Kia has slowly been slipping into the limelight of the automotive industry, with its high-quality vehicles that offer both great value for money and a unique style signature.
With the head-turning tiger-nose grille, courtesy of designer Peter Schreyer, Kia has been able to make a prominent impression in several different segments in the automotive industry, from city car to saloon.
The smallest vehicle in the Kia range; the Picanto, is a great example of how Kia offer everything from practicality and style at an affordable price starting from just £7,795.
The Picanto is one of the first Kia models to feature the new tiger-nose front-end, a design trait that ultimately gives it a distinctive and sportier appearance.
The Picanto is also complimented by strong contours running along its body, making it stand out against other city car competitors.
The Picanto’s interior comes with a simple and yet effective framework of four trim levels, named 1,2,3 and 4. Even at entry level the Picanto manages to offer a convenient tilt-adjustable steering column, MP3 compatibility, CD player and a four speakers.
The ‘3’ trim that we are reviewing comes with a wide range of useful gadgets, such as Bluetooth compatibility, leather trimmings on the steering wheel and gear knob, as well as front heated seats.
There are plenty of safety features on offer in the Picanto range, with ISOFIX child seat tethers, twin front airbags, side and curtain airbags, anti-lock braking system Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and Hill-start Assist Control.
The Picanto feels much bigger than a city car, with an abundance of head and leg room for rear passengers. The five doors version is especially easy to reach for families that need easy access to a child seat.
Boot practicality is impressive in the Picanto, with up to 200 litres of space. These seats can then be folded down to offer a maximum storage space of 605 litres.
On the road
The Kia Picanto is highly economical, with a series of small engines across the range, many of which are frugal three-cylinder units.
At entry level is the most efficient engine available, a 1.0-litre 68bhp unit that is mated to a five-speed manual gearbox. This unit offers CO2 emissions as low as 99g/km and returns an average of around 67mpg.
The 1.25-litre unit that we tested offers a surprisingly potent power output of 84bhp, reaching the 60mph in just 11 seconds. It also offers 121Nm of torque, which means the Picanto offers quite a pull when you are setting off at the lights.
Although offering a boost in power, the 1.25-litre engine still manages to offer impressive fuel economy, returning around 60mpg and emitting CO2 emissions of just 109g/km.
For a small car, you will be surprised at how well the Picanto can handle itself, on everything from smooth urban surroundings to bumpy country roads.
At just £11,445, the Kia Picanto ‘3’ 1.25-litre petrol five-door is one of the most competitively priced city cars on the market, especially when you consider the vast amount of equipment that is on offer.
Not only does it offer the winning qualities of a practical, cheap to run city car, but its unique style makes it a force to be reckoned with