Review Of Kia Picanto 2016 - The smallest model in Kia’s growing range, the Kia Picanto is a city car rivalling models like the Skoda Citigo, Citroen C1 and Suzuki Celerio. Aimed at trendy young urbanites, it has quite chic looks, thanks to its bold grille, bright colours and stylish wheels. It is one of the older cars in Kia’s line-up, but a refresh in 2015 brought some subtle improvements to its design and even more equipment. So, should this shopper be on your shopping list? Let’s find out. Kia says the Picanto has a ‘big-car feel’, and if kit is anything to go buy they’re not wrong. I don’t normally like listing equipment but in this ‘4’ trim level it defines your whole experience. This tiny 12ft long car has keyless entry, heated seats, a heated steering wheel, reversing camera, climate control, Hollywood mirror lighting, a sunroof and the same responsive 7-inch infotainment system and sat-nav you’ll find in much more expensive Kias. It’s the motoring equivalent of a whisky liqueur. And it’s not all just plastic fantastic, most of the materials look pretty smart, the driving position is perfectly fine and there are some really neat touches. I particularly like these flip out cup holders, with enough room above to fit in a fairly large mug of coffee. It also has a large glovebox, deep door bins and a USB port for charging your phone. Now, you can get a three-door Picanto, but we’d say this five-door is much better, especially as it doesn’t actually cost any extra. It does make getting in the back far easier though, and once inside it’s actually surprising how much head and legroom there is.
Step around to the boot though, and you see why, because the rear seats almost go to the back of the car. The boot is fairly deep, so you can stack a few bags on top of each other, but its 200-litres of space is down on the Citigo and Celerio, which both have just over 250 litres. But, if there’s just two of you in the Picanto, you can fold the rear seats flat to give yourself more luggage room. So it might have the gadgets of a bigger car, but does it feel lively and nip in and out of gaps like you want a city car to? Well, let’s get the bad news out of the way first; this Kia Picanto has a clutch more like a switch than a pedal, so it can be tricky to get going smoothly, and you might even stall once or twice. But once up and running, it’s less of a pain and we’d definitely rather have this five-speed manual than the optional four-speed automatic, which blunts performance and economy. And yes, it can be rather fun actually, with enough grip from the front wheels, steering which is a bit artificially heavy, but basically fine and just enough body roll to warn you to calm down if you get too carried away. There’s a 1.0-litre engine with 64bhp, or this 1.25-litre with 84bhp and we’d go for the latter.
Despite a small economy advantage on paper, both should just hit 60mpg in the real-world if you drive carefully. Reaching 60mph in 11.5 seconds the 1.25-litre Picanto is actually quicker than its main rivals, but there is a slight problem. While the Citigo has a sweet three-cylinder, the Kia’s four-pot engine gets quite thrashy and loud at high revs, and motorway refinement isn’t as good. OK, so this is a city car, but with more commuters downsizing, it could impact on its versatility. The Picanto is amongst the cheapest cars on sale, starting from £8,345, while this top-of-the-range ‘4’ model is £12,795. But, the Citigo is even less, costing between £8,275 and £11k. Still, the Kia does have a trick up its sleeve, which is a seven-year warranty, more than double the length of the Skoda’s. So, the smallest Kia looks good, it’s very well-equipped and should prove reliable. But, it is starting to show its age a bit, with a small boot and fewer motorway smarts than newer rivals. If you are staying around town, the Picanto is a great choice, but if you are downsizing from a bigger vehicle, there are city cars which will keep you feeling more grown-up. Thanks for read Review Of Kia Picanto 2016.