Baby boomer

The Weekend Post - Motoring - - FIRST DRIVE - TRIN­ITY KIA, MCLEOD ST, CAIRNS

higher speeds, but against its di­rect ri­vals it has more than ad­e­quate grunt.

The Pi­canto is hap­pi­est in ur­ban en­vi­ron­ments where it will spend nearly all of its time. The lack of a re­vers­ing cam­era is partly com­pen­sated for by great vis­i­bil­ity out of the big rear win­dow. The 9.8m turn­ing cir­cle is su­per tight, which is handy for city ma­noeu­vres, while the brakes are above av­er­age, with discs all around com­pared with drums for some ri­vals.

The Pi­canto is made in Korea but the sus­pen­sion in the Aus­tralian model has been set up for Europe roads. We didn’t no­tice any is­sues — it’s no limo but the ride is smooth and cor­ner­ing abil­ity sur­pris­ingly good.

The in­te­rior is be­gin­ning to show its age — there’s no dis­play screen, no Ap­ple Carplay and An­droid Auto — but aside from the out­dated look the cabin feels airy and roomy up front.

The back seats are tighter but at 190cm I can sit be­hind my driv­ing po­si­tion with my legs snug against the seat back. Head­room is ex­cel­lent.

Stor­age is good through­out with two bot­tle hold­ers and two cuphold­ers up front. The boot has a ca­pac­ity of 292 litres — about the stan­dard for cars in this seg­ment. Af­ter about 300km of high­way and ur­ban driv­ing I was av­er­ag­ing

5.7L/100km fuel use — not bad con­sid­er­ing Kia claims 5.6L/100km.

VER­DICT

The Pi­canto has ar­rived into Aus­tralia’s mi­cro­car seg­ment a bet­ter prod­uct than the ma­jor­ity of the oth­ers. It’s not quite up to the level of the Holden Spark’s ride and han­dling or in-car tech, but the sharp price and Kia’s ex­cep­tional war­ranty make it a com­pet­i­tive pack­age.

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