Kia Picanto Review

Kia Picanto

The Kia Picanto range...

List Price

£10,200 - £15,630

Acceleration (0-62mph)

9.8 - 16.6 seconds

Top speed

99 - 112 mph

Engine Power

66 - 99 bhp

CO2 Emissions

101 - 117 g/km

Fuel Economy (Combined)

55.4 - 64.2 mpg

Prices & Specification

Looks classy inside and out. Good value for money. Spacious interior.


Awkward boot. Engines are lacking in power.

The Kia Picanto is a rather cool little car. Stylishly designed and spacious inside it does a lot of things very well. With the only small niggles being an insane boot and a rather lacklustre engine. However, marked up at a price that will have its competitors - the Fiat 500 and the Ford Ka - looking nervously over their shoulders, the Picanto could make a big impression on the little city-car market.


There are two petrol engines available with the Picanto. The entry level engine is a 1 litre, 3 cylinder and does 0 – 62mph in a not too breath taking 13.9 seconds but it is not so slow as to feel completely outpaced by it's nearest rivals. Pace may not be the Picanto's forte, but economy really is. The Picanto can achieve an impressive 67.3mpg on the combined cycle. The 1.25 is available with Kia's EcoDynamic fuel saving technology, which includes the stop/start system. The bigger engine should provide enough extra oomph, 0-62mph in 11 seconds and a top speed of 106mph, to keep those who like some whiz in their city driving happy.


The Picanto is built with city driving in mind, and it's got some good handling attributes to make it a fun car to drive around town. Light steering and its small turning circle will come in very handy when fighting through city traffic, especially when coupled with its diminutive stature. Get the Picanto out on the open road though and the steering becomes much less responsive, the ride does hold up though so unless you're planning any oval track racing the Picanto's handling is more than up to its job.


Kia has made a great effort in recent years to improve the look of its cars, and employing Peter Shreyer, the man who designed the Audi TT, to design the new Picanto looks like a masterstroke. The car's design makes it look a more substantial beast than it really is, and there are some lovely curves to look at. Coupled with the 14” alloys and the body coloured bumpers that come as standard, you really have got a smart looking little car.


This is another marked improvement from the old Picanto. Gone are the cheap looking plastics, and in comes a decent looking dash. In fact the whole interior has a feel that belies the cars modest price. Also the car feels incredibly roomy considering its size with plenty of head and leg room both front and back. The only disappointment is the boot, not really in size, a 200 litre capacity is nothing to get upset about, but its layout is shocking, making getting the most out of it impossible.


Kia has kept this nice and simple, with trim levels ranging from 1-3 as well as a 1 Air option. At its most basic you get electric front windows, tinted glass, CD/MP3 player and daytime running lights. The Air option unsurprisingly adds air conditioning. Step up to the 2 package and you get Bluetooth connectivity, USB and AUX inputs for the stereo and steering wheel mounted controls and no more window winding for passengers in the back. The 3 package has some nice touches including heated front seats fully automated A/C and automatic headlights, but it does bump the price up quite a lot.


A four star Euro NCAP rating is a marked improvement over the old Picanto's score. The car is literally made of stronger stuff, with the body kit being made of a higher strength steel.  The Picanto also now comes with 6 airbags and stability control as standard. It is also supposed to be safer for pedestrians if you do get into trouble. In the higher spec models there is a rather nifty system of alerting people if you are emergency breaking by flashing the hazard lights three times.

Buying & Owning4/5

The entry level model comes in at £7,795 which certainly makes the words 'very reasonable' spring to mind. As you go up through the specs you get around and above the £10,000 mark, but the Picanto has the kit to still make it good value. The other good news is the excellent 7 year warranty that comes as standard. That coupled with Kia's excellent reliability record and the low fuel, tax and insurance costs makes this a winner with the wallet.

Reviewed by cars2buy