KIA Picanto (2017–)

Last updated 30 July 2018

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.
Updated 29 July 2018

Report of poor response to accelerator pedal in new Kia Picanto S Line 1.25 at between 3,000-4,000rpm. No problem with cruise control bringing car up to speed, but very sluggish using the pedal. There...

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Introduction

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

Owners' reviews

5
Almost perfect small car
5
a pleasure
5
An original mini, Korean style.
 

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