KIA Picanto variants
Total price
Monthly payment
Figures are based on a 20% deposit

Finance representative example (PCP)

Total cash price £9,999. Borrowing £7,999 with a £2,000 deposit at a representative APR of 12.9%.

49 monthly payments
Fixed interest rate
Total amount payable
Cost of credit
Optional final payment
Annual mileage limit
6000 miles

Big car quality and features in a small car package – that sums up the Kia Picanto. It takes up a minimal amount of space on the road, yet has enough room for four adults and can entertain them with a good level of modern tech.

Because it’s small and light, the engines are economical. It’s not exactly fast, but its short wheelbase means it’s nimble and fun to drive. Built for the city, yes, but the Kia Picanto is up to the task of longer journeys too. All topped off with the balance of Kia’s seven-year warranty – what more could you ask for?

Kia Picanto buying guide

What Kia Picanto trim levels are there?

There are a few to choose from, but luckily they’re not too difficult to get your head around. The ‘1’ trim kicks off the range, as you’d expect, and has the very essentials to get you from A to B. Next up is the more popular ‘2’ trim, with air conditioning, a height-adjustable driver’s seat and electric windows all round.

Move up to ‘3’ and you also get cruise control, rear parking sensors and an eight-inch touchscreen with sat nav, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. That touchscreen also hosts the display for the reversing camera.

GT-Line and GT-Line S trims have eye-catching red trim and sporty looks, while X-Line and X-Line S swap in green detailing and SUV styling cues, plus a raised ride height. The S trims add extra equipment including sat nav, keyless go, wireless phone charging and heated front seats.

Kia Picanto interior and technology

Some city cars feel like they’re made out of the type of plastic normally used for fruit punnets, but not the Picanto. It feels well-built and sturdy, giving you confidence on motorway journeys surrounded by large cars and lorries. All but the base model come with silver trim that lifts the interior feel.

Lower-spec cars come with a simple media display. While it looks basic, it does come with Bluetooth connectivity for phone calls and music playback, which might be all you need in a car like this. The touchscreen is very good, though, adding more features and versatility. It’s worth noting that the Volkswagen Up doesn’t come with a touchscreen at all, just a phone holder.

Kia Picanto engine range explained

Kia Picanto 1.0 petrol

For intercity drivers or those looking for the very cheapest insurance, the 1.0-litre petrol engine is plenty. It feels nippy enough around town and, because the Picanto is so light, it’s able to return almost 60mpg. 

Kia Picanto 1.25 petrol

With 83hp rather than 66hp, the 1.25-litre engine is more adept at faster roads, although it is limited to certain trim levels. Fuel economy is still very decent, so you don’t suffer too much by having the extra power.

Kia Picanto FAQs

The Kia Picanto has been on UK roads since 2003 and, while the basic formula has remained the same, the new car is a world away from its predecessors. Quality is much improved, with the Picanto now feeling as mature and as well-built as bigger and more expensive machines. The latest car has plenty of trim levels available, and there’s a choice of three- and five-door body styles.

Measuring less than 3.6 metres in length, the Kia Picanto is ideal if you want to sneak into tight car parking spaces or if you have a tiny driveway. So it might come as a surprise that four adults can comfortably fit in the Picanto. Incidentally, most Picantos come with four seats, although a select few trim levels get five seats.

Don’t expect van-like boot space but, considering its size, the Picanto’s boot is very impressive. It’s class-leading, in fact, at 255 litres. That’ll be plenty for a couple of small suitcases or the weekly shop at a pinch, as long as you don’t go mad on middle-aisle specials.

In a small car like this, you don’t need a big engine with lots of power. The two petrol engines bring cheap refuelling costs and cheap insurance costs, so the Picanto makes lots of sense if you want to cut your bills without cutting out the must-haves. On either engine, you can choose a manual or an automatic gearbox, although the auto isn’t the most sophisticated and can feel hesitant.

The Picanto is one of the smallest and cheapest cars on sale. If you're thinking that means a bargain-basement ownership experience, you're in for a pleasant surprise. The little Kia makes a great first impression with its practicality – five doors are standard and some models come equipped with five seats, which is rare among tiny city cars. Plus, those seats are actually big enough for passengers to use and, while space isn't exactly generous, you can feasibly seat adults in the rear row.

Then there's the driving experience which, again, is impressive for such a small car. It's firmer than the closely related Hyundai i10, but it feels a little more sporty in the corners as a result. The entry-level petrol engine does its best work around town, but the larger 1.25-litre or turbocharged 1.0T units are a better choice if you do more motorway driving.

Kia has established a strong reputation for reliability and, as one of the simplest cars in its range, the Picanto should prove to be durable over time. This is backed up by the company's seven-year factory warranty, which is one of the longest in the market.

Adding an extended warranty will give you even more coverage once the factory warranty expires. This will save you the expense of unexpected repair costs.

Yes. The Kia Picanto has two Isofix points, both of which are on the outer rear seats. This will let you mount a compatible child seat without having to use the seatbelt.

Kia Picanto models have either four or five seats depending on the options equipped. All versions have the same two front seats, with either two or three seats across the rear bench. Both rear bench designs look quite similar but you can tell them apart by the number of seatbelts fitted.

The Picanto might not be the coolest first car, but it's a very sensible option for new drivers. Almost all Picantos come up between insurance groups four and seven, putting them among the cheapest models to insure in the UK.

Plus, the little Kia has a good reputation for reliability, affordable parts and servicing, and is easy to drive – without so much power that an inexperienced motorist might lose control. Drive sensibly and you'll also be rewarded with wallet-friendly fuel costs.