2014 Kia Picanto 1.25 NA from Malaysia
1) Water leaked into the interior after the windscreen was replaced, and despite said windscreen getting replaced, the issue still occurred. The windscreen was thus replaced again and fortunately no longer leaks.
2) Radio knob fell off. Managed to fix it back on back on, but it's still removable; a sign of somewhat iffy build quality.
3) Left power window randomly went all the down and got jammed. Took forever for the mechanic to fix and he even needed assistance due to the alleged complicated electrical gremlins of the Kia.
4) The A/C wasn't blowing air at some point and eventually died. Issue was fixed right away by the dealers with ease.
The Kia Picanto is a fun, nimble car to drive. Its lightweight body makes the A-segment hatchback very much easy to toss around at high speeds. The steering is also very responsive, though somewhat quirky, but drivers will eventually get used to it over time. However, body roll is also very much evident, and drivers will eventually understeer if they steer hard enough.
Simply put, it's great around twisties and some corners, but may be a hassle to handle around longer, straighter bends. Ideal for slaloming also.
In terms of braking, the Picanto is rather sudden, although this can be remedied once drivers understand and get used to the braking, allowing for proper, gradual braking.
Putting aside its wonderful handling, funky styling, classy dashboard, and Bluetooth availability, the Picanto falls flat on everything else, from the aforementioned issues, although minor and related to iffy build quality. Of course, being an A-segment car, it's not meant to be fast in straight lines, however the Picanto is too underwhelming to drive due to its lack of torque. It's essentially arduous to drive uphill, even if it isn't that steep a hill, and because it drinks in similar fashion to a camel, even when you lightly press on the throttle (then again it's a 4-speed automatic variant), drivers may have to go really slowly to save fuel. In short, the Picanto is built for grandma driving.
There is no excuse for an A-segment car even such as this one to be this unrefined. The seats are hard and uncomfortable, and the suspension is even more sensitive than a sports car when it comes to driving over speed bumps and rough terrain. Expect hell when driving for even 10 kilometres. The Perodua Axia Advance in comparison has a much smoother feel for an A-segment car, and offers much more at a price that isn't much higher.
To conclude, the Picanto has below average build quality, is incredibly slow, and is unrefined in every step of the way; its handling isn't enough to compromise for these features. It shouldn't be too bad with some tweaks, but with its fuel consumption and power, it is really only built for grandma driving and should be avoided otherwise.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No
Review Date: 2nd January, 2020
2nd Jan 2020, 16:16
Interesting review. There are not many cars in this smaller-class with good refinement, but I get your point, for a modern car it should be better. I find it a pattern in modern cars in general, not just this car - there seems to be no improvement in refinement in some cars. Myself I drive a mid-size 2011 Skoda Octavia - not a bad car, but unrefined, and a comparable Ford Sierra I had years ago was more comfortable, smoother and quieter, and that was in the 1980s. Shocking when you think decades have passed and some manufacturers still struggle with something as basic as comfort and refinement!
5th Jan 2020, 04:24
Good review and comment :)
It’s hard to find modern levels of refinement in this market segment.
Thus, things like too few gears in the transmission for such a small engine are disappointing, but not unpredictable ;)