New Hyundai i10 vs Kia Picanto: practicality

Kia's smart and surprisingly sophisticated little Picanto is our reigning Value Car of the Year. Can the all-new Hyundai i10 dethrone it?...

Hyundai i10 rear seats - 69-plate car

Space and practicality

Front space, rear space, seating flexibility, boot

Obviously, these aren’t the biggest cars in the world, but you’d hope each would fit a six-footer, right? Well, don the spandex and cheer away, because they do, and not only ‘just’. One of our testers is 6ft 3in tall and had no issues with front leg or head room, although the Picanto has a fraction more of the latter. The i10’s wider interior gives those with, let’s say, a more prosperous frame greater room to breathe, though.

Although it’s pretty even-stevens at the front, the i10 is the clear choice if you’re travelling in the back. For a start, it’s easier to get in and out through its bigger rear door apertures. And once inside, our 6ft-plus tester could fit behind a driver of identical height. Now, there wouldn’t be much leg or head room going spare in that scenario, but the i10 is still impressive for the class.

Not that the Picanto is particularly pokey in the rear. Its head room is similar to the i10’s, but if you’re on the tall side, your knees will be clamped firmly in place by the seat in front. When it comes to seating three side by side, neither car is great for adults.

Kia Picanto rear seats - 69-plate car

They each provide a multitude of cavities and crevices for your accoutrements, though. Take their front door bins, which will hold a 500ml bottle, or the generous-sized gloveboxes as proof. There are also a couple of cupholders in each, and trays of various sizes. However, the i10 just gets the nod, because although the Picanto has a map pocket on the back of its front passenger seat, the i10 has small rear door bins (which are absent in the Picanto) and a long tray above its glovebox – an ideal place for a fold-up umbrella.

It’s nip and tuck again for luggage space. The Picanto’s boot is a centimetre or two deeper, whereas the i10’s is longer, and both will swallow something up to a metre in width. Consequently, they can hold the same number of carry-on suitcases: three, with some room to spare.

Both cars also come with 60/40 split-folding rear seatbacks, and if you drop these to fit something bulky inside, they lie usefully flat. Doing this leaves a large step down to the fl oor, though, and neither car has a height-adjustable boot fl oor to mitigate this.

Lifting bulky items in and out is less back-breaking in the i10, because its tailgate lip sits 45mm closer to the ground than the Picanto’s, plus the drop to its boot fl oor is 5cm shorter.

Hyundai i10

Hyundai i10 boot - 69-plate car

Boot 252-1050 litres Suitcases 3

The front of either car will house six-footers, although the i10 is slightly wider, door to door. The key difference is that the i10 will fit four six-footers on board. The boot lip is lower for easier access, too.

Kia Picanto

Kia Picanto boot - 69-plate car

Boot 255-1010 litres Suitcases 3

The Picanto has similar front head and leg room to the i10. Rear space is reasonable, but leg room is much more at a premium. Each car easily fits three cases in the boot and has 60/40 folding rear seats.

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