Hot little number

CHOOSE the right new Kia Picanto and you’ll save £1,000 – and all because the motoring writers of Britain told Kia they’d made a mistake with the pricing of the model range.

Here was a good looking little family car that looked terrific value in its cheapest model, except it lacked the one feature (air conditioning) that has become an almost essential in even the most modest of models these days.

To achieve cool air on demand, and fog free windows, you needed to pay a massive £1,600 extra to rise one rung on the Picanto ladder.

That model came with the essential air con, plus some other fitting you might easily do without, like electric rear windows and Bluetooth for your mobile phone.

It was a step too far, and that’s what the first people to drive the newcomers outside Kia told the keen eared company men when asked for their opinion.

And give Kia its due; within days of this ear bashing the suits at UK headquarters had summoned up an extra model from the Picanto plant in distant Korea.

So, from September you’ll be able to buy a base model Picanto with the simple addition of air conditioning for another £600. So saving a cool grand in the process over choosing a Picanto 2. Well done Kia, for listening so intently.

This rushed addition arrives some months after the rest of the new Picanto range went on sale; with prices ranging from £7,995 to £11,195 they’re around £800 dearer than the old model but better equipped and a lot better looking.