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 2021
Cheapest cars to insure - header
Car insurance

Cheapest cars to insure in the UK 2021

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
23 Nov 2021
Cheapest cars on sale 2021
cheapest cars header
Best cars & vans

Cheapest cars on sale 2021

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  
29 Jan 2021
Kia Picanto review
Picanto front driving
Kia Picanto

Kia Picanto review

The Kia Picanto city car has plenty of kit and offers a grown-up drive to go with its sporty looks
12 Jan 2021

Most Popular

New Suzuki S-Cross 2021 review
Suzuki S-Cross - front
Suzuki SX4 S-Cross SUV

New Suzuki S-Cross 2021 review

The all-new Suzuki S-Cross is excellent value for money and good to drive, but it’s slightly utilitarian interior won’t appeal to all buyers
25 Nov 2021
Top 10 best hybrid cars to buy 2021
Best hybrid cars - header image
Hybrid cars

Top 10 best hybrid cars to buy 2021

Hybrid power is the way forward if the car industry is to be believed so we've found the top 10 best hybrid cars to buy now...
8 Nov 2021
Dashcam-upload portal reports spike in ‘dangerous driving’ videos
Dash cam
News

Dashcam-upload portal reports spike in ‘dangerous driving’ videos

Big increase in citizen policing on British roads pays dividends for hard-pressed police forces
25 Nov 2021