Kia Picanto is a popular offering from the Korean car maker in several foreign markets but the latest safety tests from Latin NCAP may cause its image a crack deeper than the one caused by the dummy crashes. The car failed to score any points for adult safety in the tests.
Produced in South Korea and with driver frontal airbag as standard, Picanto received a zero-star rating. The breakdown of the results saw the car getting 0% in the Adult Occupant box, 29% in the Child Occupant Box, 51% in the Pedestrian protection Box and 7% in the Safety Assist Box. The report noted that Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) and Electronic Stability Control (ESC) are not standard and that side body and head airbags are not available even as optionals.
The Picanto was tested for frontal impact, side impact, whiplash and pedestrian protection. The report stated that in the frontal impact, both driver and passenger chest were coloured red which shows poor protection. Side impact revealed poor protection to the chest which meant that the result for this test was a zero. Whiplash protection was also rated poor. Side pole impact was not performed as the car does not offer side head protection as standard.
It is important to note here that the Picanto on offer in European markets offers a wide varirty of safety equipment - some as standard - but the one on the test mentioned above was for the car offered in the Latin and Caribbean market. "It is absolutely appalling that a global car manufacturer like Kia offers the Picanto with 6 airbags, pedestrian protection and ESC standard, for 8,700 Euros in European markets while in our region the car offers such poor safety levels," said Alejandro Furas, Secretary General of Latin NCAP. "Latin NCAP calls and encourages Kia to act now and make substantial improvements in the Picanto as well as in all its fleet in Latin America and the Caribbean region."