Kia Picanto - best first cars for new drivers

The Kia Picanto is grown up thanks to a focus on refinement, but should still appeal to young drivers with sporty looks and great handling

The original Kia Picanto was a cheeky looking city car, but the Mk2 added a sportier look that became sportier still with the Mk3. But while the looks give it a youthful appeal, it's actually a very sensible city car choice. The Picanto offers a blend of practicality, reliability and good build quality to go with its new-found style. It's only available with five doors now, but you do get a choice of 1.0-litre three-cylinder and 1.2-litre four-cylinder petrol engines.

Longer, wider and lower than before, the latest Picanto offers big-car features in a small package, complemented by a driving experience that’ll make you think you’re driving a much bigger model.

Two petrol engines are available – a 66bhp 1.0-litre three-cylinder or a 1.2-litre four-cylinder which produces 83bhp. We'd recommend the former, thanks to its impressive mechanical refinement and rev-happy nature - you really don't get much benefit from going with the larger engine. The smaller engine is also more frugal, reaching 50.4mpg on the WLPT combine cycle. The larger 1.2-litre gets between 47.9 and 49.6mpg depending on trim. However, if you're a new driver that's flush with cash, you'll have to go for that engine if you pick the top-spec GT-Line S model, because that's the only engine it comes with.

Inside, there is a healthy amount of equipment available even from standard. Expect to find electric front windows, USB inputs, auto lights and hill start assist, while touchscreen sat-nav and infotainment is offered at the top of the range. Additional soundproofing and tweaked engine mounts and a new engine cover makes the Picanto much more refined.

Top 10 best first cars for new drivers 2021

  1. Volkswagen up!/Skoda Citigo/SEAT Mii
  2. Kia Picanto
  3. Ford Fiesta
  4. SEAT Ibiza
  5. Hyundai i10
  6. Volkswagen Polo
  7. Toyota Aygo/Peugeot 108/Citroen C1
  8. Skoda Fabia
  9. Dacia Sandero
  10. Vauxhall Corsa

Recommended

Cheapest cars to insure in the UK 2022
Cheapest cars to insure - header
Car insurance

Cheapest cars to insure in the UK 2022

Looking for a car that’s cheap to insure? We’ve listed cars with the cheapest insurance group ratings on sale in the UK today
27 May 2022
Top 10 cheapest cars on sale 2022
Cheapest cars - header image
Best cars & vans

Top 10 cheapest cars on sale 2022

Not looking to splash the cash and in need of a new car bargain? Then look no further as we list the cheapest cars on sale in the UK right now  
12 May 2022
Best city cars to buy 2022
Best city cars header
Best cars & vans

Best city cars to buy 2022

There are plenty of appealing city cars on offer these days, so here’s our top 10 guide to the best urban runabouts
28 Feb 2022
Top 10 best learner driver cars 2022
Best cars for learner drivers - header image
First Cars

Top 10 best learner driver cars 2022

Easy to drive, affordable, and inexpensive to run, these are our top 10 used cars to learn in.
11 Feb 2022

Most Popular

New Toyota GR86 2022 review
Toyota GR86
Toyota GR86

New Toyota GR86 2022 review

The GT86 has evolved into the GR86, gaining a bigger engine, a stiffer shell and chassis tweaks. Is it now affordable sports car perfection?
26 May 2022
New Smart #1 ride review
Smart #1 - front
Smart

New Smart #1 ride review

We get an early taste of the new all-electric Smart #1 from the passenger seat ahead of it going on sale at the end of this year
27 May 2022
New Ora Funky Cat electric car is out of the bag in Britain from £30k
Ora Cat 01 - front
Electric cars

New Ora Funky Cat electric car is out of the bag in Britain from £30k

The high-spec Ora Funky Cat First Edition lands with plenty of kit, but cheaper versions and long-range model also planned
27 May 2022