Kia Picanto City Road Test (2013)

Kia Picanto (Interior View) (2013)

Kia Picanto Review

Kia Picanto City ReviewKia Picanto City Review  | Part Two

The Kia Picanto is a great city car

Comfort and Refinement

We tested the Kia Picanto ‘City’ which is pretty well equipped with standard equipment such as 14-inch alloy wheels, chrome door handles, heated door mirrors, front and rear fog lights. There are two paint finishes Blaze Red or Bright Silver metallic paint with a signature red grille which features Kia’s new re-designed bonnet badge.

The interior is specified with premium cloth upholstery with a leather trimmed steering wheel and is very well trimmed and put together. We were amused by the ambient LED lighting and a “Hollywood” style vanity mirror with three-stage illumination sequence which is unique to the ‘City’ model.

There are all round electric windows, with auto drop on the driver’s side and there is a door mounted central door locking switch, with speed sensitive door looking, if enabled by the dealer.

Whilst the Picanto ‘City’ gets daytime running lights, in our case ‘bulb’ DLR’s other models up the range gain LED daytime running lights. We found the headlights on Devon roads to be poor at night.

One thing we did notice was that there was a fair amount of road noise, which is pretty common amongst city cars.

Overall the Picanto ‘City’ is very well screwed together and trimmed – a quality interior, punching a little above its class.

Safety and Security

Standard safety equipment across the Picanto range includes front, side and curtain airbags, anti-lock brakes (ABS), electronic stability control (ESC), electronic brake-force distribution (EBD) and emergency brake assist system (BAS), plus front seat-belt pre-tensioners and load limiters.

Disappointingly when tested by Euro NCAP the Kia Picanto only scored four stars – 86% Adult Occupant, 83% Child Occupant where the five-star Skoda Citigo scored 89% Adult Occupant, 80% Child Occupant – so not a lot in it.

But it only scored 47% for Pedestrian and 43% for Safety Assist, it should be stated that it was not a UK specification Picanto that was tested and importantly marks were knocked off Safety Assist for not having electronic stability control (ESC) which UK cars have. The Skoda Citigo scored 46% Pedestrian and 86% for Safety Assist.


Kia’s standard radio/CD player is fine, if not a little weak but it does have a 12v socket with an AUX, iPod and USB port – it will support iPod playback with Kia’s own lead.

Plus the Picanto ‘City’ gains Bluetooth connectivity which allows you to make hands-free calls via voice recognition and stream music wirelessly. There are controls for the telephone on the steering wheel, which is very useful.

  • Ford Ka
  • Hyundai i10
  • SEAT Mii
  • Skoda Citigo
  • Volkswagen up!
What We Liked
  • Exterior Styling
  • Interior Design - very well trimmed and ergonomic layout
  • The 1.0 litre engine is better than it would suggest, if a little underpowered out of town
  • 7-year/100,000 mile warranty (3-year/unlimited mileage)
What We Disliked
  • The headlights are poor (night time driving)
What We Would Like To See
  • Only a bit more puff from the engine

The Kia Picanto is a great city car, although out of town the 1.0 litre engine does lack a bit of get up and go, this is especially noticeable when going uphill with a few passengers on board. That isn’t to say it can’t cope just that you will find yourself changing down a bit.

Overall the Picanto comes highly recommended and should prove frugal to run, with their sub 100 g/km CO2 emission which means currently that you do not pay road tax (VED) and there is the protection of a seven year / 100,000 mile warranty, so you should not expect any unforeseen running costs.

2 February 2013 Melanie Carter
Kia Picanto City ReviewKia Picanto City Review  | Part Two
Kia Picanto Road Test Data
Model ReviewedKia Picanto City
Body Type3-door Hatchback
ColourBlaze Red
Performance (manufacturers data) 
0 - 62 mph13.9 Seconds
Top Speed 95 mph
Transmission5-Speed Manual
Fuel TypePetrol
CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures) g/km
Economy (NEDC Figures) 
Urban52.3 mpg
Extra Urban78.5 mpg
Combined67.8 mpg
Insurance GroupTBA
Euro NCAP Rating4 Stars
Warranty7 Years / 100,000 Miles
Price (when tested on the 02/02/13)£12,245

The information contained within this Kia Picanto review may have changed since publication on the 2 February 2013. The actual model road tested may feature options and functionality specific to that model, which may not be available as on option or be fitted to other models in the range. Options may not be available on UK specification cars. You may wish to check with your local Kia dealer, before making a purchasing decision. E.&.O.E. You may NOT reproduce this car review in full or part, in any format without our written permission. © 2018