2017 Kia Picanto Auto Road Test, Review
The Kia Picanto is a leader of the micro car class.
Albeit, a very small segment, the Picanto sets the standard, probably matched only by the Holden Spark.
It’s a much improved package compared with my first outing during the launch last year – already a respectable budget car.
Most noticeable is the dashboard fitted with new vertical styled air vents on either side and a floating touchscreen that pops out of the dash, replacing the dated LCD screen and standard audio player.
The touchscreen gives the cabin a fresher, more modern look.
With it comes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as new inclusions along with a rear view camera to match the parking sensors.
The steering wheel design has been brought in line with other models in the stable; the shifter has a rounded knob; and the manual air controls have also received an alteration.
These features add just that little bit extra to the tiny offering, taking from ‘okay’ to ‘pretty decent’ for a car of this calibre.
Combined with dusk sensing auto headlights, daytime running lights, rear fog lights, a 2.6” instrument cluster and ISOFIX makes the Picanto like a luxury car than, say, the bare bones Suzuki Celerio.
Now priced from $15,690 for the auto I tested, the Picanto didn’t fail to impress again.
It’s an attractive car from the outside – compact and cute – it looks vibrant and fun.
Gone is the hard swage line down the side and the grille’s mouth has also been tweaked slightly plus the DRLs are slightly smaller.
The updated Picanto is also now available in a five-speed manual version coming in at $1000 less.
Both weigh under a thousand kilos and this helps, no surprise, with the drivability making it a breeze to steer and park and the turning circle is smaller than a dinner plate.
Kia engineers have improved the suspension so the ride isn’t as rough as before even with the miniature 14” steel wheels.
Still the 1.25L engine doesn’t have a lot of ticker and will leave you behind the pack while the only four-speed auto gearbox doesn’t have much range.
However, if you’re not in a hurry, the Picanto serves as a great runabout.
Despite its small size, you can be sure that Kia managed to fit in good storage areas on the doors and in the centre console and aux ports to plug your devices in.
A narrow width means the seats are closer together and thus no centre bin storage.
The Kia Picanto shows that a micro car doesn’t mean you have to have lower end of the scale of specifications and, like a broken record, comes with an unbeatable 7 year warranty.
We very much look forward to the turbocharged Kia Picanto GT-Line on the horizon. We’ll wait and see.
NUTS and BOLTS 2017 Kia Picanto
- Engine: 1.25L petrol producing 62kW/122Nm
- Transmission: Four-speed auto or five-speed manual
- Warranty: 7 Year/Unlimited km
- Safety: Five Stars
- Origin: South Korea
- Price: From $15,690