Kia Picanto GT-Line

Kia Picanto, 2021, front
Kia Picanto, 2021, side
Kia Picanto, 2021, rear
Kia Picanto, 2021, interior
Kia Picanto, 2021, display screen
Kia Picanto, 2021, engine
Kia Picanto, 2021, rear seats
Kia Picanto, 2021, instrument panel
Kia Picanto, 2021, boot

ALL good things come in small packages, the saying goes.

And it's an adage that could have been written specifically for the Kia Picanto GT-Line.

Now in its third incarnation the Picanto underwent a makeover just last year to refresh the Korean car maker's smallest model.

The range starts from £11,000 for the 60 bhp entry level model but step up to the trendy, 5-door, GT Line driven here and the price jumps to £14.650.

Those extra pounds buys a Picanto with added flair both inside and out and a more powerful 99bhp, turbocharged three cylinder engine.

On the outside the GT-Line has a much sportier "face" as well as a red grille, side sills, heavily tinted rear side windows, rear diffuser, twin exhausts and attractive 16-inch alloys.

Inside you get leather-look sports seats in red and black as well as red stitching on the doors and leather steering wheel. The latter, however, is only adjustable for height but not reach.

There's no satellite navigation but the car is equipped for Android Auto and AppleCarPlay so no worries about finding any unknown destinations.

Safety features now include seven air bags, Forward Collision Avoidance Assist, rear cross traffic alert to warn you of traffic movement as you back out of a parking space, blind spot alert and lane keeping.

The size of the Picanto makes parking and manoeuvring simple especially as its equipped with rear parking sensors and a reversing camera.

An eight inch touchscreen gives a clear view of what's behind as you reverse as well as access to the car's audio system and on-board features.

And while the Picanto might have diminutive dimensions it never really feels small from the driver's seat, although size does limit its capacity to four rather than five seats.

It's certainly a car that punches above its weight and is surprisingly quick off the mark making it an ideal town and city vehicle.

And while a lot of small city cars can feel a little skittish at high speed this one is well planted and stable even if you do happen to inadvertently drift above the motorway limit.

There's a five rather than six speed gearbox and while for the main it's a pleasant enough box with a nice precise action I often found first gear a problem to engage when stationary and resorted to going into second initially to smooth the way.

Like all small cars there's not too much luggage room but the Picanto is the best in its class with 255 litres of boot space which easily swallows up the shopping but can be a problem for holiday packing so you may have to fold the rear seatback down which boosts capacity dramatically to 1010 litres.

First gear problems apart - which could have just been a problem with my individual car - I really liked the Picanto GT-Line.

It looks sporty, is sharp around town, stable at speed and over a week's motoring I managed to average almost 60 miles per gallon.

FAST FACTS

Kia Picanto GT-Line

Price: £14,650

Mechanical: 99bhp, 998cc, 3cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via five speed manual gearbox

Max Speed: 112 mph

0-62mph: 9.9 secs

Combined MPG: 53.3

Insurance Group: 11

C02 emissions: 119 g/km

Bik rating: 27%

Warranty: 7yrs/100,000 miles

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