2022 Kia Picanto GT review: Long-term update two

2022 Kia Picanto GT review: Long-term update two

This month we answer your questions and take a look at practicality and in-cab storage.

  • Space efficiency in design inside and out
  • The excellent engine is fuel efficient and engaging
  • Exceptional warranty and running costs

What we don’t
  • Four Star ANCAP Rating
  • We are greedy, but a little more power please
  • The ride is firm with four adults on board

If you read our first edition of the 2022 Kia Picanto GT Long-term review, watch the introduction here!

SRK asked does the engine have the right sensors to make the most of running on 98 RON premium unleaded? And does the leatherette interior feel sweaty like a 120Y?

Let’s answer your second question first, SRK. It’s not like a 120Y on a hot summer day, no. Remember the good old days. It’s a little warmer than leather or cloth, but it’s not uncomfortable with the AC cranking. I notice that it is warmer than leather. But I’m someone who gets hot in a car and likes ventilated seats, for example. So take that into account.

The fuel question is interesting. I tend to drive all of our test vehicles on 98 whether they need it or not. After about the first month of testing we were averaging 6.0l/100km, versus a claimed 5.2l/100km. With 98 in the tank. The question of whether it is worth using 98 or not is difficult to answer. I don’t use E10 in anything, not even cars that accept it. I use 98 on everything I own. Including the two-stroke I mix for my Whipper Snipper and 1960’s Vespas. So I’m probably wasting money I don’t need to spend. I have been told by many engine tuners, engine builders and mechanics over the years to always use the best fuel you can afford. So that’s the advice I followed.

fuel consumption fuel statistics
Fuel Consumption (claimed) 5.2L/100km
fuel type Normal unleaded with 91 octane
fuel tank size 35L

1andrewbris99 asked if the PIcanto was comfortable for a six footer? And mentioned that it’s a shame Picanto doesn’t come with a torque converter automatic.

I’m a little over 1.80m myself and have no problem with the Picante’s cabin. I have enough space and movement in the seat pan to be comfortable and have no problems on longer rides. So it definitely works for the bigger readers among us.

I understand your point about a car, but I love driving the Picanto with the manual it comes with. A car would be more tolerable in stop/start traffic, and you’re right, a DCT or CVT wouldn’t be my choice for this engine either. However, I think the manual will allow you to get the most out of the engine’s performance. You can hold the revs for as long as you like and it’s great fun to drive.

Greg Fox reckons it could certainly do better and that we’re not greedy for wanting a little more.

Fair point Greg, and you’re probably right. Another 11kW as you say in such a small car would make a big difference. Still, in Kia’s defence, it’s powerful enough to do exactly what they think the intended buyer wants.

Matthew Tyers asked if I’m willing to give up some trunk space, can the Picanto GT fit a full size spare?

Good point, especially if you’re a one-car home or need to take the Picanto with you on longer trips out of town. Because of this, I would always have a full-size spare. You’d lose some trunk space and possibly the flat floor, but you could fit a full-size spare back there if you needed/wanted one.

Alasdair is right when he says you can’t fit a six foot behind a six foot. Absolutely sports on. The second row is not spacious enough for that.

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So to storage space and flexibility in the cabin. First the occupants. As some of you may have noticed, taller occupants can comfortably fit in the front row. No problem there. And if you have two tall occupants in the front, you can also accommodate smaller people in the second row. But not four people who are all about 6 feet tall.

Also, the second row is not the place for three adults. It’s not ideal for shorter trips either. You can also see from one of our photos that we were able to place a baby seat in the second row with enough space to work.

I envision the Picanto as more of a small panel van with the ability to fold down the second row. But I also don’t have children in the second row. So there are usually two of me at most. Keep this in mind if you need the second row regularly.

The second row in the game gives you a useful 255 liters of storage space, but there’s a lip that you have to raise and lower items over to get to the floor. As you can see from our photos we easily slipped in a medium to large sized suitcase and a decent sized backpack. If you fold down the second row in a 60:40 ratio, it expands to 1010 liters, but it’s not entirely flat. As Alasdair wrote, you can fit a full-size mountain bike in the Picanto. When the front wheel is off and the passenger seat is a fair bit forward.

There is enough clever storage space in the front part of the cabin to make everyday life as practical as possible. You get a single USB port and a 12V outlet. The two cup holders have a flat base and adjustable rings to accommodate different sized cups and bottles. In front of them there is another small compartment for keys, wallets and such trifles.

The central storage area is small, but it has a decent padded armrest so you don’t keep banging your elbows on it. There is also storage space next to and under the handbrake, which is also handy for small items. The front door pockets are useful for bottles, but not the big two-litre ones if you’d rather carry them in the car.

Like other cleverly designed small cars – think Suzuki Ignis or Swift and Fiat 500 – the Kia Picanto makes the most of limited space. There’s not much for the designers to work with, but the storage space they’ve provided is practical and geared toward the daily driver, which is what I think is the most important thing.

Finally, after a solid month of city driving, we had no issues with the infotainment. The 8.0-inch screen was flawless, and while it’s not as big as the majority now, it worked like a charm for us in testing. The radio and audio system in general is clear without being a concert stage, but no DAB+ is an issue.

Bluetooth streaming – which we don’t use but tested – was reliable and clear, and wireless smartphone mirroring was also excellent. The system springs to life quickly when you start the engine and we haven’t had any disconnection, missing signal or issues reported by someone on the other end of a phone call. Next we take the Kia Picanto onto the motorway to see how it handles a long run simulating an Australian road trip.

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Trento Nikolic

Trent Nikolic has been road testing and writing about cars for almost 20 years. He has been with CarAdvice/Drive since 2014 and has been an auto editor at NRMA, Overlander 4WD Magazine, Hot4s and Auto Salon Magazine.

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