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.
• Kia Picanto in-depth review
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 2019
- Volkswagen up!/Skoda Citigo/SEAT Mii
- Kia Picanto
- Ford Fiesta
- SEAT Ibiza
- Hyundai i10
- Volkswagen Polo
- Toyota Aygo/Peugeot 108/Citroen C1
- Skoda Fabia
- Dacia Sandero
- Vauxhall Corsa
- 1IntroductionA new car for first time drivers should be cheap, easy to drive and safe. Here are the 10 best first cars
- 21. VW up!/Skoda Citigo/SEAT MiiThe VW Group trio are cheap to run, spacious, have plenty of tech and are fun to drive
- 32. Kia Picanto - currently readingThe Kia Picanto is grown up thanks to a focus on refinement, but should still appeal to young drivers with sporty looks and great handling
- 43. Ford FiestaThe Ford Fiesta is Britain's best-selling car, and makes the perfect first set of wheels
- 54. SEAT IbizaThe SEAT Ibiza offers the practicality of Volkswagen Polo, but in a more youthful guise
- 65. Hyundai i10The Hyundai i10 has become a solid performer in the supermini segment safe handling, plenty of kit and reliability
- 76. Volkswagen PoloThe Polo is bigger than its predecessor and offers more tech, comfort and refinement
- 87. Toyota Aygo/Peugeot 108/Citroen C1The Toyota Aygo, Citroen C1 and Peugeot 108 trio offer funky looks and plenty of tech for a low cost
- 98. Skoda FabiaThe Skoda Fabia offers VW Group refinement and technology in a practical and cheaper package
- 109. Dacia SanderoThe Dacia Sandero is a budget supermini that gets the basics right with no frills attached
- 1110. Vauxhall CorsaThe Vauxhall Corsa is an attractive car for young drivers - blending practicality with inexpensive running costs at a cheap price-tag