A monthly column from Leigh Robinson
The Kia Picanto is probably one of the best small cars around.
It is cheap to run, ideal for either town or country, and with the seven-year Kia guarantee which covers 100,000 miles what more could you want?
It was first introduced in 2004 as a functional motor but 18 years later it has come on in leaps and bounds. Just like the whole Kia fleet, every one just gets better and better.
The transformation of the Picanto from the drab and sparse first generation car sees the latest model emphasise style and quality, and there is a better equipped interior with more space.
All versions of the Picanto have five doors as standard and there's a simple engine line-up, plus the option of an automatic gearbox.
Prices start at £11,450 and run through to £16,250, and the Picanto will give you at least 60 miles to the gallon.
Kia scooped awards for emissions, price, running costs, company car tax, practicality and driving experience.
While the Picanto is Kia’s smallest car it has a reasonable boot at 255 litres and the emissions are 110g/km. There is plenty of leg room both front and back, bags of storage including two cupholders plus a mobile phone tray.
The Picanto's non-turbocharged 66bhp 1.0 MPi is ideal for the size of the car. On the speed front 0-60mph takes 14 seconds and a bit more for the auto. The turbocharged 1.0 T-GDi with 99bhp, which comes with the top trims, is about four seconds quicker to the magic 60mph.
With the two lower trims you get the AM/FM radio, Bluetooth and a 3.8in monochrome screen. Going up a bit to the higher trims you get an 8in colour touchscreen that adds a DAB radio plus Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring. The X-Line S and GT-Line S have in-built sat-nav.
There is a large lip at the entrance to the boot and a step in the extended boot floor when you drop the split-folding rear seats. All models come with an alarm and immobiliser.
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