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The Kia Picanto S five-door hatch – small in size but big on features

Talking about the most affordable end of the new car market  – the micro car segment with just three players – Fiat’s three-door 500, and Mitsubishi’s Mirage and Kia’s Picanto, both five-door hatches – the Picanto commanding nearly three-quarters of the segments sales – the most popular model, the 1.2-litre S automatic presently $17,190 drive-away. The test car in Honey Bee yellow, an extra $590, really captured attention – an entry model car but what surprised was the high equipment level – apart from a four-star crash safety rating it wants for little although the four-speed automatic by today’s standards is dated and when cruising makes the 1.2-litre four-cylinder engine work higher up the rev scale. I managed 6.6 L/100k’s with a spread of about town and motorway driving.

With small proportions the Picanto is nimble in traffic, easy to drive and park yet has good front seat legroom and rather deep very usable luggage space – rear seat legroom best suited to kids. As a first car for a teenager or as a last car for retirees this small Kia offers much – if most of your motoring is around town it excels and with a seven-year /unlimited kilometre warranty provides peace of mind motoring with affordable one year or 15k interval capped price servicing – an average of $389 a year over the seven-year warranty period but just $269 for the first one year service.

I’m David Berthon

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