Review: Kia Picanto
The Picanto may be tiny but it has five doors and can seat four in relative comfort - unless you have a trio of six-footers to transport.
It is powered by a three-cylinder 99bhp one-litre turbocharged petrol engine which is not particularly refined nor quick, and keeping up with traffic on fast roads can be a challenge.
Our test model in 2 trim came mated to the five-speed gearbox which gave precise shifts - Picanto is also available with a CVT box but that makes the official 0-62mph dash a couple of seconds slower.
It might not be quick, but the upside is the excellent fuel consumption: official 58.9mpg and our week-long test on mixed roads gave an average of 52mpg.
And, being small it is nippy around town with a tight turning circle and is a doddle to park due to the excellent all-round visibility.
It’s quite a fun little car if you use it for its intended purpose ie around the city. Just don’t expect it to keep up with fast-flowing traffic on the motorway, especially if you’re going up a hill. And be prepared to change gear on a regular basis to make the most of the 66bhp engine’s power.
The ride is actually quite refined and the little Picanto with its 14in wheels skips over potholes and broken tarmac far better than expected.
The exterior is stylish enough but is not so quirky as to alienate the more conservative car buyer. Body-coloured bumpers, mirrors and handles make for a smart all-over appearance
The interior is also smart with decent quality plastics and a stylish three-spoke steering wheel which houses some of the controls for the stereo and other functions. The black cloth upholstery could do with a bit of trim to liven it up, though.
Picanto offers plenty of space and all the controls are easy to access and use from the first time you get behind the wheel. There’s not a lot of storage although the door pockets are a decent enough size.
Our 2-spec came with the 4.2in mono audio display - 3-spec and above get an 8in infotainment screen which works with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. In 2 there is just one USB port and a 12V socket but at least it has Bluetooth
The front seats slide and recline and the steering wheel tilts so we didn’t have any trouble getting comfortable.
The rear seats split 60:40 and the 255-litre boot is adequate for a few bags of shopping or a couple of small suitcases but you’ll struggle to fit much more in unless you drop the rear seats forward.
All models come with a long list of standard equipment including a clutch of driver safety aids which have earned the Picanto a four-star Euro NCAP rating.
If you want luxuries like parking sensors and reversing cameras as standard you’ll need to upgrade to 3-spec: it’s amazing how much you come to rely on them once you’ve had them fitted and miss them when they are not there.
Kias all have an excellent warranty and Picanto is no exception. New cars come with seven-years/100,000 miles and complimentary 12-month roadside assistance.
Engine: 1.0-litre DPI
Transmission: six-speed manual
Top speed: 100mph
0-62mph: 14.1 seconds
CO 2 emissions:110g/km