Ralph's Review

August 10, 2011

Kia Picanto vs Hyundai i10

Comparing the Picanto with the i10 is a popular little car comparison for the same reason people compare the C1 with the 107 and Aygo, or the 500 with the Ka, or the larger Fiesta vs Mazda2, and Fabia vs Polo.

Car buyers know these groups of cars share the same platforms and want to see if there is a difference and an advantage in one over the other. There are differences in brand equity, style, and equipment levels. Normally size, space, engine efficiency and safety are all the same.

The differences in brand, style and equipment is countered by differences in prices so there is normally no advantage in one or the other. If there was only one model would sell.

By making cars appear different manufacturers can charge different prices. They also avoid over selling a model. For example if a person buys a Mazda2 and is asked why they didn’t buy a Fiesta the reply might be, ‘everyone’s got one.’

Clearly under the skin the Kia Picanto and Hyundai i10 are virtually if not the same car. As they cynically say in the trade, ‘same message different envelope.’ Their style is very different. The Picanto has changed from clean simple lines to bold style lines with some sort of Dan Dare chin at the front end. The i10 had a makeover earlier this year but remains familiar.

The trick – sorry difference –  is in standing of the brands and equipment levels with their different prices. Hyundai enjoyed a slightly higher standing in the market place with good equipment levels. Kias were cheaper but had longer warranties.

It seems Hyundai retain the higher equipment level at the lower end but Kia have higher levels at the top end and have leapfrogged Hyundai prices. They’ve done the same with the ix35 and Sportage. It’s a way of getting more money for basically the same car. VW do it. Vauxhall do it. They all do it because they need to profit in order survive.

The more you pay for a Kia or Hyundai the more you’ll value the brand. Think VW vs Skoda. These so called one percenter brands as they are known in the trade for their market penetration are on the rise backed by very high levels of customer satisfaction. And today their buyers can no longer be seen to have simply bought a cheap brand – THEY’E GOT THEIR HEAD SCREWED ON THE RIGHT WAY.

Some may stick their nose up if they drive an Audi, BMW or Merc but we know it’s not their car and they’re a salesman in a company car.

So the similarities are the Picanto and i10 are virtually the same size, with similar versatility. Engine efficiency is virtually the same. We’re waiting for Euro NCAP safety ratings.

The differences are branding, style, equipment and price. Style is a matter of personal taste and equipment a matter for your wish list. You decide what you’ll pay.

So it’s a decision for the heart, not the head. Either way they’re great little city cars and you won’t be disappointed if a tiny car is what you are looking for.

I’m sorry there are no shocking significant differences to your advantage but that’s the way it goes. If it were me I’d buy the best deal.

carbuyersinfo.co.uk car comparisons to help you find the car to suit your lifestyle and budget


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