Used test: Kia Picanto vs Volkswagen Up: interiors

Bought used, you can put either the Kia Picanto or the Volkswagen Up on your driveway for just £7000, but which one should you choose? We've got the answer...

Kia Picanto - interior

What are they like inside?

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 been added to the Picanto’s driver’s seat, so it’s on a par with the Up in this respect. Unsurprisingly, neither car was available from new 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. 

Volkswagen Up - interior

Infotainment-wise, the Picanto has the best infotainment system in this class. Its 7.0in touchscreen is bright and easy to use, and the fact that it’s positioned high on the dashboard means you don’t need to divert your eyes far from the road to see it. Sat-nav, a DAB radio and Bluetooth all come as standard, but best of all you get Apple and Android smartphone mirroring; just plug your phone into the USB port and you can control it using the car’s screen.

The biggest deal about this Beats edition is its powerful 300-watt sound system, which includes a subwoofer in the boot to give your favourite songs a punchier bassline. By city car standards, sound quality is very good. Unfortunately, the rest of the Up’s infotainment is rather basic. There’s a small screen, but if you want sat-nav, you’ll need to use your smartphone. Thankfully, there’s a cradle for it on the dash.

New Kia Picanto vs Volkswagen Up

If you’re looking for maximum space for your money, it’s worth noting that the previous generation of 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.

New Kia Picanto vs Volkswagen Up

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.

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