The Kia Picanto has sneaked into Motoring.co.uk's Twelve Cars of Christmas list in position four. This selection-pack of automotive treats contains our favourite vehicles based on economy, space, price, style, and popularity. So, why does this pint-sized city car deserve to be on the list?
The Picanto is an unpretentious, reasonably capable, affordable little car. It is for motorists who can disregard the unfashionable badge and appreciate the vehicle's underlying strengths. These include five doors as standard, a surprisingly spacious cabin, generous equipment, and proven long-term reliability.
This likeable run-around is available with a choice of two petrol engines – both of which would struggle to keep up with Rudolf. The entry-level 1.0-litre produces 60bhp and reaches 60mph in 15.9 seconds. The 1.1-litre 64bhp is marginally faster unless teamed with the automatic gearbox. However, the Picanto is designed to be economical - not fast. Running costs are therefore modest as it achieves a combined average of 48 to 58mpg.
The Kia Picanto deserves its place on the Christmas list because it does what it says on the tin. Yes, it is basic and struggles on demanding roads – but its snazzy looks and low running costs bring plenty of Christmas cheer to the urban jungle. New prices range from £6,495 to £8,495. Entry-level 2004 examples cost a bargain basement £2,500.