AT A GLANCE
You could also wait for the new Picanto to come out — it’ll have more in-car tech and a different look — but you can also bet on it costing more if it arrives at all.
The Picanto comes in one specification — the Si — and is powered by a 1.25-litre fourcylinder petrol engine with a four-speed auto transmission. It undercuts the $15,990 Holden Spark and $15,290 Nissan Micra but can’t beat Mitsubishi’s $14,250 Mirage or Suzuki’s $13,990 Celerio on price.
As with most microcars the Picanto’s standard features contain just the very basics. There’s a CD player and radio, Bluetooth, USB port, airconditioning and power windows in the front and back.
There’s a five-star ANCAP crash test rating, rear parking sensors, a space saver spare, disc brakes front and back, three top tether anchor points and two ISOFIX mounts for child seats. The glaring omission is a reversing camera.
ON THE ROAD
The Picanto has carved out a healthy niche in Europe, where it is perfectly suited to narrow village laneways and country roads.
But Australia presents different challenges. The local launch took us through some urban and rural areas and then a large stretch of freeway.
The four-speed auto is fine around town but on a flat part of
KIA PICANTO PRICE
$14,990 drive away (auto)
7 years/unlimited km TBA
CAPPED SERVICING SERVICE INTERVAL
6 airbags, five-star ANCAP crash rating
1.25L 4-cyl, 63kW/120Nm
4-spd auto; FWD 5.6L/100km
3595mm (L), 1595mm (W), 1480mm (H), 2385mm (WB) 994kg Temporary
the Hume at 110km/h the Picanto is revving at 3500rpm and pleading for a fifth gear. Combine this with no cruise control and it’s not ideally suited for long distance driving.
There are no complaints about how it felt on the road though — yes there’s tyre roar on course chip, but the car is easy to drive, the seats are comfortable and supportive and the steering is great. The car felt planted even at high speeds with cross winds, where some city runabouts can be a little spooky.
The engine feels a little underpowered at times, especially when overtaking at