From £7,495
As good as any other Picanto to use and drive, but pricing is optimistic despite a full kit list

Our Verdict

Kia Picanto
Can Korea’s new supermini shine in a class packed with stars?

The Kia Picanto is a mature and likeable city car capable of challenging the class’s best

  • First Drive

    Kia Picanto 1.25 Halo

    As good as any other Picanto to use and drive, but pricing is optimistic despite a full kit list
  • First Drive

    Kia Picanto 1.2 Ecodynamics

    The sweet spot in the range with fewer compromises for its price and size than any rival

What is it?

This is the three-door 1.25-litre Kia Picanto Halo, which doesn’t sound like anything interesting until it becomes evident that the Korean maker is marketing this car as a range-topping model, and is charging £11,695 for it.

So what does the Halo offer to justify its Fiesta-like price? Lots of equipment to go with the marginally sleeker looks, and that’s about it. This Halo edition includes heated steering wheel, front seats and wing mirrors, gloss white dash fascia, reversing sensors and alloy pedals, and various exterior additions such as chrome twin pipes (make your own judgements there).

Oddly, the three-door Picanto is only available in extremes, leaping from the base ‘1’ 1.0-litre model that forms the entry option for the whole line-up, to this 1.25 Halo model.

What’s it like?

Predictably it’s very similar to the five-door model. There are no changes to the mechanicals of the car, only to its cosmetics, but it does feel a touch sharper due to the stiffer body – honestly you’d need to drive it on track to notice.

And honestly there’s no need for any changes. The Picanto three-door is hardly trying to take on the Renaultsport Twingo in the hot microcar stakes, it’s just adding an extra element of appeal to a very well sorted car. So the fact that the brakes are still a little too sharp and the steering touch a too vague is unlikely to matter so much as the fact that it rides well, is nicely finished inside and comes with every extra and more that you could expect.

Should I buy one?

It’s very difficult to justify spending the price of a well-specced Mazda 2 or Suzuki Swift on the smaller and less flexible Kia Picanto. If you value equipment levels above space and you’re in the market for a new ‘mini then feasibly this could be the car for you. But realistically we’d say go for a mid-range five-door 1.25 and save yourself £1500, or buy one of the aforementioned bigger cars for a more practical and rewarding driver’s car.

Kia Picanto 1.25 3dr Halo Ecodynamics

Price: £11,695; Top speed: 106mph; 0-60mph: 11sec; Economy: 65.7mpg; Co2: 100g/km; Kerb weight: 930kg; Engine type: 4cyl, 1248cc, petrol; Power: 84bhp at 6000rpm; Torque: 89lb ft at 4000rpm; Gearbox: 5-spd manual

Join the debate

Comments
4

16 August 2012

Looking at the interior photo I am unable to see a gloss white dash or alloy pedals. And why are door mirrors still called wing mirrors? Cars haven't had wing mirrors for many years now. I used to fit those on PDI's back in the 60's! That other well known site calls them that as well. Are they the same people with different names? One reviewer, I think from that other site, asked why makes other than Ford don't have heated front screens! Do they know anything? Regards.

16 August 2012

An interesting choice of name for a car that seems to be quite a popular choice for those few motorists who still drive around wearing hats Wink

17 August 2012

The car might not be so appealing, but there's not much wrong with the performance and economy figures.  If only the VW Up could match this combination...

2 September 2012

I just bought a Halo Auto 3 door, OTR 9995. So the price can be brought down. It is a enjoyable car to drive and I like the auto gear box. Very quiet and very smooth.

 

I wanted a small ecomonical car and this suits me down to the ground as I love all the extras that are there to play with. The car is lively enough even with the auto.

 

I am pleased with choice so far.

Antony Heath

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • 2016 Audi A3 Sportback e-tron UK review
    First Drive
    29 September 2016
    First UK drive finds the facelifted A3 Sportback e-tron remains a first-rate plug-in hybrid that is packed with tech if a little short on driver appeal
  • Citroen C11.2 Puretech 82 Furio
    First Drive
    29 September 2016
    Citroën's city car gets a new sporty-looking trim level, adding visual adornments, but no premium for the 1.2-litre Puretech triple we're driving
  • Mercedes C350e Sport
    First Drive
    28 September 2016
    Petrol-electric C-Class is a surprisingly well-priced alternative to a diesel but not the greatest example of the new ‘PHEV’ breed
  • Car review
    23 September 2016
    Aston kicks off its ‘second century plan’ with an all-new turbo V12 grand tourer
  • Ford Ka+ 1.2 Ti-VCT 85
    First Drive
    22 September 2016
    A rounded, refined and well-sorted bargain supermini – once you’re used to the confusing role redefinition imposed on the once-cheeky Ka