Under the hood

Unfortunately, there’s not a lot of junk in the trunk. Or under the hood. The Kia Picanto “City” – it’s name born from its love of sight-seeing and 3am talent spotting – packs a modest 1-litre engine between its front two legs and is capable of churning out a meagre 68 ponies worth of power.

In layman’s terms (and possibly in Jens Lehman’s terms) that means it’s a bloody slow mover. You’ll run out of fingers counting off the 0-60mph sprint time, but if it’s any consolation, Kia will ‘Pimpcanto your Picanto’ and fit it with 14″ alloy rims, reversing sensors and some neat dual chrome exhausts. Not that they’ll make any difference to your wimpy 95mph top speed.

Behind the wheel

For an ‘entry-level’ vehicle, the Picanto has a moderately banging interior. Premium black upholstery greets one’s wandering eye and the multi-function steering wheel means you don’t have to take your eyes off the road to turn the volume up in time for Yeezy’s verse in Mercy.

Turn over the 3-cylinder engine, stamp on the gas and you’ll soon realise however that keeping revs high in this cute customer is the only way you can travel. Because when you come to a standstill, you won’t be flying off again in a hurry. The growl from the rear pipes is mildly satisfying but enigmatic steering means you’ll have an easy time in town manoeuvring round potholes but a disastrous time on the motorway keeping the Picanto going in a straight line sans heavy hand.

If you think the 5 speed manual gearbox will come to the rescue… think again. It isn’t particularly sharp nor is it particularly quick, but it will help you on your ride from Acton to Brixton. No problem, bro.

Splash the cash

£7,795 is how much a base-spec, 3-door Picanto will set you back. For a first-time son of a gun, that’s a pretty good deal for something with 4 wheels, 6 airbags, and a 7 year warranty. Yes, that’s 7 generations worth of iPhone! Better yet, you’ll be purchasing a car from one of the most promising Far Eastern manufacturers to emerge this decade, and with that comes quality of engineering and cheap running costs.

But should you pony up a couple of grand more for the City? A car that has more jewels on its jacket than PSY and a leaner body than Kim Jong Un could ever dream of? Without a similar bump up in power, we just don’t think it’s worth splashing the cash on this prime case of style over substance. And with the Hyundai i10 built on the same platform, you’ve got some bargaining power you foolhardy consumer!

Now excuse us whilst we douse ourselves in Paco Rabanne and don our favourite pair of Ray-Bans…

Kia Picanto Review: Pimpcanto Goes To Town, 6.8 out of 10 based on 4 ratings

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Rating: 6.8/10 (4 votes cast)


Model 2012 Kia Picanto City
BHP 68 bhp
0-62mph 13.9 secs
Top Speed 95 mph
Weight 1020 kg
MPG 67.3 mpg
CO2 99 g/km
Price £9,995

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