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In-depth reviews

Kia Picanto review - Reliability & safety

Kia has worked on safety, and peace of mind seems assured

Carbuyer Rating

4.2 out of 5

Owners Rating

3.4 out of 5

Read owner reviews
Reliability & safety Rating

4.0 out of 5

Kia’s impressive warranty is the envy of the industry and has helped the brand to cement a reputation for reliability. Kia has put considerable effort into ensuring that this is the safest Picanto yet but buyers should be aware of the different safety ratings for the car depending on whether the optional safety pack is fitted.

Kia Picanto reliability

The latest Picanto came an impressive 15th out of 50 cars in our 2024 Driver Power satisfaction survey. It scored highly across the board, in key areas like reliability and build quality, running costs and value for money. Owners were also very impressed with its infotainment setup and connectivity – an area where small city cars used to perform very badly. 

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Kia as a brand also made an impressive account of itself, coming in sixth place out of 32 manufacturers in our 2023 Driver Power survey according to owners. They rated Kia highly for running costs, the price of servicing and the ease of using the car’s controls. However, around 25% of owners reported a fault within the first year, and while we’d prefer this figure to be lower, we expect most of these were small niggles rather than anything that would see you need to pull in at the side of the road.

Safety

The latest Picanto makes far greater use of high-strength steel and bonded joints, both of which are known to help with structural rigidity. The car received four stars when it was crash-tested by Euro NCAP, and while this rating only applies to cars fitted with autonomous emergency braking, this now comes fitted as standard to UK cars. Six airbags are standard on all models and a driver’s knee airbag is optional. The Picanto is also fitted with lane keep assist and lane follow assist, cruise control, ‘intelligent speed limit assist’ and a speed limiter from its facelift.

ISOFIX child seat top tethers and anchor points are found on the outside rear seats, and there’s a manual child lock.

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Charlie writes and edits news, review and advice articles for Carbuyer, as well as publishing content to its social media platforms. He has also been a regular contributor to its sister titles Auto Express, DrivingElectric and evo. As well as being consumed by everything automotive, Charlie is a speaker of five languages and once lived in Chile, Siberia and the Czech Republic, returning to the UK to write about his life-long passion: cars.

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