January 2012

* Kia Picanto long-term test * Year-long review * Tested by Will Nightingale...

January 2012

**Kia Picanto 1.0 2

Week ending January 27
Mileage 6422
Driven this week 232 miles**

I decided to put the mpg computer in the Picanto to the test this week, so I reset the trip to find out how accurate it is when I filled up.

As you can see, it reckons its achieved 41.8mpg over the 265 miles of the test period. During that time I used 29.32 litres of fuel, so the true mpg is 41.1mpg.

Youd expect the computer to be bang on like this, but should I be surprised that 41.1mpg is a whopping 26.2mpg down on the Kias official combined fuel consumption figure of 67.3mpg?

Perhaps not considering most of the test miles were done at murderously high revs on long motorway journeys - not the Picantos strong suit but a 39 percent drop? Yikes.

Kia Picanto review

Week ending January 20
Mileage 6190
Driven this week 367 miles

The stereo in the Kia Picanto synchronises very nicely with my iPhone, so I can listen to my music library or stream Radio 6 Music with the excellent TuneIn app.

The controls on the steering wheel and centre console are also good, so theres not much faffing about with menus to find the right folder or get the phone onto random play.

Its a shame, then, that the sound quality is so poor. The speakers need to be worked very hard to outdo the road noise, which builds up to unacceptable levels on the many, long motorway journeys Im doing at the moment.

When I restart the Picanto after one of these trips, and have the stereo at the same volume, Im always rather astonished to hear how loud Ive had to turn the decibels up to cope with the racket.


Week ending January 13
Mileage 5823
Driven this week 196 miles

You cant expect much rear legroom in a car as dinky as the Picanto, but the Kia is particularly restricted in this area compared with most of its rivals.

Even my four-year-old boy was cramped behind the drivers seat, so now he, or his seven-year-old sister, uses the front passenger seat pulled forward while the other sits behind.

This means, of course, that each journey starts with that classic argument over which of them is going to sit up front.

Deep joy.


Week ending January 6
Mileage 5627
Driven this week 230 miles

I recently needed to transport my two kids and their bikes a few miles by car, but had to do the trip in two runs because of the Picantos compact dimensions.

Even with the rear bench folded (shame its not split), the two kids bikes took up all of the available space in the cabin.

Katies 24-inch wheel bike squeezed across the folded rear seat, while Eds much smaller number sat on the front passenger seat and dashboard.

Selecting second was a little difficult because of the awkward positioning of the chainring on Eds bike, and block shifting from first to third isnt really an option because of the rather gutless three cylinder engine in the car.