Kia’s Picanto Quantum Leaps In With Extra Kit


What am I looking at?

The Kia Picanto in new Quantum special edition trim. And don’t worry, we got references to dodgy 1990s TV shows out the way in the headline…

Anything new?

Regarding the car itself, no. It’s the same Picanto we know and appreciate-but-don’t-really-love from before.

The Quantum part is a way of selling all the equipment Kia has crammed into the model, which pretty much sits atop the Picanto’s price list. Kit includes 15-inch alloys, aircon, keyless entry and a starter button, an electric sliding sunroof, ‘leccy (and heated) door mirrors, front foglights, a six-speaker audio system and auto headlights.

Breathe in, there’s more – a standard ‘Urban Pack’ with parking sensors, LED ambient interior lighting, UV solar windscreen glass, and rear window privacy glass.

What powers it?

Quantums are only available with Kia’s 1.25-litre petrol unit, with its 84-horsepower and 88 lb-ft outputs. That’s not such a bad thing really – we found the 1.0-liter model a bit gutless during our road test, and expert testers agree.

You get a choice of manual and automatic models. We’d steer well clear of the latter unless you’re desperate for an auto – its 50.4 mpg rating lags well behind the manual’s 62.8, and at 110 per year to tax it’ll cost you 90 more on VED alone than the manual. It’s almost two seconds slower to 60 mph too, at 12.9 versus the manual’s 11.

Anything else I should know?

You get, as ever, Kia’s excellent seven-year warranty. Both models are in insurance group 12 too – hardly expensive, but behind many rivals.

How much?

Continuing with reasons not to buy the auto is the price tag. At 12,495 it’s pretty dear, even considering the equipment levels. The 11,895 manual is a little more affordable, in addition to its other benefits.

Any alternatives?

Almost too many to list. The main one you should know about is Hyundai’s new i10. Not only is it a generation ahead of the Picanto (the Picanto is based on the platform of the previous i10), but it’s one of the highest-rated city cars on sale.

There’s no current high-spec equivalent in the i10 range, but it’s well worth a look anyway. Don’t forget the Volkswagen Up and its ilk, either.

In a line:

Pricey but well-equipped Picanto expands your city car options.

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