Kia Picanto tyres

The small car market is a particularly crowded place, but Kia may have pulled off a masterstroke with the latest version of the Picanto. Working in partnership with Hyundai gives Kia the opportunity to base the new Picanto on Hyundai’s i10, one of the very best cars in this class. If there’s a shortcoming with the i10, it is its looks. Full marks to Kia, then, for making the new Picanto one of the sportiest-looking small cars available.

The new Picanto has been named ‘the most reliable car in the UK’ by Warranty Direct and It is very much a city car, with room for five inside but external dimensions which mean it is a doddle to park and perfect for urban traffic. Small engines mean that this car is very economical to run; and while it can feel a little too undersized for comfort on the motorway, of course it’s not built for that environment.

The Picanto was launched back in 2004 and the current version typifies the progress Kia has made since then. Many older models are still in service today. They were never a particularly popular choice of car, though, known mainly as a bargain-basement option. The theme of cheap and cheerful motoring has continued into tyre choice for its drivers. Overwhelmingly, they have focused on the budget and economy end of the market. Since – by the car’s very design – few Picanto drivers will be covering a large annual mileage, each tyre’s fuel economy rating is only a minor concern. Instead, wet grip ratings should be the most important consideration in choosing between different budget tyres. Not all similarly-priced tyres are the same, and a good wet grip rating means better not only better roadholding but also increased safety on dry roads as much as wet ones.

Newer Picanto models are factory-fitted with either Hankook or  Kumho tyres, in common with most cars leaving Kia’s factories. Hankook’s K425 tyres are hardly built for high-performance use but they suit the Picanto well, being a good all-rounder of a tyre with good ratings for wet grip. Kia uses the KH17 range from Kumho and these are quite soft tyres which work well on smaller cars and those used for city driving. Both of these tyres are very competitive in terms of price. As such, etyres’ advice for Picanto drivers would be to replace a damaged or worn tyre on a like-for-like basis.