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Used car: Kia Picanto – 2003 onwards

A memorable cartoon character ad campaign, low prices and high spec levels mean that Picanto has been a surprise hit as a small car. Now, four years since its launch, it’s a great used buy.

Driving and performance
Two petrol engines, a 60bhp 1.0-litre and a 64bhp 1.1-litre, power Picanto. 0-62mph is achieved in 15.9 seconds and 14.6 seconds respectively. Both are well-suited to town driving, although struggle when it comes to overtaking on A roads and motorways.

Picanto is a really comfortable car to drive in town. It’s easy to drive in this environment, too, with light steering and gearing spaced to give lots of zip. However, the ride is wallowy on motorways and undulating roads.

Considering Picanto is a city car, the interior is roomy. The front passenger has a decent amount of head and legroom. Seats are pretty good, being firm enough for medium-distance journeys but comfy enough for day-to-day trips.

Driving position is good, although the steering wheel only adjusts for height. Most buttons are big, chunky and easy to find, but some of the radio/CD controls are a bit fiddly. MP3 player on all but base models ties up with Kia’s aspiration for Picanto to be a young person’s car.

A three-star rating from Euro NCAP is slightly disappointing for a modern small car. ABS (with EBD) and dual front airbags and seatbelt pre-tensioners and three-point seatbelts all round are standard. Sidebags are offered on some cars, too. There’s remote central locking and an immobiliser.

On the forecourt

Fast movers
Picanto 1.0 GS
A step-up from entry level, but comes with an MP3 stereo. Great value.
Trade: 0404-0606: £3,000-3,700.
Retail: 0404-0606: £3,500-4,500.

Picanto 1.1 LX
Slightly bigger engine and there’s air con to boot.
Trade: 0404-0606: £3,600-4,500.
Retail: 0404-0606: £4,200-5,400.

Ones to avoid

In the workshop
No major problems reported by owners and no recalls have been issued.

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  • Alidu Jibril - 25/05/2013 20:47

    i would like to get one kia picanto. 2003 model