Used test: Kia Picanto vs Volkswagen Up

The Kia Picanto and Volkswagen Up are two sizzling little city cars, but which one makes the most sense bought used? We've got the answer...

Kia Picanto vs VW Up

Our Verdict

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

Of the rivals that have come along since its launch, the Picanto is definitely one of the most convincing. It’s roomier inside and sharper to drive, and of the two cars tested here its infotainment system is far superior. It comes with more luxuries too, and perhaps most importantly it gets automatic emergency braking as standard, which originally cost extra on the Up. 

Buy a Picanto at a couple of years old and you’ll get the residue of that fine seven-year new car warranty; indeed if you buy one at less than 20 months old from a Kia dealer they’ll top that warranty right back up to the full seven years. So the Picanto might cost more to buy here, but it’s where our money would go. 

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1st – Kia Picanto

New Kia Picanto vs Volkswagen Up

For Tidy handling; lots of standard kit; better infotainment; roomier interior

Against Engine needs working harder; slightly firmer ride 

Our rating 5 out of 5 stars

Read our full Kia Picanto review

Buy a used Kia Picanto with What Car? >>


2nd – Volkswagen Up

New Kia Picanto vs Volkswagen Up

For Punchy turbo engine; smart interior; impressive fuel economy

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

Our rating 4 out of 5 stars

Read our full Volkswagen Up review

Buy a used Volkswagen Up with What Car? >>


Specifications: Kia Picanto 

  • Engine size 1.2-litre petrol
  • Power 83bhp
  • Torque 90lb ft
  • 0-60mph 10.9sec
  • Top speed 108mph
  • Fuel economy 61.4mpg (Official average)
  • CO2 emissions 106g/km

Specifications: Volkswagen Up

  • Engine size 0.9-litre petrol
  • Power 89bhp
  • Torque 118lb ft
  • 0-60mph 9.6sec
  • Top speed 110mph
  • Fuel economy 60.1mpg (Official average)
  • CO2 emissions 108g/km

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