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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 rear seats

Space and practicality

Front space, rear space, seating flexibility, boot

If you’re looking for maximum space for your money, it’s worth noting that the Dacia Sandero offers considerably more for considerably less. But as city cars go, these two are reasonably accommodating. Four six-footers will fit inside, even though those in the back will have to put up with their knees wedged against the seat in front and, in the Up, likely their heads brushing the roof.

Seating three adults in the back of the Picanto is a serious squeeze, but at least it’s legal; it isn’t in the Up, because it has only two rear seatbelts. Both cars have two Isofix child seat fixings in the back.

The Up’s rear windows can only be hinged ajar, while the Picanto’s slide up and down electrically.

Both boots are big enough for a few bags of groceries and both fitted three carry-on suitcases below their parcel shelves in our tests, with the Picanto having slightly more space left for odds and ends. There’s a huge lip at the entrance of both boots, although the Up does have a height-adjustable floor to mitigate this.


Kia Picanto

Official boot capacity 255-1010 litres Suitcase capacity 3

Leg and knee room aren’t exactly plentiful in either car, but four six-footers will fit. The Picanto has the longer, wider and taller boot, but it’s still hardly suitable for family holidays. A central front armrest comes as standard.

Volkswagen Up

Official boot capacity 251-959 litres Suitcase capacity 3

The Up’s boot has a height-adjustable floor, which reduces the otherwise cliff-like lip at the entrance. There are only two seatbelts in the back, so you can’t legally have a middle passenger. There’s no front central armrest, either.

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