Can I get a new Picanto with an automatic gearbox?

A reader wants to replace her Toyota Yaris with a new Kia Picanto, and asks if it will be available with an automatic gearbox...

2020 Kia Picanto front

Twelve years ago I bought a Toyota Aygo automatic based on your review. I have never looked back and still have the car. Although I am 65 this was my first car as I didn’t take my test till I was 52.

I am now looking to change the car and thought I would go for a new Kia Picanto, having been told by their customer service people they are bringing it back out at the end of this year. I have now been in contact with them three times and keep getting different answers. Today I've been told they are not bringing out an automatic after all.

If this is the case, I will probably just go for another Aygo. But I wondered if you would be able to tell me if the Picanto will be available with an automatic gearbox?

Rosemary Lincoln

What Car? says...

It may be that the Kia showroom staff are a bit confused about the automatic gearbox on the facelifted Picanto, which goes on sale this autumn, because it does come with an automatic gearbox but it's called an 'automated manual'.

However, it is a new five-speed automatic gearbox which replaces the previous four-speed version. It's not available to order right now, but it should be soon. 

As long as you're not in a desperate rush to change cars, we'd recommend that you wait till the Picanto auto is available and then take one for a test drive to compare it with the Aygo. We rate the pre-facelifted model so highly that we voted it our Value Car of the Year 2020, and we'd expect the replacement to be pretty good.

Kia claims that the automated manual gearbox, which is only available with the turbocharged 1.0-litre engine, has far better fuel economy than the conventional four-speed unit in the previous car, so it should be economical to own.

As well as a larger (8.0in compared with 7.0in) centrally mounted infotainment screen, the latest Picanto has additional safety aids including automatic emergency braking that recognises pedestrians as well as vehicles; blind spot monitoring, lane-keeping assistance and a driver attention warning. 

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