In-depth reviews

Kia Picanto review - Practicality, comfort and boot space

City cars will always be tight on space, but the Picanto maximises its dimensions with a roomy interior and decent boot

Few people buy a city car for outright practicality, but for those interested in a tiny car with generous interior dimensions, the Kia Picanto impresses.

There’s no three-door model, but access via the wide-opening rear doors makes getting in and out infinitely easier. As part of the facelifted car’s emissions-reducing updates in the facelift, most of the Picanto range is exclusively available in a four-seater spec – if you need the extra versatility that comes with having an extra rear passenger seat, your only option is to go for the slightly higher-riding X-Line version. 

Visibility is good, thanks to the thin pillars and upright rear screen, with top-spec cars offering a reversing camera as standard. Other practical features include a small central armrest, as well as usable doorbins and a decent glovebox. You’ll also find a couple of cupholders ahead of the gear lever.

Size

The Mk3 Picanto is no longer overall than the car it replaces. However, by extending the distance between the front and rear wheels, the designers and engineers have managed to increase cabin comfort for all passengers.

At just over 3.5m-long, the Picanto is among the smallest cars on sale and beats the Hyundai i10 for dinky dimensions. At 1.59m-wide, it’s easy to park, too. The X-Line versions have slightly increased dimensions, being 30mm wider and 15mm taller, with overall length also up by 75mm.

Leg room, head room & passenger space

The longer wheelbase has definitely freed up more knee room in the rear, and decent door openings mean it’s easy to get into the back. Storage and ergonomics are acceptable as well, although seat comfort could be a little better for longer journeys.

Most versions of the Picanto are available with four seats – which, while meaning adults will have a bit more shoulder room in the back, does limit the car’s versatility in comparison with five-seater rivals. If you need a Picanto with extra seating capacity, the X-Line versions are available with five seats, but do bear in mind that (with prices starting from £13,645) it is one of the more expensive Picantos you can buy right now.

Boot

The Picanto actually boasts best-in-class boot space. Enlarging the Picanto’s platform has created more luggage room as well as cabin space. The boot is now 255 litres with the seats up (nearly as much as in some superminis), and rises to 1,010 litres with them folded down.

Few people buy a city car to carry really big loads, but on the odd occasion when space is a priority, the Picanto can deliver. In comparison, a Hyundai i10 offers 252 litres, while the VW Up! boasts a 251-litre load bay.

Next Steps

Which Is Best

Cheapest

  • Name
    1.0 1 5dr [4 seats]
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £9,395

Most Economical

  • Name
    1.0 1 5dr [4 seats]
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £10,190

Fastest

  • Name
    1.0T GDi GT-line 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £13,045

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