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Kia Picanto (2011-2017) Buying Guide

Kia Picanto (2011-2017)
Kia Picanto (2011-2017)Kia Picanto (2011-2017)Kia Picanto (2011-2017)Kia Picanto (2011-2017)Kia Picanto (2011-2017)Kia Picanto (2011-2017)Kia Picanto (2011-2017)Kia Picanto (2011-2017)Pictures shown may not represent exact model specified

by Richard Dredge

When the original Picanto arrived in 2004 it marked the start of a new era for the Korean company. So when its successor was launched in 2011 expectations were high, and we weren't disappointed. The Picanto went straight to the top of the pile, with its smart looks, big-car feel, strong equipment levels and generous seven-year warranty, all at a very affordable price. So if you're looking for a small used car the Kia Picanto should be on your shortlist, especially if you need an urban runabout, as it?s small, manoeuvrable and nippy plus most come with free road tax to help cut running costs.

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We LikeWe Don't Like
Well equipped
Good to drive
Cheap to buy
Excellent value
Cheap to run
Big-car interior
Build quality
Gutless 1.0 engine
Overlight steering
Key Dates 
6/11The second-generation Picanto arrives in five-door form only, with 1.0 or 1.25-litre petrol engines. The 1.25 comes with auto or stop/start options and there are 1, 1 Air, 2 or 3 trims.
9/11A three-door Picanto is added to the range with the same engine options, but the trims are 1, 1 Air, Halo and Equinox.
8/12The Halo special edition is in showrooms.
10/12The Picanto City special edition hits showrooms.
1/13The limited edition Picanto White goes on sale.
1/14The Picanto VR7 is another special edition.
4/14There's a new range topper
1/15The final Picanto special edition is the Chili.
  • Cold starting can be an issue; there's a software update that's supposed to fix things, but it doesn't always.
  • Don't be put off by the four-star Euro NCAP rating. Entry-level European cars don't get ESP, which is why it was marked down, but all UK cars have it.
  • The Picanto doesn't come with a spare wheel, and a full-sized item is too big to fit into the under-floor well.
  • Fuel economy is an issue for many owners, few of whom will beat 60mpg. In everyday driving most owners average 45-50mpg.
  • A reliable bluetooth connection can prove elusive. Even when working properly the sound quality isn't always that great.
  • The clutch is operated by cable rather than hydraulics. Adjustments are sometimes needed so the bite point isn't near the floor.
  • The rear wiper doesn't clear the top of the window because of the curvature of the blade - some owners find it annoying.

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