If you're looking for a cool, funky little hatch for your next vehicle, the 2022 Kia Picanto could be a great choice. Typical of the Kia brand, the Picanto combines striking styling with more than its fair share of features and tech.
Read on to discover why the Picanto is such a great choice for urban drivers.
- Snappy exterior and interior styling.
- Option of a turbocharged engine in the GT version.
- Superior storage and handy additional features.
Exterior and Interior
As already mentioned, the Picanto has a chic, high-energy look that is highly engaging. If opting for the GT-line (which is the base-spec S with the GT styling and add-ons but without the turbocharged engine), drivers can enjoy 16" alloys, LED daytime running lights and electric mirrors.
The Picanto's interior has been styled to maximise the available space, which is important in a compact car like this where every centimetre counts!
Features such as central console storage, a little space under the air-con controls for bits and bobs and retractable cup holders all add valuable area to the cabin. The result is surprisingly spacious.
Whilst the rear row is quite basic (you won't find a charging port, for example), it's still large enough to fit two large adults (or three smaller ones) in a reasonable degree of comfort for shorter journeys.
The decor consists of assorted plastics, that combine to create a modern, attractive cabin. The GT styling adds a sporty gear stick, pedals and contrasting upholstery trim, which certainly makes the Picanto look the part of a hot hatch.
The basic Picanto S comes with a 1.25l, 4-cylinder, naturally aspirated petrol engine that delivers 62kW and 122Nm of torque. If you opt for the sportier GT, you get a 1.0l, turbocharged, inline 3-cylinder engine that offers 72kW and 172Nm of torque. The S and GT-line come with a choice of a manual or automatic gearbox, whilst the GT is only available in a manual variant.
Fuel efficiency comes in at (combined)5.0l/100km for the S, 5.8l/100km for the GT line and 5.2l/100km for the GT.
Reviewers love the nippiness of the GT and are quick to praise the manual handling. The S/GT line still benefits from excellent handling, but lack the power to make a difference when it matters. That said, this little car is intended for shorter, city journeys, where heavier traffic reduces the need for swift acceleration.
Of note is the fact that reviewers discovered petrol consumption was higher during their test drive than stated by Kia. Given that city driving tends to be less fuel-efficient than long-distance trips, the Picanto may not be the most economical little hatchback to run.
In comparison to the Picanto, the combined average fuel consumption for the 2022 Suzuki Swift is 4.8l/100km and that of the 2022 Suzuki Ignis 3.9l/100km. If you're doing lots of petrol-guzzling urban mileage, the Picanto may be a pricier choice.
Kia has a good track record of hi-tech installations in its range of vehicles. This is reflected in the Picanto. Features include an 8" infotainment screen that's Android Auto and Apple Carplay compatible, as well as a 4.2" colour supervision instrument cluster and USB charging.
Four speakers provide reasonable (although not outstanding) audio. For a small car, the tech level is good.
The Picanto scored a 4-star ANCAP rating back in 2017. To date, there hasn't been an updated assessment of its safety rating. The features mentioned include ABS, Electronic Stability Control, Hill Start Assist and an Emergency Stop Signal.
In terms of active safety, there are AEB, a forward collision warning, reverse parking sensors and a rearview camera, amongst other standard features.
If you're someone who likes the peace of mind a 5-star ANCAP rating can bring, the Picanto may not be the best choice.
A basic Picanto S costs around $17,990. At the top of the range, the GT turbo costs around $21,490.
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- Attractive styling.
- Surprisingly spacious interior.
- Good driving experience in the GT.
- 4-star ANCAP rating and limited autonomous driving features.
- Fuel-efficiency isn't the best.
- The 2022 Picanto is around $3,500 more than the 2020 version.
The Picanto is an attractive, nippy little hatchback that's ideal for urban driving and shorter trips. The GT version is a joy to drive, with the manual gearbox giving drivers the opportunity to test their mettle! Its organized interior makes optimal use of space and it also has a good range of tech features.
On the downside, the 4-star ANCAP rating and lack of autonomous safety features are significant drawbacks, as is the relatively uneconomical fuel efficiency. It's also debatable whether the significant price rise the Picanto has experienced over the past couple of years is justified in the relatively modest modifications that differentiate the 2022 model from its predecessors.
1. Suzuki Swift
More expensive than the Picanto (a base-spec Swift costs around $20,890), the Swift has more features, more space and, importantly, a 5-star ANCAP safety rating.
Reviewers are quick to praise its handling and the drive experience, particularly in the turbocharged, sporty version. If you like the security of a suite of autonomous safety features, the Swift has a good selection that comes as standard.
2. Mitsubishi Mirage
Entering the market at just $11,990, the tiny Mirage provides a fuel efficiency of 4.7l/100km and more space than you might think. With a tardis-like boot (175l vs 255l in the Picanto), this is a budget-priced city runaround that could work for drivers who want to drive for less.
It's not the fastest or the most sophisticated model on the market, but if cost is a consideration, the Mirage is worth a look.
3. Suzuki Ignis
A compact SUV that has stunning fuel efficiency and delivers an astonishing amount of acceleration, the Suzuki Ignis is full of character.
Lightweight and with excellent handling, it's also got a good suite of tech and prices start from just $20,990. If you've always fancied an SUV, but in miniature, the Ignis is a strong choice.