Three-door Picanto is marginally stiffer than the five-door, but few would notice
The Picanto's ride comfort impresses
Halo edition is well equipped, but carries a hefty price tag
First DriveThe new Kia Picanto gets lashings of style and a good 1.2-litre petrol engine to make it a compelling choice in the city car market
First DriveSporty GT Line styling gives Kia's city car the visual lift it needs to go toe-to-toe with its European rivals, and the 1.2-litre engine does a power of go
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