The new Kia Picanto.
ROADTEST FACT FILE
Model...1 litre petrol
Mpg (comb cycle)...67.3mpg
Loaned by Northwood Kia
IF I had to use one word to sum up Kia’s Picanto 1, it would have to be Tardis.
It really was astonishing how such a compact vehicle could swallow up passengers and luggage.
On first sight, the Picanto was a cheeky, stylish, little number, with a front grille that seemed to smile. The driving position was comfortably high and the dash well laid out.
With only a driver on board, the one-litre petrol engine was nippy and responsive.
The figure for acceleration from 0 to 60 is 14 seconds. The five-speed gearbox was smooth.
My first impression was that this was an ideal car for a single person or a couple but the surprises came thick and fast when I was called on to supply a taxi service for teenage cricketers.
Three passengers fitted in comfortably, although to fit a strapping six-footer in the back, the occupant of the passenger seat had to slide his seat forward as far as possible.
The boot managed to accommodate two cricket bags at a push.
The car did have to work harder with the extra weight on board. This was hardly surprising, since the Picanto weighs in at just1,340 kg, and the combined weight of the passengers was around 250 kg, which is not far off 20 per cent.
All in all, my overall impression was that the Picanto would be an excellent choice of runabout for the Island, regardless of whether or not you had to ferry passengers about regularly.
All this, plus a price tag of less than £8,000 and Kia’s seven-year warranty makes it one of the best buys around.