The Picanto’s engine produces 83bhp and 90lb ft of torque, so it’s not the fastest out there, especially compared with the turbocharged VW Up’s peppier performanceMeanwhile, if you find yourself caught in an impromptu traffic light drag race the 1.2-litre Picanto will jog from 0-62mph in 12.0 seconds flat, so racing for pink slips is inadvisable.
Ultimately, the Picanto is very well suited to where it’ll be spending most of its town – in towns and cities, but you’ll need to think carefully about what kind of roads you drive on if you plan on getting one before the turbo arrives.
On a twisty road, the Picanto is surprisingly fun. It’s light and agile, body control is impressive and the ride treads a fine line between firm-ish and pliant. It’s great on pockmarked roads and pothole-riddled streets.
A particular area of note is the steering. While it lacks in feel somewhat, it isn’t as light as air (or the steering in the previous Picanto), and is weighted to make you feel like you’ve actually contributed to getting the car around a bend.
All the design cues you expect from a new Kia, which means a touchscreen infotainment system sitting on top of the dash à la BMW, Audi and Mercedes, and some neatly designed air-con controls lower down. It’s all easy to use and interesting enough to look at, especially if you opt for one of five colour packs (some more garish than others) available to add a bit more character to the interior.
Space-wise, it’s impressive for a car of this class, with enough room for four (a fifth will be rather squashed) and the largest boot in the current city car class at 255 litres.