Kia Picanto long-term test review: report 5

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 driving

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

Why it’s here The Kia Picanto is one of our favourite city cars, but is it more than just a good-value proposition? And how does it cope when it goes out of its comfort zone to lug loads on long journeys?

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


Mileage 1305 Price £12,495 Target Price £11,852 Price as tested £12,765 Test economy 45.0mpg


28 April 2021 – city slicker

I’ve become a very big fan of this small car but if I had my time with it again I’d consider going up a trim level or two. Sure, that would add some more kit inside, but I’m mainly talking from a style perspective.

In the '2' guise, my Kia Picanto has a fairly billy basic look. I prefer cars that have a little something extra about them, so I’d consider plumping for a GT Line Picanto. That way, I could cash in on some exterior bling with sportier front and rear bumpers to turn a few more heads.

Higher trim levels also come with larger alloys to fill out the arches, which gives the car a sportier look and stance. I accept that that would affect the fuel economy and ride, but for me it’s all about the looks so it’s a compromise I’d be willing to make by spending an extra £1000 over the cost of the ‘2’ trim model.

Putting my sensible hat on again, it's time to take a moment to praise one of the Picanto's huge selling points for many buyers: the out-of-this-world warranty. The Picanto, like every Kia, is covered for 100,000 miles or seven years and that stays with the car if it’s sold on.

The warranty beats any other rival you could name, even the closely related Hyundai i10, which gets a five-year, unlimited mileage policy. By class standards, the i10’s cover is still very impressive, but those extra two years on offer in the Kia will be more useful than the unlimited mileage covered by the Hyundai. With Kia’s brilliant reliability record, there’s a good chance that the warranty would turn out to be a safety net that’s never needed.

Kia Picanto

Sticking with the sensible theme, I’m also beginning to appreciate the dinky but efficient packaging of the Picanto. It’s a small car and is, therefore, perfect for the city driving I’ve been doing, and for parking in small spaces. It’s the same 3595mm length as the previous generation Picanto, but there’s actually a greater distance between the front and rear wheels – 15mm to be precise. That might not sound like a lot, but when it comes to interior space, every millimetre counts.

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