The 2017 Kia Picanto is a joy to get behind the wheel of, as our motoring journalist, Tim Barnes-Clay, found out.
The all-new Picanto is one of those happy little numbers that you can’t help but warm to. And that feeling of wanting to wrap your arms around the mite of a motor surprised me at the car’s European media launch recently. The last embodiment of the Kia Picanto in 2011 was respectable, but humdrum. I should know, I was on that launch six years ago. The 2017 Picanto on the other hand, although not exactly a car that will make you drool with excitement, gives just the right dose of enchantment.
The 2017 Kia Picanto has been dressed in a new set of garments to make it look properly included in Kia’s progressive family. It’s now more ‘down with the hipsters’, fitting in suitably with the South Korean marque’s Rio and Sportage models. The all-new Kia Picanto now has a changed nose with attention-grabbing LED running lights. But it’s the space inside that is perhaps more significant. Head and legroom in the back is generous, while up in the front you feel you’re in a class above ‘city car’ status. The boot is not to be dismissed either, with 255-litres on hand. This access to room is largely because Kia has unfurled the wheelbase by 15mm.
Pick of Picantos
There are no less than nine types of the 2017 Kia Picanto to be bought or leased, based on two powerplants, five trims and two gearboxes. The trims are straightforwardly categorised as ‘1’, ‘2’, ‘3’, ‘GT-Line’ and ‘GT-Line S’. The all-new Picanto, which is on sale in the UK from this month (May 2017), is obtainable in five-door hatchback semblance only.
I piloted the 1.25 GT-Line Kia Picanto, and it’s an eye-catching motor. As well as the latest nips and tucks, it has 16-inch alloy wheels, sportier bumpers, and a more extreme front air intake. Move inside the 2017 Kia Picanto, and there is a good variety of kit, including some delicately designed air-conditioning controls and a touchscreen infotainment system. The Picanto’s steering wheel feels more chunkily satisfactory, too – and there are reproduction leather seats set in a shadowy cabin. The darkness of the interior is embellished with red stitching. It all looks more upmarket than before.
At the wheel, the GT-Line version of the 2017 Picanto feels startlingly state-of-the-art. Our media test-drive around Tuscany, in central Italy, involved heaps of uneven roads, but the pint-sized Picanto always rode comfortably and never felt out of its depth. It even managed motorway speeds well.
In this getup, the all-new Kia Picanto will nudge 62mph in 11.5 seconds, before running out of oomph at 109mph. Those aren’t breath-taking figures, but then the Picanto is not designed for the boy, or girl, racer. Perhaps more meaningfully, you can get up to 60.1mpg from the car. It’ll certainly keep you from shelling out at the pumps frequently.
There’s no reason to believe that the 2017 Kia Picanto should do any worse than the last Picanto. And the 2011-onwards model did brilliantly, finding over 300,000 homes in Europe alone. Kia’s smallest model will suit anyone who wants a vogueish, practical city car that also comes furnished with lots of equipment. What’s more, as with all Kias, the all-new Picanto has a seven-year/100,000-mile warranty. If that doesn’t give you peace-of-mind, and a warm feeling in your heart, I don’t know what will. Why not get in touch with us to find out more?
Pros ‘n’ Cons
- Looks √
- Kit √
- Economy √
- Practicality √
- Pace X
Fast Facts (1.25 GT-Line Picanto – as tested)
- Max speed: 109 mph
- 0-62 mph: 11.5 secs
- Combined mpg: 60.1
- Engine layout: 1248cc four-cylinder petrol
- Max. power (PS): 84
- CO2: 106 g/km
- Price: £12,450