What Car? Personal Shopper: small automatic car for less than £14,000

Want a new car but don't know where to start? Just send us your criteria and we'll give you our top new and used car choices, and even tell you how much we can save you...

Kia Picanto

Buying new

  • Our recommended choice: Kia Picanto 1.25 3 auto
  • List price: £13,645
  • What Car? Target Price: £13,006
Used Kia Picanto Hatchback (17-present)

From 2014 to 2017, we consistently named the smart and practical Hyundai i10 as our City Car of the Year, but this year that crown was taken by the Kia Picanto. That's because it's deceptively spacious, has a tidy interior and handles well.

We'd recommend opting for the 1.25-litre petrol engine over the entry-level 1.0-litre. The latter is fine if you only drive in the city, but the 1.25's extra power and pace are welcome for those occasional trips further afield. We'd normally suggest sticking with the standard five-speed manual gearbox, but the four-speed automatic doesn't cost much more.

Where the Picanto really impresses is in its handling. It feels more at home on winding country lanes than many of its rivals and darts into bends with surprisingly little body lean. It also has light steering and a tight turning circle, so parking around town won't be a chore. Speaking of parking, the 3 trim level we recommend comes with rear parking sensors and even a rear-view camera. Other luxuries include automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, climate control and sat-nav. There's smartphone mirroring, too, in case you change your mind about using your phone in the future.

This version of the Picanto would normally cost you £13,645, but What Car?'s New Car Buying service can reduce that to £13,006. 

To find out more about the Picanto, read our full 16-point review or view our Picanto deals.


  • Our recommended choice: Hyundai i10 1.2 Premium SE auto
  • List price: £14,425
  • What Car? Target Price: £13,542
What Car? Personal Shopper: small automatic car for less than £14,000

The Hyundai i10 is quieter and more spacious than most city cars. Its safety and security equipment could be better, though.

Read our full Hyundai i10 review or see our great deals.


  • Our recommended choice: Skoda Citigo 1.0 MPI 75 SE L 5dr ASG
  • List price: £11,770
  • What Car? Target Price: £11,249
Skoda Citigo

The Citigo is the cheapest new car choice here, but its ASG automatic gearbox is decidedly sluggish.