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Kia Picanto review

2017 onwards (change model)
Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 54.0
” Kia’s smallest car has big style and kit “

At a glance

Price new £13,705 - £18,870
Used prices £4,472 - £16,385
Road tax cost £190
Insurance group 1 - 11
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Fuel economy 42.2 - 60.1 mpg
Range 346 - 493 miles
Miles per pound 6.2 - 8.8
View full specs for a specific version

Available fuel types


Pros & cons

  • Well-equipped, well-made interior
  • Easy to drive
  • 1.0-litre turbo is an excellent junior hot hatch
  • Basic engine needs working hard
  • Optional automatic is awful
  • Not as versatile as a larger car

Written by Tom Wiltshire Published: 26 October 2022 Updated: 5 May 2023


The Kia Picanto is part of an increasingly small number of vehicles classed as ‘city cars’. Though this market sector isn’t anywhere near as profitable for manufacturers as larger hatchbacks and especially small SUVs, Kia’s persisted, and its Picanto city car is now in its third generation.

The Picanto was first launched in 2003, and the current car was launched in 2017 with a facelift coming along in 2020. Despite its comparative age, it stacks up very well next to newer models such as the closely related Hyundai i10 or Toyota Aygo X. In fact, it’s currently our highest-rated city car.

The Picanto makes an ideal first car for a younger driver, or for older motorists who are downsizing. A seven-year warranty means it makes a stonking used buy, too – purchase a car that’s fresh off a three-year PCP deal and it’ll still have more cover remaining than a brand-new Volkswagen Up. It’s also among the cheapest cars in the UK.

And while most rivals have slimmed their model ranges down to a single engine and just a few trim levels, Kia still offers the Picanto with two engines, and in basic 2 or 3 guises or in sporty GT-Line trim. There’s something for everyone here.

It even makes a surprisingly good people-mover, something you can’t always say about cars in this class – there’s genuine space for four six-foot adults, and even a well-sized boot.

Add to that Kia’s highly logical dashboard layout, straightforward infotainment and good levels of standard equipment – plus an entry-level price tag that makes the basic Picanto one of the cheapest cars in the UK – and the Picanto starts to look seriously compelling to anybody who’s in the market for a city car and aware of the limitations of a car this small.

Over the next few pages we’ll detail what the Picanto’s like to live with in terms of practicality, interior comfort, running costs and driving experience. We’ve also tested a Picanto as a daily driver over six months – you can read about that on our long-term test page.