The Picanto performed badly, only doing just enough to merit its three star rating. This is extremely disappointing for a new model in a market segment where other manufacturers have made major improvements in recent years. However, the car protected its child occupants well, although the protection it gave to pedestrians was poor. KIA decided to fund the testing of a car with side impact airbags, which are an option in some parts of Europe. The results for this are shown below but not included in the car’s overall scores. The results improved on the standard car’s but a door opened in the test.
The restraint system included single stage tethered airbags and front belt pre-tensioners and load limiters. Despite this and a stable body shell, forces recorded by the dummies were high. Aggressive structures behind the fascia compromised the protection for the driver and the passenger. The steering wheel and brake pedal were also pushed back. As a consequence, the passenger cell became a particularly unfriendly environment to be in.
The Picanto’s performance was unimpressive. Instrumentation in the driver dummy’s chest and abdomen recorded high loads. The car was also penalised because forces transferred in an unrealistic manner up the test dummy’s spine so reducing the level of forces recorded by the instrumentation in its chest.
A permanent label warning of the danger of placing a rear-facing restraint on the front passenger seat opposite an active airbag was fitted, but only to the stowed side of the passenger’s sun visor. Protection offered to the children was good. The older child used a forward-facing Britax Romer Duo Plus fitted using the car’s ISOFIX mounting points and top tether. The 18 month old used a rearfacing Britax Romer BabySafe fitted using the adult belt. But, in the frontal test, the recorded neck loads on the younger child were on the high side.
Only the areas where an adult head might strike offered any protection. The bumper and leading edge of the bonnet were very unfriendly.