NEW KIA PICANTO*
The first-generation Kia Picanto was a great city runabout and now the second generation has upped the ante. It offers a more upmarket feel at a competitive price. This version of the Picanto is offered with a choice of five- or three-door body styles, the first time this option has been available on the little city . The new look starts with the ‘tiger nose’ grille – the now familiar front end of all new Kia cars, including the Venga, Sportage and new Rio. The rear has been given a larger screen and the tail lights add to the more upmarket and premium look of the car. The three-door model has a more sporty look to it, while the five-door version gives owners that extra bit of practicality you might need in a little car. The length and the wheelbase has also grown meaning interior space has increased, as has the boot space. It's fitted with a choice of two economical and clean engines, which offer good performance when nipping around tight city streets, but that can also handle the pace when it comes to travelling along the motorway.
Low running costs
If you stick with a manual gearbox in the Picanto, you’ll see an average fuel economy of more than 60.0mpg with both the 1.0-litre and 1.25-litre . Even with the four-speed automatic gearbox, the Picanto turns in 53.3mpg average consumption. This makes the baby Kia very easy on the wallet in day to day driving, while annual running costs are also kept low thanks to insurance rates that run between three and 10. With carbon dioxide emissions of 99g/km for the 1.0-litre with manual gearbox, the Picanto also qualifies for free road tax, while a seven-year, 100,000-mile warranty gives peace of mind.
The Kia Picanto launched in 2011 improved on the earlier version’s tiny 157-litre boot by upping capacity to 200-litres. That’s reasonable by class standards, but the Picanto is hamstrung by the shape of the boot and intrusion from the wheelarches. There’s also a high load sill to lift heavier bags over, though the tailgate opening is wide and tall. The new Picanto is certainly growing but has it got enough in its armoury to take on the class-leading Ford Ka, the chic Fiat 500 and the Peugeot 107? Read the full Kia Picanto review to find out.