Monday, August 14, 2017

Used Car Review - Kia Picanto (2011-2017)

This tiny Korean hatchback will have a new model change this year.

2011-2017 Kia Picanto


Slotting as the smallest vehicle in Kia's/Hyundai's line-up, the Kia Visto/Hyundai Atos twins are the cheapest vehicles that can be purchased from the two Korean brands. Sold in numerous markets around the world, it utilized a 1.0 or a 1.1 engine depending on the market and although production of the Kia version ended earlier, the Atos enjoyed a longer life with European production ceased in 2007 and with the Indian market cutting assembly seven years later. The Picanto shares a platform of what would be the successor of the Atos, the Hyundai i10 subcompact.

Having its debut at the Geneva Motor Show in 2011, the second generation Picanto is longer than the model it replaces and gets a new design language done by Peter Schreyer. A first for this vehicle is the availability of a three door hatchback exclusively for the European market.

The late 00s and the early 2010s was a time where mini hatchbacks were the rage and the second generation Picanto ushered in. Although the category wasn't that much in the boom, the arrival of competitors such as the Mitsubishi Mirage, Toyota Wigo, and its compatriot Hyundai Eon throughout the years as well as low down payment schemes (you can have this car for as low as P5,000) made this one a popular choice among buyers. A solo engine option in the form of the 1.0 with either transmission (manual and automatic) was first sold with a 1.2 followed later on. From 2014 onwards, 1.0 models are paired to manuals while the 1.2 get automatics. Two variants were made available with the EX being the most common, the downgraded LX was offered for a limited time.

Value and Costs
Similar to vehicles aimed at first time owners, a used second gen Picanto costs between P240,000 to P440,000. Models sold from 2012 could have the chunk of the remainder of the five year manufacturer warranty, so it pays to look for these. Since this model are offered with low down schemes that makes them a common sight in repossessed bank lots, this is a good hunting place to start if you aim for this car.

Maintenance costs of these vehicles are on the lower side and on par with most Asian makes. A cause of concern of this vehicle, in general, is the auxiliary fan which tends to give up easily. And before we leave this paragraph, we would advise you to forget going for the automatics since it is not fuel friendly so choose a manual if possible.

Exterior and Interior
Thanks to the efforts of Mr. Schreyer and company, the Picanto isn't any more cute but rather it shows its bolder side and does not look or shout budget meal. Little details which are integrated in the grille and the rear end makes the vehicle mistaken that it costs more than what it offers. Prior to 2017, 1.0 manuals wear steel wheels with cover while alloys are exclusive to the 1.0 automatic and 1.2 models. LX models wear black bumpers and does not get a rear wiper while the EX is body colored and has a rear washer system.

Inside reveals what could be a mixed bag, especially that it may disappoint you while at the same time, make you smile. Good thing is you get, for the EX models at least, all power amenities and keyless entry with alarm all coupled with an average interior in its class and an interior quality fit for cars costing more; bad news is if you get a unit before the 2017 model year, it does not have any airbag or anti-lock brakes as standard kit since competitors of the same price have them plus the high quality interior comes basic. Do not expect much as with some rivals come with touch screen monitor systems and even some with a navigation system head unit.

Most Picanto units would come with a Hyundai derived 1.0 3-cylinder which has 68hp at 6,200 rpm and 94Nm at 3,500rpm that is fine puttering around but we choose the manual as a pair, since we said earlier that going two pedals would cost you more at the pump. Introduced in 2012 is a 1.2 4-cylinder that gains 86hp at 6,000rpm and 120Nm at 4,000rpm that is a livelier partner but as we said earlier, if paired to a manual.

Driving Impressions
If you want something that is easy to drive inside the city, this is one fine partner especially that you get top notch visibility and light steering. Going to the highways shows its limitations especially that its steering is numb and a nervous ride.

Grown up already, the Picanto sheds it cute image for something more mature. While there are some positives of this vehicle, still some negatives such as the lack of safety kit for most units and a gas guzzling nature back it off from the segments best.

The Good:
  • Spacious cabin
  • Easy to drive
  • High quality interior
The Bad:
  • Basic interior
  • Not much safety kit
  • Fuel sucker with the automatic
The Pick: Manuals

Engine: 998cc I3 and 1,197cc I4 gasoline
Power: 68hp @ 6,200rpm (1.0), 86hp @ 6,000rpm (1.2)
Torque: 94Nm @ 3,500rpm (1.0), 120Nm @ 4,000rpm (1.2)
Fuel Consumption: 7-12km/L (city), 10-15km/L (highway) (*estimated and varies)
Transmission: 5-speed manual, 4-speed automatic
Suspension: Front McPherson strut, rear torsion beam

Price (New): P495,000-P620,000
Price (Now): P240,000-P440,000
On Sale: 2011-2017
Rivals: Chevrolet Spark, Hyundai i10, Mitsubishi Mirage, Suzuki Celerio, Toyota Wigo

Kia Pasay - (02) 852-1490

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