Developing the Design of the All-new Picanto

May 16th, 2011 Posted in Design   

  • By Kia Design Center



The all-new Picanto’s design features existing compact car concepts with new emotional values and consumer-friendly values.



The interior concept is fresh and unexpected, and unique styling and differentiated elements provide a new, fun design in a compact car.



Major design aspects

We focused on expanding the space with soft and minimal aspects and creating a refined and modern image. The all-new Picanto provides a user-oriented, intuitive and easy-to-use interface with “Cognitive Design.”

The cluster applies the entire center cylinder and digital graphics for a display and matches the digital age with increased speed and cognitive capabilities.



In addition, a large LCD screen is added to the cluster. In the process of designing, we focused on creating unique and advanced visuals by applying a large display to a compact car’s cluster.



We added sporty elements in the fresh design by adding subtle lighting (optional feature) as graphic color “garnishes” to the air vents and the bottom of the audio. We also tried to make driving at night more comfortable by adding lighting to the driver’s tray to match the exterior design.

Driver-friendly Features


We designed the center fascia, taking into consideration ergonomic aspects like visibility, functionality and more. The all-new Picanto has a control switch that is positioned relatively higher for easier navigation. Unlike other compact cars, the Picanto has heater controls that are closer to the driver. The controls also have an asymmetrical structure, which are more aesthetically pleasing. 



As most of the Picanto owners are expected to be young women, there are new female-friendly features, including a vanity mirror, accented colors, a delicate sheet pattern and plenty of storage space designed for privacy and convenience.



Among various ideas, the large vanity mirror on the sun visor is the one that stands out as it allows drivers to look at themselves and fix their makeup without having to turn their heads. It’s not easy to apply make up in the dark. Although the previous Picanto had lighting, it shaded the driver’s face because the light was positioned from the head lining. To fix this, the lighting in the all-new Picanto was repositioned to directly light the face without shining directly into the eyes. Additionally, the lively lamp lighting brings an emotional feeling, similar to that of stars’ dressing rooms.



In the console, there is an open cup holder and small tray.
To maximize the capabilities of storage space, the all-new Picanto has a multi-console which contains a rotating cup holder and space to fit a small umbrella.
Unlike the present model, the initial draft of the cup holder featured a flat design. It was detachable so that a wide tray could be used separately without the cup holder board. However, users began using the tray as a cup holder, making it difficult to hold a can of soda without the can tipping over.
There needed to be an idea that allowed for high functionality in the console space.
We carried out studies with a structure planning manager about functionality and created the initial multi-space concept, resulting in the rotating multi-cup holder that is now in the all-new Picanto.


Furthermore, we proposed a modern and simple door trim.
We were innovative by placing a speaker in a bold new spot on the door trim on the top part of the crush pad in order to change the existing package layout.
The door trim design with wide multipurpose pockets in the dynamically shaped center trim also provides emotional design values. 

Interior manager, Kwae-jae Cho researcher 


The all-new Picanto is a product with a “mix-culture” design, as it combines European emotional design values with Korean high-tech digital aspects.

I fully enjoyed the process of applying Kia’s unique design values to the all-new Picanto.
The all-new Picanto’s changes started with consumer feedback and the many ideas of enthusiastic designers. It was improved with step-by-step functionality evaluations. It then finally evolved to maximize usage and practicality.

I am proud to say that the final Picanto product and its emotional qualities were achieved through the countless discussions and revisions by engineers.
I am confident in telling you that not only does the all-new Picanto satisfy drivers with its economical features, but also with its emotional appeal. Many drivers will feel that the Picanto is a reflection of their personalities and individuality. Its design includes not only practicality, but style and charm.
I would like to thank all the designers and other managers who worked so hard up to the very last minute before mass production for the utmost quality and design.





※ Editor’s note: optional features may vary depending on regions.

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