The Hyundai i10 is a popular and capable city car that has helped the Korean brand prove it’s more than just another budget manufacturer. The current model is one of the best in its class but faces some stiff competition from its cousin, the Kia Picanto. We compare the two to help you pick the one for you.
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Hyundai i10 vs Kia Picanto – styling
City cars tend to fall into one of two camps – highly stylised vehicles or inoffensive boxes-on-wheels. Hyundai has managed to tread the thin line between the two with its i10, resulting in a car that avoids being too anonymous, but doesn’t scream ‘look at me’ like the Fiat 500 or Renault Twingo. Recent updates saw must-have LED running lights added as an option but, even without them, the i10 is simply a smart looking modern city car.
The Kia Picanto has been around a little longer than the i10, but it’s always been the more stylised of the two. While the Hyundai has reasonably sleek lines, the Kia wades in with angular styling and arguably sportier detailing. Of course looks are subjective, but the Picanto is probably a little more likely to grab attention, if that’s your thing – alternatively, the i10 is a slightly more understated choice.
Hyundai i10 vs Kia Picanto – interior
Inside, there are noticeable differences between the two, despite their shared platform. The i10 has one of the neatest interiors of any city car – recent updates have made it feel very grown up in terms of design and quality, and its layout is ergonomically sensible with everything falling to hand where you might expect it. A good amount of standard equipment is merely the cherry on top of this highly edible cake.
The Picanto’s age is probably more visible inside than anywhere else – it’s by no means out of date, but lacks the premium design of more modern Kia models and has plenty of cheaper materials on display. We also aren’t so keen on the ‘grinning’ steering wheel design that Kia has afflicted its smallest model with.
In terms of practicality, there’s little argument that the i10 is the outright winner – it has room for four adults (five at a pinch) and the 252-litre luggage space is class-leading. The Picanto offers a respectable 200 litres but, when you drop the rear seats, the i10 has more than twice the available space. However, it’s worth mentioning that the Kia is also available as a three-door, where the Hyundai is five-door only.
Hyundai i10 vs Kia Picanto – driving
Driving pleasure isn’t something usually associated with vehicles of this type, but Hyundai has made a decent fist of giving i10 buyers something to smile about. It’s not exactly a pocket rocket but light, accurate controls and good levels of grip will inspire confidence among drivers of all ages. It’s arguably the best long-distance cruiser in the city car class because its ride quality is so settled – something hard to achieve on such a short car.
The Picanto doesn’t handle badly at all, but is a little less polished on the road – Kia has tried to tune the suspension to offer a sportier ride, but it slightly crashes over bumps and potholes. The steering is usefully light and the automatic gearbox – an option on both these models – is actually rather good compared to rivals including the jerky VW Up auto.
Hyundai i10 vs Kia Picanto – engines
Both cars share the same basic engine – a 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine that produces 65hp. It’s a characterful unit and accelerates the i10 and Picanto from 0-62mph in 14.9 and 14.1 seconds respectively. If you only intend to drive around town, this is the engine to have, but it struggles a little when overtaking at motorway speeds.
Curiously, the larger engines in both are different in capacity, but similar in power. The i10 comes with a 1.2-litre petrol engine with 87hp – a reasonably refined option and just about up to motorway overtaking manoeuvres with 0-62mph taking 12.3 seconds. The Picanto’s larger engine is a 1.25-litre engine with 84hp and is able to complete the same sprint in 11.5 seconds. Automatic gearboxes are available with these larger engines, but blunt performance and fuel economy slightly.
Hyundai i10 vs Kia Picanto – value for money
Running costs are important to city car buyers, and neither of these cars disappoint. The i10 can achieve up to 65.7mpg in mixed driving and the Picanto can still manage 62.8mpg – even the least frugal versions achieve around 50mpg. Road tax and servicing costs are equally affordable – plus the Kia gets an industry-leading seven-year warranty and the Hyundai gets a still very respectable five-year one.
Prices for the Hyundai i10 are set at £8,995 for the basic 1.0-litre ‘S’ model, and rise to £13,045 for the 1.2-litre Premium SE with an automatic gearbox – that’s edging into supermini territory, but the i10 arguably competes in terms of interior space and also has several big car features like heated front seats and climate control.
The Picanto is priced from £8,345 for three-door models and £8,545 for the five door. The Kia is, on the whole, cheaper than the Hyundai with the most expensive version being the 1.25-litre ‘4’ costing £12,795. It also has heated seats and an electric sunroof, but the likely sweet spot of the range is the popular SR7 model, costing from £9,495.
Hyundai i10 vs Kia Picanto – verdict
Picking between these two is fairly difficult making it tricky to choose an outright winner. The Kia Picanto is an attractive and capable city car that performs all tasks asked very well, and the fact you can save thousands with carwow makes it great value, too.
However, in reality, it’s hard too look past the talents of Hyundai’s excellent i10. The impressive interior space and great ride quality are just two factors that help the i10 remain among the most competitive city cars around. Its five-year warranty might fall two short of the Kia, but we think it’s worth the small premium.
Save money on your new city car
Check out our Hyundai i10 deals page and Kia Picanto deals page to see the savings carwow could help you make. If neither of these cars is for you, our car chooser is here to help narrow down your search.