Feature

New Kia Picanto vs Volkswagen Up

The Volkswagen Up is one of our favourite city cars, but it faces a tough challenge from the well-equipped new Kia Picanto

Words ByWhat Car? team

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Kia Picanto interior

Behind the wheel

Driving position, visibility, build quality

You won’t relish spending hours behind the wheel of either of our contenders, because both have somewhat flawed driving positions. For starters, neither car’s steering wheel offers any reach adjustment; you’ll need to find a compromise between how close you are to the pedals and the steering wheel. To make matters worse, the position of the Up’s instrument dials means there’s a good chance your view of them will be blocked by the wheel’s rim.

The Up’s front seats aren’t as comfortable as the Picanto’s, either, mainly due to their shortage of lower back support. Height adjustment has recently been added to the Picanto’s driver’s seat, so it’s now on a par with the Up in this respect. Unsurprisingly, neither car is available with adjustable lumbar support, even as an option.

You won’t find any squishy dashboard plastics in either car, but that’s not to say they feel overly cheap inside. In fact, the Up hides its bargain-basement roots remarkably well, especially in this Beats trim, thanks to its two-tone dashboard and quilted seats. The sheen on the Picanto’s grey dashboard makes it look less appealing than the Up’s, but its buttons, dials and switches are just as solid and pleasant to use.

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