Kia Picanto

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Kia Picanto Car Review | December 7, 2007

Driven November 2007

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You can almost hear that miserabilist who rings up Down the Line, Charlie Higson and Paul Whitehouse's superb po-faced mock phone-in show. "Kia Picanto - what is point? Tiny Korean five-door hatch - what is point? What is point?"

There was a point once. It came to Britain before the Fiat Panda. It was the only five-door car in the Ford Ka class. It was quite fun. But the class has moved on. Not just with the Panda but the Aygo and 107 and C1 triplets too. They have five doors. And if you don't need five you're really spoiled because you can now get a Fiat 500 for under £8,000.

The version of the Picanto I'm driving is £7k, for only a 1.1. (You can actually get a stripped-out 1.0 for £5,995.) The facelift means a slightly Cee'd-like grille and slightly more Cee'd-like dash.

Don't be fooled. It's noisy and bumpy and feels vulnerable on a motorway. Rivals don't. The driver's seat doesn't go far enough back or low enough if you're over about five foot eight, which also makes it feel a bit Noddy. And it's only a three-star in Euro NCAP.

The Cee'd is a good car and the Pro_cee'd is a desirable car. The Picanto no longer is much good and it's about as desirable as taking the bus. All those chirpy new competitors simply mean history has comprehensively overwhelmed it.

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