Kia Picanto vs Toyota Aygo: head to head

Toyota Aygo vs Kia Picanto

If you're looking for a tiny, tractable city car that can slip easily through the most crowded urban streets, then you'll definitely want to consider these two compact motors. Here, we look at how they compare.

Styling

In our opinion, the Aygo is one of the best-looking cars in its class with its bold, distinctive styling epitomised by the ‘X’ nose. It also includes a convertible version. But its striking looks won't be to everyone's taste; some people will prefer the less attention-grabbing, more clean-cut Kia.

The Picanto range does include the sporty-looking GT Line, which has larger bumpers and red detailing inside and out, and the SUV-style X-Line crossover, which has a 1.5cm higher ride height and chunky off-road bumpers.

In the cabin

The contrast in style is evident inside too; the Kia is classy and understated, while the Aygo is more colourful and funky, with a gloss black dashboard finish. Both offer good visibility and storage, including cup holders and good-sized glove boxes. The Aygo also boasts a centre console storage box, while the coat hook in the back of the Picanto is a nice touch.

Engines

The Picanto offers a choice of three engines: a 1.0-litre petrol delivering 66bhp, a 1.25-litre petrol returning 83bhp, and a 1.0-litre turbopetrol producing 99bhp. The latest Aygo, however, only offers one option, a 1.0-litre three-cylinder 12-valve petrol delivering 71bhp.

Both cars have similar performance figures, taking around 14 seconds to get from 0-62mph, and reaching top speeds of 99mph (the Aygo) and 100mph (the Picanto).

On the road

Both the Aygo and the Picanto are fun to drive and can be manoeuvred into those small parking spaces that larger cars would struggle with - at just over 3.5m long and 1.59m wide, the Picanto is among the smallest cars on sale.

It's smooth, flexible and mature on the road, with light steering and a light gearshift, and actually feels quicker than the Aygo despite their similar figures. It's also quieter on the motorway, thanks in part to a series of soundproofing measures, including panels beneath the dashboard and the cabin, sound-absorbing foam at the base of the A and B-pillars to reduce wind and road noise, and a new engine cover to reduce noise and vibration from the motor. It also offers decent body control and a comfortable ride, protecting you from potholes and uneven surfaces.

The Aygo, meanwhile, is graceful and lightweight, with accurate steering, a keen engine and agile, responsive handling. It's livelier than the Picanto, and corners and grips the road well, but its suspension isn't quite so good at absorbing the bumps.

Space and practicality

Both the Picanto and the Aygo are reasonably spacious for their size; the Picanto actually has the biggest boot in its class, with 255 litres increasing to 1,010 litres with the back seats folded. The Aygo's is better adapted for those with less to carry - at 198 litres the boot is as compact as the rest of the vehicle, and the back seat also doesn't split fold as standard.

The Aygo is available in three and five-door versions, but there is no three-door Picanto, although you can choose to have either four or five seats, and the back doors open nice and wide for easy access.

Equipment

Electric front windows, power steering, and a 12-volt socket are standard on the entry levels of both models; the Picanto adds rear fog lights, plus automatic headlights which stay on for a short while after you get out so you can see your way in the dark. Both cars also have a stereo with USB and aux connectivity as standard, with the Picanto adding Bluetooth where the Aygo doesn’t.

Value and reliability

Both cars excel here. The Picanto delivers fuel economy of up to 50.4mpg under new WLTP figures and the Aygo is even better, returning up to 57.7mpg. Insurance and running costs should be inexpensive for both (though the Aygo's funky looks may push insurance up a bit). Auto Express had particular praise for the Picanto, stating: “Whichever way you look at it, the Kia Picanto is one of the most affordable cars money can buy. That goes for everything from list price, to fuel and other consumables.”

Reliability is also a shared strength, with both cars feeling well-built and robust, and both brands having excellent reputations for reliability, borne out by their consistently high rankings in surveys like the JD Power Survey. Kia still leads the industry with its seven-year or 100,000-mile warranty, but Toyota's five-year or 100,000-mile warranty, combined with the Aygo's 12-year anti-corrosion warranty, is better than most, providing excellent peace of mind.

Safety

Both vehicles take the safety of their occupants very seriously. Standard active features on the Aygo and Picanto include ABS, electronic stability control, hill start assist and an emergency stop warning, which automatically alerts other drivers if you brake suddenly.

Passive measures like airbags, seatbelt pretensioners and ISOFIX child seat mounting points are also installed on all trims.

When it comes to security, both models have an immobiliser and remote central locking, while the Picanto also has an alarm and visible vehicle identification number.

Overall verdict

If it’s style and safety you prize most highly, the Toyota Aygo is virtually unbeatable. If you’re in need of that extra slice of practicality, however, we’d recommend the Picanto.

At Carwise Group in Maidstoneor Harlow, we have a wide selection of used Toyotas for sale as well as a range of used Kias for sale. As a reputable used car dealer, we offer high quality vehicles that have been carefully inspected to ensure they deliver the very best performance and reliability, so you can drive away with confidence. To explore our used cars for sale, browse our listings or visit your local Carwise dealership today.