The Kia Picanto has been around for a while now, but its stylish design hasn’t really dated much. A mild facelift in 2015 brought the Kia a little more up to date, but it hasn’t bought it up far enough for the exacting standards of this competitive class.
The Picanto is available with three or five doors, and both offer a decent amount of space – though not class-leading. There’s a choice of 1.0-litre three cylinder or 1.25-litre four-cylinder petrol engines, though the smaller unit is very sluggish at higher speeds. We’d go for the 1.25-litre, as the extra fuel consumption is worth it for the greater flexibility on offer. It’s best to avoid the Picanto’s optional automatic gearbox, as it drops fuel economy drastically.
The Picanto’s soft suspension gives a comfortable ride, but the clutch and accelerator seem oddly out of kilter, making it difficult to pilot smoothly. The interior is above average for the class though – it’s got a smart design and is well built. Just try not to stare for too long at the ‘smiling clown’ steering wheel…
The Picanto is overdue an update, really – it’s based on the same platform as the previous-model Hyundai i10, after all. However those expecting to keep their car for a long time could do a lot worse than the Picanto with it’s 7-year, 100,000 mile warranty – just another reason Kia is doing so well in the UK.