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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 and Volkswagen Up

Our verdict

The Volkswagen Up was once the undisputed champion of the city car class. We even voted it our overall Car of the Year in 2012. Time moves on, though, and the Up, while still a fine choice, is no longer the best of its breed.

Why does it lose out? Well, the new Kia Picanto is roomier inside and sharper to drive, while its infotainment system is far superior. And when you consider it offers cheaper monthly finance repayments, despite coming with loads more luxuries as standard, the Up’s case becomes even harder to argue. That the Picanto gets automatic emergency braking as standard while it costs extra on the Up only makes the margin of victory greater.

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1st – Kia Picanto

For Tidy handling; cheaper PCP payments; lots of standard kit

Against Engine needs working harder; slightly firmer ride; vague clutch biting point

Rated 5 out of 5

Read our full Kia Picanto review

Find a great Kia Picanto deal


2nd – Volkswagen Up

For Punchy turbo engines; smart interior; powerful stereo; impressive fuel economy

Against More cramped inside; shortage of standard luxuries; AEB costs extra

Rated 4 out of 5

Read our full Volkswagen Up review

Find a great Volkswagen Up deal


Also consider:


Specifications: Kia Picanto 1.25 3

Engine size 4cyl, 1248cc, petrol

List price Β£12,650

Target Price Β£12,265

Power 83bhp @ 6000rpm

Torque 90lb ft @ 4000rpm

Gearbox 5-spd manual

0-60mph 10.9sec

Top speed 108mph

Claimed fuel economy 61.4mpg

True MPG 47.9mpg

CO2 emissions 106g/km


Specifications: Volkswagen Up 1.0 TSI 90 Beats 5dr

Engine size 3cyl, 999cc, turbo, petrol

List price Β£11,905

Target Price Β£11,377

Power 89bhp @ 5000rpm

Torque 118lb ft @ 3500rpm

Gearbox 5-spd manual

0-60mph 9.6sec

Top speed 110mph

Claimed fuel economy 60.1mpg

True MPG 53.7mpg

CO2 emissions 108g/km


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