Kia Picanto: Practical, reliable and now suddenly stylish – one of the best small cars money can buy

Kia Picanto: “Practical, reliable and now suddenly stylish – one of the best small cars money can buy

  • Value for money

  • 7 year warranty

  • Generous standard kit


Overall Rating

  • Can get noisy at speed

  • Infotainment a little dated

  • Personalisation options pricey

Overall Rating

Kia Picanto Overview

The Kia Picanto has always been a practical and popular choice of city car, but we never really would have added stylish to that list, until now.

The third generation Picanto has been given a dramatic new makeover and is all of a sudden looking sharp and serious. Its edgy lines now make it stand out from the cute and curvy crowd – and offers an attractive alternative for those who want a grown up city car.

Then of course there’s the pricetag – which, at starting €13,295 makes it one of the best value new cars on the market.

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Interior Gallery


Space & Practicality

It may only occupy a small patch on the pavement but you’ll still squeeze plenty into it all the same. The boot capacity of 255 litres is one of the biggest in the class and even though this model is not any bigger than the previous one, by moving the wheels further apart they’ve managed to eek out some more legroom and make better use of the space inside.

There’s some useful storage areas including a decent size dash, some retractable cupholders, and doorbins wide enough to fit a large bottle of water. You can also fit another litre size bottle in the centre console – all very impressive for such a compact space.

Equipment and Safety

As always with Kia, equipment levels are generous. All models get Bluetooth for pairing your phone, a leather multifunction steering wheel, colour coded door handles and heated electric mirrors.

Move one trim up to the EX for 15 alloys and LED daytime running lights, and one more to the EX ADAS for the additional safety benefit of autonomous emergency braking, and some very nice leather look upholstery.

There’s also going to be a GT-line spec, with upgraded sports styling for an even meaner looking Picanto.

The quality and layout of the cabin has also been improved and you can now add a bit of personality inside with a choice of five different colour packs for the upholstery and door pads. The centre console is well laid out and easy to navigate and while the infotainment may seem a little primitive, it’s simple and easy to use.

Performance & Running Costs

That just leaves us with how it drives and while this is where a lot of small cars start to fall down, the Picanto is a very pleasant surprise. The first thing you’ll notice is how planted it feels. There is none of that tinniness you can sometimes get in smaller cars and despite it’s size, it feels reassuringly solid on the road.

It’s powered by a one litre three cylinder engine, with a power output of 67 ps. It’s not a turbo but it’s still got a nice bit of zip; there’s no hesitation at the lights and for whizzing in and around town, it’s all the car you’ll ever need. Co2 emissions of just 89g/km make it very eco-friendly, and more importantly pocket-friendly. Annual motor tax is just €180, and the fuel economy of 4.4l per 100km means you won’t have to spend too much time at the petrol station either.

There is a higher powered 1.2 litre model available as well as a turbo-charged one litre on the way by the end of the year – which should be a really fun option, especially when paired with that GT-line spec.

Reliability & Residuals

It says a lot for a car that we can almost get to the end of a review, without having once mentioned that incredible seven year Kia warranty.

While it used to be a major selling point for the brand, it’s now more the cherry on top of a very impressive package. It’s unlikely you’ll need to use it either, and the fact they are willing to stand over their product for seven years shows a reassuring confidence in their build quality.

The warranty is also transferable to new owners which should be a nice little sweetener on the used market should you choose to change within seven years.

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Details correct at time of publication