Kia Picanto Review

Well its always been my favourite of the super super mini's, and in its latest guise the sweet little Picanto has only confirmed its place firmly in my heart.

So I know your all thinking that all Kia have done is facelift the lights and tweak the styling, however, you'll be very wrong. With an all new interior, the newest Picanto is far more than just a restyle. The new all-black dash and door trim is far more up-market and has an expensive rubberized composite feel about it, new center console, which also houses the stereo, also gains a new floor console and is still full of handy little storage spaces and feels both more solid and slimmer than ever. Adding in the all new steering wheel with its chrome Kia badge and orange backlit instruments makes the Kia feel that bit sportier into the bargain.

Seating is very comfortable even on long journeys, I took my test car to London and back and after nearly 5hrs driving I still wasn't uncomfortable or in pain. The suspension is still a little on the hard side though and hit a bump in the road and you'll feel it, however round town and on the motorway it's an absolute pleasure to be in. Rear passengers still have plenty of space, but I would say that I probably wouldn't recommend to many long trips with people in back as the seating position in the back is very straight backed and can become wearing after long periods of time.

Still a 5dr and still as cute as ever, the new exterior styling, which sees the new lights front and rear, grille, front wings, bonnet and new bumpers front and rear, makes the new Picanto slightly longer than the old model. The new styling inside and out is a massive improvement on an already great car. However it isn't just the exterior and interior that gets an overhaul... Kia in line with the new cee'd and pro_cee'd's models and spec levels have introduced the same model references and standard kit levels on the Picanto. What's really interesting is that Kia has made the entry level 1L Picanto (trim level is just Picanto) a four seater, instead of 5. The standard kit on the entry level is class leading, coming as standard, with body coloured bumpers, door mirrors and handles, electric front windows, CD player with MP3 compatibility, tinted glass all round, power steering and vanity mirrors for driver and passenger (don't pretend you don't care, because you know you do!), and all this for under 6 grand!!

Move a trim level up to Picanto 2 and as well as all the kit on the entry level it comes with yet more toys... Drivers seat height adjustment, leather steering wheel and gear knob, remote central locking, tilt adjustable steering wheel and for a staggeringly low £6,795. Now I tested the mid-range 1.1L Picanto ICE, which as well as the massive list of kit above, you also get Air con with air filter, double bar chrome front grille, chrome inner door handles, center console and trims, pricing for the ICE is under £7,000 which makes it an absolute steal. If you wanted to go for the top of the range 3 model, you'll also be getting 15" wheels instead of the standard 14", two tone sports bumpers, chrome door handles, black sports grille, rear spoiler, USB docking cable and iPod compatible stereo, electric rear window, electric heated and adjustable door mirrors, black bezel headlights, front fogs and alloy pedals and all for a snip under 8K.. BARGAIN!

Handling wise the little 1.1L is a cracking engine and is loads of fun round town, nipping up and down side streets and it also doesn't struggle on the motorway either. Overall it's a great motor and well worth the money, I also happen to think it's a fun and funky supermini and one of the best on the market.