Sunday, February 19, 2012
Kia Picanto 1.1 driven
Korean motor manufacturing giant Kia's new Picanto has been welcomed with some great reviews. And upgrade from their former Picanto, the car looks and feels better and with a price tag starting at under R100 000 is definitely one of the front runners in the market in the small car market. A rental courtesy of Europcar this weekend, I was able to become better acquainted with the vehicle.
It all starts at the check in counter. My helpful attendant, seeing my surfboard, decided to give me the Picanto ahead of other similar vehicles (The Hyundai i10 and Chevrolet Spark), citing additional room as the deciding factor. This was a check mark in the cars favour before I had even seen it.
Arriving at my very own Kia Picanto, I must admit I was not overly impressed with the design. Parked next to the other cars in the rental lot, it certainly stood out, though I'm not sure this was in a positive way. It looked more round and less menacing, a very unassuming car. Still, it was offensive to the eye. Concerns about space also began to circle in my head... it didn't look very big.
A good few bags and a surf board later I was once more impressed with the Picanto. It seemed to swallow up both our luggage and our persons without too much fuss. Behind the wheel, the car took a little bit of getting used to - the clutch seemed to take late, the brakes were very responsive and the indicators were on the "wrong" side, but soon enough these were negotiated and complementary mint in mouth, we were headed towards the open road.
The drive in the Picanto was very pleasant. Fully aware of the diminutive engine, I was very rarely disappointed with the power output, even when the air conditioner was on. The car was very responsive and certainly felt nippy and powerful (for its class). At higher speeds it handled well and the breaks too were very solid. The seats were comfortable and spacious. There was nothing that the car lacked and all things considered I was impressed with the car. Price seriously considered and the Kia Picanto definitely seems like a fantastic automobile, and certainly one well worth considering for the budget buyer.