Kia Picanto

New Kia Picanto

Sue Cooke tests out the new Kia Picanto.

‘I’m not a fan of small cars but when I get behind the wheel of one I am always pleasantly surprised at what fun they are to drive. The ‘What Car’ winner of ‘best city car’ was the all new Kia Picanto which I road tested this week.  It arrived with lurid lime green paintwork which a male colleague insisted was yellow. I’m sure men and women see colours differently!  And nobody could have said sorry I didn’t see you! 

For 2018, Kia has added chunky crossover inspired styling. The X-Line has a rugged design and is longer, wider and taller than conventional city cars with increased ground clearance.  While it may not be the choice for an off-road sprint as power is transmitted to the front wheels only, the SUV style bumpers with metal look skid plates at the front and rear, may appeal to buyers who like crossover design.

The exterior is certainly attractive, with privacy glass to the rear windows and tailgate, twin exhaust outlets, a shark fin antenna and projection headlights with LED daytime running lights and fog lamps.

I like the spacious interior which Kia says boasts class leading cabin space with more leg and head room than all other rivals in the A segment.   Boot capacity is 255 litres, the most of any car in its class and there are really useful hooks for holding carrierbags so the contents don’t end up all over the boot.

In the cockpit, I like the white and lime green splashes of colour on the doors and there is a sporty flat bottomed steering wheel.

Cutting edge in car technology includes Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™ smart phone integration and wireless smartphone.  Other standard equipment provides cruise control with speed limiter, automatic air conditioning and keyless entry.  The latest Picanto is the safest ‘A’ segment car Kia has ever made with six standard airbags and autonomous emergency braking.  The system can bring the car to a complete stop at speeds up to 50mph and to a partial stop at speeds over this figure. Hill start Assist Control prevents the car from rolling backwards on uphill gradients.

The improved steering is firm and precise and the Picanto which has a minimum turning radius of 4.8m is so simple to manoeuvre. Another benefit I had forgotten about a small car, is its ability to squeeze into car parking spaces that other cars would prefer to leave alone.

This third generation five door car is a little pocket rocket. The 1.25 litre petrol engine provides lively performance for zipping around in urban traffic with plenty in reserve for motorway driving. A five-speed manual gearbox is standard, with a four-speed automatic transmission available as an option.

Kia offers the best warranty in the business – seven years or 100,000 miles and the warranty is fully transferable to the next owner.  In 2017 Kia sold over 93,200 models and launched four new models.  The company’s Vision 100 sales target is to achieve 100,000 sales in the UK by 2020.

With a bold new design, both inside and out, a high level of safety features and great acceleration when needed, the Kia Picanto X-Line is an attractive option for those who like small cars.’

Facts at a Glance

Model: Kia Picanto X-Line

Price: £12,595 otr

Engine: 1.25 litre petrol

Performance: 0-60mph in 11.6 seconds and on to a top speed of 107mph

CO2 emissions: 106g/km

Combined fuel consumption: 61.4mpg