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Kia Picanto Review: The element of surprise

Ahh, a facelift. We reckon it was a facelift that was long overdue. We never liked the looks of the original Kia Picanto. Will this new one do the increasingly venerable brand justice?
OneShift Editorial Team
OneShift Editorial Team
17 Nov 2007

It hits 100km/h in a little over 16 seconds on a hot day with the air-conditioning turned off, once again a reminder that the Picanto isn’t exactly a sports car. The thing is, it just doesn’t feel THAT slow.

Believe us when we say the car tracks straight and true, and is very stable all the way past north-south highway speed limits, which is a good thing for those of you planning an international trip to Thailand by car or something crazy in that fashion.

Just don’t expect it to sprint up a hill easily with the company of four, along with bags filled with hot pants, skinny jeans and a whole lot of fashion accessories and make up kits.

Round corners, it handles extremely well, and transferring weight around the bends is a breeze despite the car’s short wheelbase. At the limits, a slight amount of oversteer rears it’s ugly head, which makes it fun for the inclined enthusiast of a driver.

Is it good value?

Yes. We wholeheartedly love the car. Right now, as I am typing this, I find it hard to think of any other new car that will do the job of being cheap, economical to run, and fun to drive, while still maintaining a decent amount of style and image, save for the rather primitive "human operated" rear windows (eg. you turn the lever around to wind the window up or down)

The Kia Picanto makes an EXTREMELY attractive option as a cheap-to-run urban car for the family with the Volvo XC90 reserved for those long drives up north, or simply a first car for a young couple of newlyweds.

It is amazingly cheap to buy, with a base price of $39,499. Mind you, that’s only $3500 more than it’s nearest priced competitor - a Chery QQ 1.1M, which really is an abomination and the stuff bad dreams are made of in the mind of every sane motoring journalist around the world.

In addition, the Price of a QQ is extremely barbaric – try $36,499. For barely $35 less per monthly installment over a 10 year loan period, the Picanto, by leaps and bounds, makes more sense to buy and own long term.

It sports very low running costs, and won’t leave you for dead like a QQ would in the unfortunate event of a mild impact. Perhaps more than anything, this new Kia put a smile on our faces, just because it was cheerful, fun and a nice drive.

To date, there can’t be a better, happier way to scrimp on your savings than a Picanto. If there is, please let us know.

Credits: Text and Photos by Amery Reuben

Kia Picanto
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