Kia Picanto long-term test review: report 3

The Kia Picanto is a fantastic car for the city, but can it also double up as transport for a roving videographer? We're finding out...

Kia Picanto engine bay

The car Kia Picanto 1.0 DPi ISG 2 Run by Oli Kosbab, senior videographer

Why it’s here The Kia Picanto has long been one of our favourite city cars, but is it more than just a 'good value' proposition? And how does it cope when out of its comfort zone: load-lugging on long journeys?

Needs to Be cheap to run, comfortable in town and on the motorway, and practical enough to live with


Mileage 1055 Price £12,495 Target Price £11,852 Price as tested £12,765 Test economy 47.0mpg


23 February 2021 – Slow and steady

I’ll be honest, I wasn’t expecting much from my Kia Picanto by way of handling prowess. After all, you don’t necessarily leap into city car ownership for on-the-limit thrills, do you? However, in terms of driving enjoyment, I have been very pleasantly surprised with it so far.

Kia Picanto long-termer driving

Granted, this is not a quick car. Being powered by a naturally aspirated 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine with just 66bhp, the 0-60mph time sprint time of 13.6sec feels just as slow as it sounds. It's still quicker than the 15.6sec Volkswagen Up, sure, but it’ll be beaten in a drag race by most other new cars.

Luckily, the enjoyment doesn’t come from the pace on offer. The Picanto is light by modern car standards, tipping the scales at 935kg, and it has very naturally weighted and accurate steering. All of which makes it feel really agile and surprisingly tidy on a country road.

Kia Picanto engine bay

If I were to choose my Picanto again, I think I'd opt for what is now our favourite engine in the range – the turbocharged 99bhp 1.0-litre petrol – but that's only available on higher trim levels, pushing the price up. Even with my car's less powerful engine, though, this Picanto can still bring a smile to my face after a long day.

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