The interior layout, fit and finish
Driving position and dashboard
Like all city cars, the only real bugbear is that the Picanto's steering wheel adjusts for height and not reach. Still, somehow its driving position still works, and is better than that of a Volkswagen Up. The driver’s seat is comfortable and supportive, with enough side bolstering to stop you sliding around in corners, and thanks to well-aligned pedals and driver’s seat height adjustment (on all but the entry-level trim), it’s easy to get a comfortable environment. This is even better on 3 trim and above, because you get a central front armrest to lean on as well.
Meanwhile, the dashboard layout is simple to understand and the well-placed buttons are big enough to spot easily on the move.
Visibility, parking sensors and cameras
You can't have fancy LED headlights on a Picanto, and its halogen headlights aren't the brightest at night, but seeing out of the front during daylight hours is made easy by its slim front pillars and deep, wide windscreen. The same is true when you’re looking out of the side windows while tackling junctions and roundabouts.
The rear side windows are slightly smaller, but rear passengers are unlikely to feel claustrophobic; the Picanto is relatively bright and airy in the back compared with most city cars.
The rear pillars are quite chunky and the rear screen is relatively small, but even so over-the-shoulder visibility is slightly better than it is in a Hyundai i10. It's a shame that rear parking sensors and a rear-view camera are available only on the mid and upper trims, with no option to add them on the cheaper variants.
Sat nav and infotainment
With 1, 2 and GT-Line trims, you get only an AM/FM radio and a tiny, 3.8in monochrome screen; 1 trim doesn’t even get you Bluetooth. We mean, really: no Bluetooth? That's like stepping back into the 1990s.
Fortunately, the higher trim levels get a much more modern 7.0in colour touchscreen, with a DAB radio plus Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring. On 3, X-Line S and GT-Line S models, this also includes in-built sat-nav. And it's not a chore to use, because the menus are intuitive and the screen responds quickly to inputs – it's far better than the Up's system and one of the best in the class.
Range-topping X-Line S and GT-Line S models add wireless phone charging, but sadly those trims are bloomin' pricey.
Like every other car in its price bracket, the Picanto's interior isn't graced with soft-touch materials that are a great joy to behold. However, the plastics have been textured in such a way that they don't look or feel too cheap. Everything seems well bolted together, too, giving the same feeling of solidity that you get from an i10.
As with the i10 the buttons and switches also feel nicely damped, but the i10 does have nicer leather on its steering wheel and plusher gloss-black plastics that knock it up a notch – on perceived quality at least.