-new Kia Picanto has already snapped up a number of automotive awards internationally.

The Picanto has been named Best Small Car by the Association of Scottish Motoring Writers at their Car of the Year Awards in Glasgow, following on from the What Car? Green Awards win in the supermini segment.

The Picanto has also received the Northern Group of Motoring Writer's Car of the Year accolade and it has just picked up an iF Product Design Award in Europe.

Launched in New Zealand and around the world in June, the Picanto has struck a chord with critics and buyers alike and demand is already outstripping supply.

The traditionally tough Scottish market is no exception and the Association of Scottish Motoring Writers is very impressed.

Its president John Murdoch says of the new Picanto: "Superminis remain Scotland's biggest selling segment and 2011 has seen some cracking new arrivals boasting incredible economy, coupled with low emissions.

"Not only is our top small car good to drive, easy to park, affordable to buy and cheap to run, but it's good looking and benefits from the quality feel of its larger siblings."

The prized iF Product Design Award recognises design quality alongside a number of other criteria, including workmanship, level of innovativeness and eco-friendliness.

"Receiving the iF Product Design Award for the new Picanto is a great success for our design team and it is welcome recognition of our brand's design-oriented strategy," says Kia's chief design officer, Peter Schreyer.

The 3.6m-long Kia Picanto boasts bold and dynamic styling, high-quality interior fittings and a host of class-leading features. It is specifically aimed at discerning customers, especially the steadily increasing number who wish to "downsize" and switch to a smaller car that is more "city friendly", yet still delivers the driving experience of a larger car.

"The reaction of customers in New Zealand mirrors the award-winning reception Picanto is getting overseas and we just cannot get enough of them to keep up with demand," says Todd McDonald, general manager of Kia Motors New Zealand.

- Hamilton News

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