Step inside the Picanto and there are a couple of things you’ll note straight away. First is the silvered highlight of the steering wheel – a big, gaping mouth that could become a Kia styling trademark but we rather hope it does not.

Second, and particularly if you’re familiar with the old Picanto, is a sense of much-improved material quality and fit and finish. Yes, you can see areas where costs have been cut. Nearly everywhere. But the material choices are, at worst, entirely consistent with the class and, in places, better. You’ll be searching a long while for soft-feel plastics, but you won’t be disappointed by any overtly brittle finishes.

Matt Prior

Road test editor
We like the fact that the whole driver’s seat rises when adjusted, rather than just the squab

Switchgear is light but positive, as are the major controls, and ergonomics are sound. In keeping with most cars in this class, there isn’t a legion of switchgear to navigate, but what buttons it has are properly located and operate as they should.

The cabin is respectably spacious. Like the i10, the Picanto encourages its driver into a relatively upright position – think kitchen chair rather than sofa. This gives good visibility and allows for more cabin space within a given interior length (although it’s not as tall as the i10). As a result, it’s possible to fit two average-sized adult passengers in the rear.

A modern 3.6m-long car is never going to be overly capacious, but it is fine for shorter journeys and leagues better than, say, the Peugeot 107 and its sister models. It’s also easier to reach in and out of the back seats of the Picanto than it is in the likes of the 107 – worth remembering if you’re trying to place a small child back there.

The boot is a useful size and shape, too. Even with the split and folding back seats upright and in place, it has a respectable capacity of 200 litres.

Top 5 City cars

  • Panda’s 4 star EuroNCAP crash score falls short of some rivals

    Fiat Panda

    1
  • The Volkswagen Up city car isn't revolutionary, it's just quantifiably better than the opposition

    Volkswagen Up

    2
  • Hyundai i10
    The Hyundai i10 is offered with either a 1.0-litre petrol engine or a 1.2-litre petrol engine

    Hyundai i10

    3
  • Can Korea’s new supermini shine in a class packed with stars?

    Kia Picanto

    4
  • Is this the small car revolution Toyota claims it is?

    Toyota iQ

    5

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Car review
    26 February 2015
    Flagship performance C-Class is more than ever a true rival for BMW's M3, and impresses with both its breadth of ability and its practicality
  • First Drive
    26 February 2015
    The new Renault Megane GT 220 is essentially a toned-down version of the hallowed Renaultsport 275, but does it have the required DNA?
  • First Drive
    20 February 2015
    Remember Mercedes' 6x6 monster off-roader? Well, this is the 4x4 version, and we've driven it.
  • First Drive
    20 February 2015
    Insignia gets new 'Whisper' 2.0-litre diesel, which promises better refinement and company car-friendly figures
  • First Drive
    20 February 2015
    Honda's quirky hatchback gets styling and equipment tweaks for 2015, as well as this new Sport trim