Around town the sprint times make no difference but the Picanto's ability to park on a postage stamp does and the smaller-engined car’s 47.1mpg (urban cycle) makes a compelling argument, too.
Out of town I found myself searching for the torque and performance, although it is better than before. Once found, I realised that the Picanto will happily run at motorway speeds for as long as you like and it isn’t as noisy as you might expect. Kia tells us that the engine, ‘offers brisker in-gear overtaking.’ With an extra bit of forward planning, this is true but it is better and quicker to drop a gear.
The Picanto boasts independent front suspension and a torsion beam at the back. It also has an anti-roll bar to restrict body movement on fast bends. It all works well, offering a relatively firm, smooth ride. However, on uneven and rutted surfaces, such as lane one of the motorway, where the trucks make an impression, the Picanto has a tendency to wander a little and I would have liked a tad more feedback through the steering system.
Over 38,000 people in the UK have agreed that the original Picanto was the ‘thinking persons’ small car.’ So Kia didn't want to change too much - more of a refresh and an opportunity to make it more in keeping with the cee’d and Carens.
This is evident in the new front grille but the Picanto has also been given a new front bumper and bonnet and new wings that now house rounder, shapelier lights. As a result, the whole front end is softer and far less aggressive than before.
Viewed from the side, very little has changed, save the new door mirrors with integral indicators but at the rear, changes have been made to the light clusters and the rear bumper and there is now a thin trim strip across the tailgate.
There is no doubt that the Picanto is a ‘girly’ car, however, it is possible to look ‘butch’. The Picanto 3 comes with a sports body-kit that includes front and rear skirts, alloy pedals to go with the alloy wheels, front fogs, a black mesh grille and a roof spoiler. And all for £7,995
I have already said that the basic Picanto is just that, but let us call it price conscious. The Picanto 2 adds a rake-adjustable steering column, leather covered steering wheel and gear-knob, height adjustment for the driver, full cloth upholstery in place of the part vinyl seat covers and a key-fob ‘blipper’.
This is a 13-year+ news article, from our Kia archive, which dates back to the year 2000.
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