Picanto is the nearest rival to Fiat's Panda: it's modern, small but high-roofed, ideally suited to the city, and cheap to buy and run. It's also more distinctive-looking, with its cute eye-like headlights.
- Very cheap to buy and run
- Roomy and practical for its size
- Good warranty; likely to be reliable
- Rivals are livelier and nicer to drive
- Uneven ride at higher speeds
- Not much shoulder room for larger adults
Picanto is very competitively priced and will be very cheap to run. And it's desirable for more than just its cost-cutting credentials it's nippy and willing for urban driving, as well as managing to keep up comfortably at motorway speeds, so it makes a thoroughly competent all-round purchase. The cabin is versatile, and the load space usable. But minus points for the standard painted bumpers: not ideal for city users.
Three-cylinder 1.0 and four-cylinder 1.1 petrol engines are offered, with a diesel set to join the range in 2005. The 1.0 is perfectly adequate, though. Equipment levels are high, with a good safety features, and its modern bodyshell should stand up well in the event of a crash.
It's not quite as much fun as a Charade to drive, but it does feel more substantial; it is also more stable-feeling and confidence-inspiring than tall mini-MPVs like the Vauxhall Agila.
Need To Know
Best Models: 1.1 diesel
Worst Models: 1.1 petrol
Quality & Reliability
Value for Money