21 May 2013
There are many rivals with more prestige but this city loving Picanto’s good looks, affordability and green ethos will appeal too many who need a car for the urban jungle. Small on the outside but surprisingly big on the inside, this city slicker may have just what you want.
The Picanto is never going to set the world alight on the high-speed front with a 1.1-litre engine but it is a boon around town. The power plant is sprightly in the low gears and has a low engine note – it’s actually easier on the ears than some prestige brands with the same capacity. The five-speed gearbox was smooth changing on both the up and down shifts and when you mate this to the 1.1-litre power plant the Kia is pretty green to as it only emits 126g/km of CO2 emissions. This means the Picanto is in Band B and you’ll only have to pay £140 for road tax.
Around town the Picanto is as good a supermini as many of its rivals although when travelling over potholes and uneven surfaces, the Picanto does tend to skip and jump a bit. The power steering is over assisted for our liking but for the older driver – it does however make it really easy to park in crowded town centres. On motorways the Picanto performs admirably and there is little engine noise of the four cylinders of the 1.1-litre unit. However wind noise can be intrusive, as the large wing mirrors seem to catch it.
Kia has made remarkable changes to its cars in the past few years – the cabin is hardly recognisable from the original Picanto that came out in 2004. The dated plastics have been discarded for an upmarket all black dash while the backlit screens are orange and look more modern. You’ll get a three-year unlimited mileage warranty while the maker also provides a six-year anti-perforation warranty and a three-year paintwork warranty.
The Kia Picanto Ice comes well equipped, it has ABS with EBD and there’s two airbags for the driver and front seat passenger. It has also got side impact protection, front seatbelt pretensioners and there’s an ISOFIX point so that you can safely position a child seat in the car. There is one notable feature when it comes to security, the Kia does have an engine immobiliser.
It may well be a supermini but you can actually get four averaged sized adults sitting in comfort – two up-front and two in the rear. The downside to this is that the boot is small, 157 litres with the seats up, and you’ll only be able to fit a couple of soft hold-alls in. However if there is only two of you and you need a bit of extra room the rear seat does fold which will help to get awkward items fitted in. There’s plenty of storage for drinks and the like as you have twin cup-holders up-front and the door pockets are also good size.
Owning the car should be a pleasurable experience, as Kia has certainly got more upmarket. The Picanto Ice is perfect for the urban jungle while on the outer urban routes it is a competent cruiser at motorway speed with the addition of little engine roar. Another feather in its cap is the low CO2 – the Picanto Ice only emits 126g/km, which means it’s an environmentally friendly too. You’re looking at a tax band of B and only £140 per year for vehicle excise duty or road tax. The Picanto Ice is good value as it costs £6,995 and it comes loaded with kit, as there’s a CD player, aircon and electric front windows.
Submitted: 22/04/2008 09:51:19
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