The Kia Picanto may be tiny in appearance, but the Korean manufacturer is placing a lot of pressure on this vehicle. It holds a large responsibility from Kia, as the brand expects that the millions of Picantos will last throughout its seven-year lifespan. But apart from generating the necessary sales, the Kia Picanto must also prove if it can bring something new to the table as similar models emerge in the market. So how will the Picanto fare against newer models and higher standards set by competitors? Read on to know whether or not the Picanto’s different features can handle such pressure.
The newest Picanto sports a forward design of maturity and handsomeness, doing away with the original Far Eastern curves and instead sporting sharp lines from the brain of chief designer Peter Schreyer. The Kia Family face remains, along with angular rear lights and a chunky head-on appearance from the widened bumpers. The three-door Picanto features a more stylish look via its newly designed bumpers. The latest model is also longer than its previous life by 60mm. Other practical and comfortable additions include extra boot space at 200 litres and more legroom for passengers.
The interior has also improved in terms of material quality, finish, and fit despite having to cut costs in certain areas. There are no overly brittle finishes, making up for anyone looking for soft-feel plastics. The design delivers where it matters, covering what’s necessary in ergonomics and giving the appropriate access to major controls. Buttons are located in the right places and operate without any difficulty. Plus the cabin’s quite spacious, allowing the driver to settle into an upright position. Visibility is clear all throughout and the rear offers enough space for two adults of average size. Parents will have no problem reaching in and out of back seats if they plan on using the rear area to accommodate their kids. The boot space is adequate enough at 200 litres.
The Kia Picanto comes with two engine choices. There’s the 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol unit that has a pulling power at 95Nm. At 68bhp, it performs reasonably enough and can stand on its own even against major competitors. It can go from 0 to 62mph at an impressive 13.9 seconds and its top speed is at 95mph. The more powerful option would be the four-cylinder 1.25-litre unit that has a pulling power of 12Nm. Both engines come with a five-speed manual gearbox or the four-speed automatic for the 1.25-litre unit.
Although boot space is adequate at 200 litres, you may have some difficulty storing larger objects in the said area. Thankfully when the boot sill is made low enough, loading is made much easier. But there still isn’t enough space added behind the rear when this option is done. Legroom is also limited at the rear seats even with the headroom expanded at the back and the front areas. In terms of performance, the brakes are able to stop accurately but the initial response tends to be rather sharp at first. You’ll have to consciously stop yourself from stepping on the brakes heavily when going about town.
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