Kia Rio, Picanto win top design award

The two small cars have been named as winners of the ‘red dot’ design award, which celebrates the best product designs across all areas.

Cars are a popular choice for the judges of the awards, who have to sift through 4,500 entrants in the annual competition.

In the past the Kia Sportage, Kia Soul and Kia Venga have all picked up the award, while the Kia Optima saloon was named ‘Best of the best’ in the 2011 awards.

The Kia Rio and Kia Picanto are both winners of 2012 awards after updates to the range in the past six months, something that has pleased the man responsible for the new designs, Peter Schreyer.

“We are very proud of the red dot awards for the Picanto and Rio,” said Kia’s design chief. “They are a great tribute to our entire global design team.”

Both cars now boast Kia’s new design language including an aggressive ‘tiger face’ and revamped interior in keeping with Kia’s move into the mainstream in the UK.

The Kia Picanto was the first to be overhauled for the UK including a new design followed by the Kia Rio in 2012.

As well as a cosmetic update both models received a host of new engines including a petrol for the Picanto and a diesel for the Rio that fall into Band A of UK road tax because of their low CO2 emissions.

This means both pay zero road tax and are exempt from the London congestion charge. In the case of the Picanto 1.0-litre petrol, it is one of very few road tax-free petrol cars on the road today alongside the likes of the Fiat 500 TwinAir.

The new Kia Picanto, the smallest car in Kia’s range, is available from £7,500. Kia Rio prices start from £10,000 and both cars are available with a choice of three- or five-door body styles at all Kia UK dealerships.