Cost & verdict

Kia Picanto review

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Kia Picanto
Review continues below...
18 May 2017 22:00 | Last updated: 21 Aug 2018 10:25

In this review

Cost & verdict

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

Kia Picanto hatchback running costs

Whether you paying cash or, more likely, signing up to a PCP finance agreement, the Picanto is a slightly cheaper option than an equivalent Hyundai i10 or Volkswagen Up.

Running costs should also be competitive; the Picanto is predicted to depreciate fairly slowly by city car standards and the 1.25-litre engine averaged a respectable 47.9mpg in our True MPG tests. Mind you, the Up 1.0 TSI 90 managed 53.7mpg.

If you're looking to spend as little as possible, the 1.0 engine is your best bet. However, we think the gutsier 1.25 is worth the relatively small premium.

Kia Picanto hatchback equipment

Entry-level 1 trim is as bare as a derelict cottage, with steel wheels and no air conditioning. However, you do get 60/40 split-folding rear seats, a trip computer, remote central locking and electric front windows.

Move up to a 2 model and you get more of what you might expect in a modern car, including 14in alloy wheels, electrically adjustable door mirrors, air-con, all-round electric windows and a leather-trimmed steering wheel.

But we reckon 3 is the trim to go for. The equipment bonanza includes 15in wheels, power-folding door mirrors, climate control, cruise control, rear parking sensors, a rear-view camera and a sliding front centre armrest. It doesn’t stop there, either, because you also get a great infotainment package and upgraded safety kit.

SUV-inspired X-Line trim gets more rugged styling on the outside thanks to new bumpers, plastic arch mouldings and skid plates, as well as a slightly raised (by 15mm) ride height. It also gets a bespoke equipment list: the larger 7.0in infotainment screen and automatic emergency city braking of the 3 trim, but the even more expensive GT-Line's upgraded headlights and tail-lights. We’d still stick with 3 trim, though.

SUV-inspired X-Line trim gets more rugged styling on the outside in the form of restyled bumpers, plastic arch mouldings and skid plates, as well as a slightly raised (by 15mm) ride height. It also gets the larger 7.0in infotainment screen, privacy glass and automatic emergency braking, as well as upgraded headlights and tail-lights.

GT-Line is based on 2 trim, so it misses out on some of the upgrades that our favoured 3 trim gets, but it comes with sportier styling and 16in wheels, plus power-folding door mirrors and privacy glass.

Range-topping GT-Line S and X-Line S come with the same SUV-inspired or sporty looks as their non-S equivalents, but add trinkets including heated seats, a heated steering wheel, keyless entry, a sunroof and a dual-height boot floor. These are very pricey, though.

Kia Picanto

Kia Picanto hatchback reliability

Something Kia is famous for is its seven-year, 100,000-mile warranty, which applies to every Picanto. Hopefully, you won’t need to use it, because Kia ranked 11th out of 32 brands in our most recent reliability survey – just above the likes of Audi, Mini and Skoda, and way above Volkswagen, Peugeot, Citroën and Nissan.

Kia Picanto hatchback safety and security

Every version comes with six airbags as standard, electronic stability control and Isofix child seat mounting points. Higher-spec models, including our favourite 3 trim, come with the important addition of a safety pack that brings automatic emergency braking, which might just stop you from having a front-end smash.

Without this safety pack, the Picanto gets a three-star safety rating from Euro NCAP. The rating rises to four stars (out of five) for models with the safety pack, making this one of the better cars in the class for safety. Child occupant protection and pedestrian protection still aren’t particularly great, though.

Every Picanto comes with an alarm and immobiliser as standard to help ward off thieves. However, according to security experts Thatcham Research, its two-star rating (out of five stars) for guarding against being broken into means the Picanto might not keep your valuables very safe.

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Verdict

The Kia Picanto is one of the very best city cars, with a smart interior, tidy handling and decent practicality

  • Tidy handling
  • Good boot by class standards
  • Excellent infotainment on upper trims
  • Noisy engines
  • Woeful infotainment on lower trims
  • Firm low-speed ride
There are 7 trims available for the Picanto hatchback. Click to see details.See all versions
2
This trim has more of what you might expect on a city car these days. It adds 14in alloy wheels, electrically adjustable door mirrors, air-con, Bluetooth, electric windows all round, a leather trim...View trim
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GT-line
It's based on 2 trim, so GT-Line misses out on some of the upgrades that our favoured 3 trim gets. Instead, it comes with sportier styling and 16in wheels on the outside. Automatic emergency brakin...View trim
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X-Line
This SUV-inspired trim adds more rugged styling on the outside, thanks to new bumpers, plastic arch mouldings and skid plates, as well as a slightly raised (by 15mm) ride height. It also has the la...View trim
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OUR PICK
3
This has everything you could realistically need while still remaining relatively affordable. The equipment bonanza includes 15in wheels, power-folding door mirrors, climate control, cruise control...View trim
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GT-line S
GT-Line S is one of the top trims. It has the same sporty look as GT-Line, along with the trinkets included on 3 trim, plus heated seats and a heated steering wheel, wireless phone charging, keyles...View trim
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X-Line S
Comes with the rugged looks of X-Line, plus the plusher equipment levels of GT-Line S. It’s quite pricey, though...View trim
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1
Entry-level 1 trim is as bare as a derelict cottage, with not even air conditioning. It comes with steel wheels and the bog-standard infotainment system without Bluetooth, while there are some nice...View trim
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