Kia Picanto Review 2024

Kia Picanto At A Glance

Honest John Overall Rating
The Kia Picanto continues to offer a fun and affordable option in the city car sector, backed up by the firm’s excellent long warranty.

+Remains one of the freshest-looking city cars. Nimble to drive. Long warranty.

-Small stature limits practicality. Non-turbo engine feels like hard work. Automatic gearbox is poor.

New prices start from £11,950, brokers can source from £11,692
Insurance Groups are between 4–5
On average it achieves 76% of the official MPG figure

True city cars are becoming something of a rarity as manufacturers move away from small models with small profit margins. Thankfully, the Kia Picanto is still here, offering a great option for drivers who want a compact car. It’s more affordable than the Toyota Aygo X or its stablemate the Hyundai i10 too. Read on for our full Kia Picanto review.

Cabin space is the area where the Kia Picanto really impresses. The front is more than capable of accommodating tall drivers and passengers, while the rear is roomy for more than just kids.

Boot capacity is limited, but the Kia Picanto still manages to be more spacious than key rivals such as the Toyota Aygo X, Hyundai i10 and Fiat 500.

As a compact city car, the Kia Picanto has a simple engine line-up focused on efficiency. Only one engine is now available, which is a 66PS 1.0-litre, three-cylinder motor with a choice of five-speed manual or automatic gearboxes.

Although this 1.0 DPi engine may not be quick, it delivers an official combined fuel economy figure of almost 59mpg.

Adding to the Kia Picanto’s overall level of enjoyment is its agile handling. The steering is light and precise, making it easy to thread through city streets. The pay-off is a firmer ride quality than other city cars, but it will be comfortable enough for most drivers.

Kia has given its city car a wide range of trim levels, ranging from the basic 1 specification to more comfortable 2 and 3 models.

The Kia Picanto X-Line S is an SUV in miniature, with rugged plastic bodystyling and a 15mm taller ride height. Mechanically, there are no changes, but it does bring an extra degree of visual interest to the city car. The Kia Picanto X-Line S is the only model in the range that seats five people.

Choosing GT-Line spec brings sportier styling to the Kia Picanto.

Standard equipment levels throughout the Kia Picanto range are good, with even the basic 1 model benefiting from daytime running lights, steering wheel-mounted controls and Bluetooth audio streaming. This helps keep the starting price cheaper than its rivals, although higher trim levels will be easier to live with.

Even if the market for city cars may be shrinking, the Kia Picanto remains a great example of why they can be so effective. Fun to drive, spacious, ideal as a new driver’s car, and still backed by a seven-year warranty, the Kia Picanto is a top choice.

Fancy a second opinion? Read heycar’s Kia Picanto review.

Ask Honest John

What's the best small automatic car to buy with the lowest insurance rating?

"What's the best small automatic car to buy with the lowest insurance rating. My insurer no longer insure my Toyota Auris Hybrid Automatic (my present car) because they say that particular model is an insurance risk. So I'm thinking of changing my car because the insurance quotes I'm getting from other insurance companies are exorbitant."
Most drivers have seen their insurance prices hiked this year, with companies blaming an increase in claims following the pandemic, as well as rising parts prices and parts supply issues. Toyota Auris Hybrids such as yours are particularly prone to catalytic converter theft, which might explain why your current insurer refuses to insure your car. We'd recommend replacing your Auris with a small automatic city car such as a Kia Picanto or Hyundai i10. Also consider small electric cars such as the Peugeot e-208 or Fiat 500 Electric - but do shop around for quotes first.
Answered by Andrew Brady

Why does my Kia Picanto Mark 2 automatic have a slow creep speed?

"I have recently bought a 2017 Kia Picanto SE automatic (Mark 2 not mark 3). I learnt to drive in a Polo and the Picanto feels very different when first starting off. The initial forward creep speed barely registers on the speedometer - maybe 1or 2mph. I have to gently press the accelerator to get any useful motion. I raised this with my Kia dealer when I was having some other work down and they said it was a safety feature of this year and model of car. Is that correct? If so how is it supposed to work? Its frustrating to have to keep slowly depressing the accelerator in slow moving traffic and it really doesn't feel like much of a safety feature. Does applying the service brake fully switch normal creep speeds off so that I should use less pressure or is there some other variable I'm not aware of? "
The amount of 'creep' provided by a car with automatic transmission varies from car to car, but generally speaking on more modern vehicles the amount of creep has been reduced. While this could be considered a safety feature it is more likely to be a fuel-saving feature which reduces the amount of unnecessary fuel used when the car is held on the parking brake whilst in gear.
Answered by David Ross

What's the best car for a new driver?

"My grandson,17,has just passed his driving test and is looking for a first car. Can you advise on which models to choose based on reliability and insurance costs? His maximum budget is £5-6K."
A Hyundai i10 or Kia Picanto with the frugal 1.0-litre petrol engine would be a good choice. It's also worth looking at slightly bigger cars like the Hyundai i20 - sometimes they're cheaper to insure, so get some insurance quotes first. We'd also recommend a Toyota Aygo.
Answered by Andrew Brady

What's the best small car for up to £9000?

"What is the best solution for my needs. I spend the summer in England and would like a smallish car for that period. Price range £8000 to £9000. I will only do about 1500 miles in that time. I realise it is not good to leave a car standing for a 6 month period my need is for convenience. Any thoughts? "
You say it's not a good idea to leave a car standing for six months but so long as you store it properly and disconnect the battery, or ideally connect a trickle charger, there should be no major problems. A good idea would be to get some axle stands and leave the wheels off the ground while you're away, though, to prevent flat spots on the tyres. When you return to it, check all the fluids carefully before restarting the engine and check the tyre pressures, then drive gently for the first few miles to clear any corrosion off the brake discs. We'd recommend a simple car with a good reliability record for this purpose - a Hyundai i10, Kia Picanto or Toyota Yaris would be a sensible choice.
Answered by Craig Cheetham
More Questions

What does a Kia Picanto cost?

Buy new from £11,692(list price from £13,695)