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New car reviews online: Kia Picanto and Renault Twingo

Plus we review the one-litre Ecoboost Ford Focus

We’re on the smaller end of the automotive spectrum this week, with the diminutive Renault Twingo and the redesigned Kia Picanto. In the interests of balance we’ve also thrown in the larger Ford Focus with a new engine you’d usually find in a Fiesta. 

The rear-wheel drive Renault Twingo is a city car through and through but will its fellow city slicker, the Kia Picanto, beat it to Best Buy status or will they both meet the strict requirements? The big question for the Ford Focus is whether the small engine leaves it feeling underpowered.

We take the scenic route when we review cars, testing them on city streets, motorways and country lanes to make sure they perform well wherever they’re driven. In the lab no stone is left unturned as we check everything from emissions to boot space. 

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Renault Twingo

The rear-wheel drive makes the Renault Twingo super-manoeuvrable

Renault Twingo (2015-) supermini – new model

The Twingo is now in its third generation but since the first never made it to UK shores it feels like the second. The striking redesign has given the inconspicuous small car an identity with a sweet snub-nosed front end and Beetle-esque headlights.

Despite the small size it’s not cramped inside and the rear-wheel drive allows it to turn on a sixpence. Can the rear-wheel drive and impressive interior space make it a Best Buy? Read our Renault Twingo review to find out.

Ford Focus (2011-) medium car – tested model

Thanks to its enduring popularity the Ford Focus isn’t short of engine options and the latest – a one-litre Ecoboost engine first seen in Ford’s own Fiesta – seems like an odd fit for the larger car.

The three-cylinder engine should offer better fuel economy but will the smaller engine leave the Focus feeling sluggish to drive? Read our Ford Focus review to see whether the trade-off is worth it.

Kia Picanto (2015-) supermini – new model

Kia Picanto

The Kia Picanto’s new design adds the trademark ‘tiger nose grille’ for a uniform look

The Picanto got a facelift in 2015 to bring the style in line with the rest of the Kia range. Kia’s smallest car faces stiff competition from other city cars like the Renault Twingo and Fiat Panda but how it squares up to the Hyundai i10 will be most interesting – the two cars share the same chassis as well as 64bhp and 84bhp engines.

Despite the improvements Kia has still managed to keep the cost low and a Picanto can be bought new for under £8,000 before options. It still gets a seven-year warranty too.

Read our Kia Picanto review to see if the style update is enough to secure a Best Buy-worthy score.

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