Kia says it has emboldened the Picanto with a sense of maturity and handsomeness, especially compared with its predecessor. Often, it pays to treat a car maker’s blurb with a hefty dose of scepticism, but see Picantos old and new alongside each other and it’s hard to disagree.

Gone are the cute but unmistakably Far Eastern curves of the original, replaced by Peter Schreyer-influenced sharp lines everywhere. The main cues are the Kia family face, widened bumpers that give the car an unusually chunky head-on appearance and particularly neat, angular rear lights.

Matt Prior

Matt Prior

Editor-at-large
The Picanto looks incredibly cute and cuddly

But it's not just Kia’s sleekest city car yet; it’s also one of the most stylish cars in this sector. More so, certainly, than the Hyundai i10 with which it otherwise shares so much.

The Picanto is a longer car than before (by 60mm, with a 15mm hike in wheelbase). It delivers a modest increase in legroom over the old car and a decent gain in boot space (up by more than a quarter, at 200 litres).

Little 14-inch steel wheels with hubcaps are standard on the most basic 1 Air trim. They’re a bit old school, but we prefer wheels like this for city cars. They sit in very pronounced wheel arches are unusual in the class. They make the Picanto look more squat than it is.

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Daytime running lights were legal requirements on all cars made from 2012 onwards, but we wish the Picanto’s didn’t make it look like you’ve left the foglights on, but it seems to be a trend followed by many others including on the new Ford Ka+.

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