Kia Picanto (2017) Review

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Kia Picanto (2017) At A Glance

5/5

+Surprisingly spacious cabin. Very good fun to drive. Affordable pricing.

-Seats don't fold flat. Boot is small. Tyre repair kit instead of a spare wheel.

Insurance Group 5
On average it achieves 76% of the official MPG figure

The Kia Picanto is affordably-priced, well-equipped, surprisingly practical and great fun to drive, making it a better buy than its rivals from Peugeot, Citroen and Toyota and a strong alternative to the Volkswagen Up and its counterparts from SEAT and Skoda.

It’s not exactly a quick car, but whether equipped with the 1.0-litre or 1.25-litre petrol options, the Picanto is great fun. The base engines are not turbocharged, but they are revvy while the slick gearchange and light, nimble handling make it easy to drive in town and give it loads of personality on a B-road, where it provides surprising grip. 

It will cruise at motorway speeds too, though if you want to pass any slow-coaches you’ll need to plan ahead. Wind and road noise are noticeable too, but no more so than in rival small cars while official economy is more than 60mpg for most models, so fuel bills shouldn’t be too steep.

Inside, the material quality is strong and sturdy if not especially plush – but it’s easy to get comfortable and there’s a surprising level of space. The back row will seat adults in a decent level of comfort, with reasonable leg and headroom – though this is at the expense of boot space.

The load area is only really suitable for a small shopping trip. It’s not particularly generous at 255 litres – but it also has a high load lip so getting anything other than a shopping bag in and out is a bit of a fiddle. Folding the rear seats down frees up plenty of space, but they don’t form a flat load deck.

If you want a small, fun, affordable car the Picanto is probably the next best thing after a Volkswagen Up. But, if that having that German badge on the front of your car doesn’t bother you, then you’ll find the Picanto is fun to drive, affordably priced, cheap to run and does everything you’d hope a small car should do.

Kia Picanto 2017 Road Test

Looking for a Kia Picanto (2017 on)?
Register your interest for later or request to be contacted by a dealer to talk through your options now.

Real MPG average for a Kia Picanto (2017)

RealMPG

Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance

76%

Real MPG

25–56 mpg

MPGs submitted

97

Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

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Ask Honest John

Can you recommend a small car for short journeys?
"Which car do you recommend for short journeys? I now only drive about 3 miles per day to work. Also, would it be better to go for a brand new one or one a couple of years old? Need it to be reliable and cost-effective. I currently have a 2004 Volkswagen Lupo with 90,000 miles on the clock. I've had it from brand new and it been great but it's starting to cost me in repairs to keep it on the road. I think it could be time to change. Thanks."
A brand new car is a bit extravagant for your short commute but it might be worthwhile – a small amount each month on a PCP payment, for example, will take away the need to worry about the annual MOT test or the cost of repairs as the car gets older. We'd recommend a Kia Picanto or Suzuki Swift – two little cars which will be very cheap to run. You might find an electric car suits your needs, too – something like the electric Fiat 500 or Peugeot e-208.
Answered by Andrew Brady
I need to get a reliable car urgently. Do you advise a PCP?
"I wonder if you can help as I'm a bit desperate. I have a 2005 Renault Clio with a broken gearbox, which was mis-sold 2 months ago. I have a second Renault Clio (2007) with low mileage, given to me for free 6 days ago, It now has an injector light coming on and it's in limp mode. I'm a nurse who is at her wit's end and needs a really reliable car as taxis are costing too much. Would you scrap both cars and do a PCP? Budget is up to £160 a month. I need a reliable car pretty urgently. Thank you so much."
Unfortunately, as you're finding, an older Clio is a recipe for headaches. A PCP isn't a bad idea – a little Kia Picanto or Suzuki Swift will be very affordable, cheap to run and should prove to be much more reliable than your current cars.
Answered by Andrew Brady
What's the best cheap car for my 23-year-old daughter?
"I want to buy my daughter a new car. Can you recommend something that's reliable and cheap? "
A Kia Picanto's a great little car for not a lot of money. A new one starts from £10,745 but you can save money by buying an as-new pre-registered model. Also look at the new Hyundai i10.
Answered by Andrew Brady
Is buying a used car from a main dealer a safe bet?
"My cousin wants to buy a secondhand Kia Picanto for her 17-year-old daughter. They've decided they want the higher-spec 2 model. Their budget is £6500-7000. I've been looking online and found a 2-year-old, one previous owner model with 20,000 miles from a main Kia dealer selling for £7295. Having seen the car it looks perfect but I'm no expert and always cynical on what a salesman tells you! It still has almost five years of manufacturer's warranty left. The salesman told me it still needs to have the 150-point check and they will rectify anything that this shows up. I've asked to see the check sheet afterwards. Should they take comfort that they're buying from a main dealer or should they do further checks? "
Buying an approved used Kia is probably one of the safest routes into second-hand car ownership. Not only will you get a warranty from the dealer (between 6-12 months) but you'll also get peace of mind from Kia's comprehensive manufacturer warranty. Some dealers will make a big deal out of how many checks they make, but It's the scope of what they're checking that really matters. Always ask for a copy of the check sheet. For more information on buying an approved used car, see: https://www.honestjohn.co.uk/buying-approved-used
Answered by Dan Powell

What does a Kia Picanto (2017) cost?

Buy new from £9,659 (list price from £10,850)
Contract hire from £129.25 per month