If you are in the market for a small hatchback, you really do have options. You can go for an economy-level hatchback or you can go after the premium segment. You can buy a subcompact hatchback or you can treat yourself to a family hatchback. If you really like hatchbacks, you can even go for a hot hatchback and even enjoy it on the track.
In this article, we are going to focus on two subcompact hatchbacks that seem to be becoming more and more popular. The Hyundai i10 was first introduced back in 2007 and has since spawned three different generations, all of which are a huge improvement compared to older models. The Kia Picanto was actually released back in 2003 and it recently got a hefty refresh.
The purpose of this article is to put these two small cars in a head-to-head matchup and tell you why you should go for one over the other. We are going to compare them in a wide variety of categories such as available powertrains, efficiency, design, equipment level, practicality, value, reliability, and how they feel behind the wheel.
Before we dwell deeper into this comparison, we should tell you that both the Hyundai i10 and the Kia Picanto are really good cars for the price. As such, it is really difficult to make a wrong decision here. Be that as it may, only one of these can be the true winner. So, Hyundai i10 vs Kia Picanto – Which is better?
The Hyundai i10 is one of the cheapest cars you can buy in this segment which is why so many people are interested in it. One of the ways how Hyundai managed to keep the price so low is because the i10 is only available with two engines, all of which are strictly gasoline-powered. The smaller 1.0L 3-cylinder engine offers either 67hp or 100hp.
The larger 1.2L 4-cylinder engine offers 87hp. All Hyundai i10 models are strictly FWD and there are no AWD options here. A manual gearbox comes as standard, but you can upgrade to an automatic one. Design-wise, the i10 is a vast improvement over the previous model as it now looks really modern inside and out. The interior is really nicely laid out which means that it is easy to use and understand.
The driving experience is what you’d expect from a car of this size which means that it is nippy, but not overly stiff. Reliability is where Hyundai really delivers which is why the i10 is at the very top of the most reliable subcompact hatchbacks out there. Practicality is good for the class thanks to a large trunk space and a relatively long wheelbase which results in lots of seating space.
The Kia Picanto costs about a thousand euros/dollars less when compared to the i10, but comparably specified models are neck and neck when it comes to price. Engine-wise, the Picanto shares its powertrain with the i10 which means that it comes with a 1.0L 3-cylinder engine that offers either 67hp or 100hp.
The Picanto was also available with the aforementioned 1.2L 4-cylinder you can also find in the i10 which probably means that the 1.2L unit is not going to be offered with the i10 anymore. Both share the same drivetrain and transmission options which means FWD, a standard manual gearbox, or an optional automatic.
The Kia Picanto drives pretty much in the same way as the i10 because they are based on the same platform. The exterior design has also seen some changes with the current facelifted model while the interior offer more or less the same functionality as the i10, but some are keen to point out that the Picanto looks a bit cheaper on the inside.
Reliability is as good as it can get as the Picanto is more or less the same as the i10. Practicality is good for the class, except for the rear seats which aren’t all that spacious.
Verdict – The Hyundai i10 is better
When it comes down to which one of these two is better, I’d give a slight edge to the Hyundai i10. First of all, powertrains options are the same. The Picanto does not get the 1.2L unit, but it used to a year or two ago. Design-wise, the Hyundai i10 somehow feels a little bit better put together on the outside while the interior is much better with the i10, especially if you go for a higher trim model.
The i10 also wins when it comes to rear seating space as it seems like Hyundai managed the space a bit better. The trunk on the Picanto is a bit deeper, but the one in the i10 seems to be a bit longer. The Picanto seems to be a bit more dynamic and engaging to drive, but the i10 is the better package overall.
Is the Hyundai i10 more efficient than the Kia Picanto?
You can expect to get around 48MPG combined with the i10 which is a tremendously good result for any car with a gasoline engine. Even though the Kia should technically be the same, a few tests have shown that the Picanto is about 2MPG worse which puts it at around 46MPG which is also a really good result.
Co2 emissions with the i10 measure an impressive 109g/km while the Picanto is slightly worse at 139g/km.
Is the Hyundai i10 safer than the Kia Picanto?
Both of these two small hatchbacks are more than adequately safe which means that both are 5-star rated cars. Passive crash protection is really good while active safety systems are numerous on both models. The i10 does get a system or two from the factory while Kia is much more restrained in that category.
Is the Hyundai i10 more comfortable than the Kia Picanto?
Even though there aren’t any massive differences between these two cars, the Hyundai i10 does feel more comfortable, especially on the highway. We already said that the Picanto feels a bit more engaging to drive which is probably the reason why the i10 feels more comfortable.