In-depth reviews

Kia Picanto hatchback - Interior & comfort

Improved materials have raised the Kia Picanto's interior quality a notch or two

Carbuyer Rating

4.2 out of 5

Owners Rating

3.2 out of 5

Read owner reviews
Interior & comfort Rating

4.0 out of 5

The Kia Picanto has always offered an interior that could be described as ‘functional’ and ‘robust’ but not one that has been especially pleasing to look at or sit in. No doubt spurred on by increasingly competitive rivals, Kia has paid considerable attention to the way the Picanto looks and feels inside.

The latest Picanto is a lot more visually pleasing inside than previous generations, and the materials it’s built from pass muster, too. Although most of the surfaces are shiny and hard rather than soft and tactile, few of its direct competitors are much better in this respect – although the Hyundai i10 has a rather brighter, airier feel. The X-Line version gets some fun additions, too, with lime-green stitching for the steering wheel, gear gaiter and armrests, along with grey synthetic leather upholstery.

Comfort is impressive, too. Picantos with 15-inch wheels have a compliant ride that manages to avoid feeling overly soft – all but the most severe of urban potholes are rounded off nicely and won't shock passengers, while the high-speed ride is well cushioned without being so spongy as to induce motion sickness.

Things are a little different when 16-inch wheels are fitted, though – on these the Picanto rides noticeably more harshly, even with the raised suspension fitted to the X-Line trim.

Kia Picanto dashboard

The latest Picanto’s dashboard is a lot more up-to-date than that of its predecessor, as its grey mass is broken up by horizontal trim. Details such as the surrounds to the outer air vents add visual interest. Even the steering wheel itself has a far more contemporary design than previous Picantos.

The dials are arranged in a hooded binnacle and are clear and easy to read. There’s an information panel between them that displays info like fuel consumption and range remaining, as well as if any doors aren’t shut properly.

All controls are easy to reach and the general layout is straightforward and easily understood. Those controls that are expected to be used the most often – such as radio controls – are mounted closer to the steering wheel, which is also fitted with control buttons on higher-spec models.

Equipment

The entry-level 1 model is distinguished on the outside by its 14-inch steel wheels and plastic covers, but the visual appeal quickly builds as you ascend through the trim levels. The cheapest grade does include front electric windows, remote central locking, Bluetooth, a USB port and hill-start assist, but going for the 2 model adds essential features like air conditioning, steering wheel audio controls and a height-adjustable driver’s seat.

Upgrading to 3 trim brings a very impressive infotainment system that uses an eight-inch touchscreen and provides sat nav with 3D mapping. It also provides Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, as well as Bluetooth for hands-free calling. We reckon this system is among the best in any city car, especially as some cars only come with a holder to mount your smartphone. Going for the 3 version also adds climate control, cruise control, parking sensors and forward collision avoidance.

The GT-Line model has an eye-catching set of 16-inch alloy wheels and sporty stainless-steel pedals, as well as black and red artificial leather seats that look a lot classier than they sound. It also offers a choice of five colour packs, each of which add a real dose of colour to the Kia’s otherwise sombre interior. The X-Line offers the aforementioned grey leather-style seats, along with a tougher exterior design and some tweaks to lift the interior.

The GT-Line S blends features of the 3 with the sporty styling and suspension modifications of the GT-Line. Many, though, will see the 3 as offering better value. The X-Line S trim adds to the X-Line’s roster with features including an electric sunroof, chrome door handles, automatic air-conditioning, cruise control, heated front seats and steering wheel and keyless engine start.

Recommended

Top 10 best cheap cars 2022
Dacia Duster SUV
Best cars
15 Dec 2021

Top 10 best cheap cars 2022

Top 10 best first cars 2022
VW Up! - front
Best cars
29 Sep 2021

Top 10 best first cars 2022

Kia Picanto hatchback review
Kia Picanto driving
Kia Picanto
1 Jul 2021

Kia Picanto hatchback review

Most Popular

UK road tax costs 2021/2022 explained
2021 Road Tax explained
Tips and advice
7 Jan 2022

UK road tax costs 2021/2022 explained

Top 10 best economical 4x4s, SUVs and crossovers 2022
Peugeot 3008 SUV front cornering
Best cars
6 Jan 2022

Top 10 best economical 4x4s, SUVs and crossovers 2022

Best 0% APR car deals
Hyundai Bayon deals
Deals
5 Jan 2022

Best 0% APR car deals

Tips & advice

View All
Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
10 Aug 2021

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide
Electric car charging station
Tips and advice
5 Nov 2021

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?
PCP vs HP
Tips and advice
29 Sep 2021

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?

Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Tips and advice
23 Jul 2021

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

View All
Top 10 best car interiors 2022
Peugeot 208 hatchback
Best cars
25 Jun 2021

Top 10 best car interiors 2022

Top 10 best electric cars 2022
Ioniq 5
Best cars
19 Jan 2022

Top 10 best electric cars 2022

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2022
Toyota Prius front 3/4 cornering
Best cars
17 Jan 2022

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2022

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2022
Audi RS 3 driving - front view
Hot hatches
27 Oct 2021

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2022