Used Kia Picanto Hatchback 2004 - 2011 review

Category: Small car

Hard to fault, other than the fact that it's not a great drive

Kia Picanto Hatchback (04 - 11)
  • Kia Picanto Hatchback (04 - 11)
  • Kia Picanto Hatchback (04 - 11)
Used Kia Picanto Hatchback 2004 - 2011 review
Star rating

What's the used Kia Picanto hatchback like?

Value for money is the most important weapon in the armoury of any city car, but the Kia Picanto offers impressive value even among its peers.

Prices are affordable, and for such a nominal outlay you'll get a car with an impressive load of equipment. And a surprsing amount of space.


Hard to fault, other than the fact that it's not a great drive

  • Lots of car for the money
  • spacious and well equipped
  • Tiny boot
  • sluggish performance
  • choppy ride

There's plenty of room in any of the four seats, and six-footers will have no problem travelling in the back The five-door body style means easy access to the rear, and only the tiny boot limits its practicality. The dash is good, too: solidly built and logically laid out, even if the materials aren't particularly appealing.

If there is a problem, it's that the Picanto isn't a car for keen drivers. The engines are underpowered, there's too much body roll in corners and the steering is short of feel. The ride is a bit choppy, too, but for drivers who just want A-to-B city transport, it's fine.

Ownership cost

What used Kia Picanto hatchback will I get for my budget?

How much does it cost to run a Kia Picanto hatchback?

As a new car, the Picanto's great strength is its value for money - you get a well kitted and roomy city car for a relative pittance - and as a used buy, it's exactly the same story.

Residual values aren't great, so there are some good deals to be had on used examples, and there's only one problem: since the car has only been around since 2004, many of the used cars for sale won't have had enough time to shed a decent chunk of their value.

The Picanto's claimed running costs are pretty good, too. Officially, the 1.0-litre cars will return an average of 55.4mpg and the 1.1 cars will manage 54.3mpg. Be careful, though, because many owners have contacted us complaining that these figures are extremely hard to get near in the real world.

Insurance groupings stand at 2 for the 1.0-litre and 3 for the 1.1-litre, so whichever version you buy, premiums will be low.

Our recommendations

Which used Kia Picanto hatchback should I buy?

There are four versions to choose from, and the most basic S and GS trims come with the 60bhp 1.0-litre engine, which is only really suitable for city driving. It struggles to keep up with traffic on faster routes. The S comes with central locking and a CD player, while GS versions add electric front windows.

If you want a car with the slightly more powerful 1.1-litre engine, you'll be getting either LX or SE+ trim. The engine itself isn't too bad and, with 64bhp, the extra power makes motorway driving less of a chore. However, it still needs to be worked hard to get up to speed.

All in all, the entry-level 1.1-litre model, the LX, is our pick of the range, and comes with got air-con, electric rear windows and remote central locking. SE+ models add alloy wheels.


What alternatives should I consider to a used Kia Picanto hatchback?