If you want an affordable small car with a long warranty and at least some active safety technology, Kia Picanto Literally your only choice.
That’s because its main rivals – the nearly ready-to-eat convertible Fiat 500 and the massively popular MG 3 – have no form of autonomous emergency braking (AEB) to speak of – and Save your car, or someone else’s car, if there is a safety backstop, and keep your insurance premiums down; Then it might be important to you.
But there’s more to the Kia Picanto than just being smaller, slightly safer and cheaper than its rivals. Especially if you’re looking at the one tested here, the range-topping GT version.
It’s turbocharged, properly fun, and definitely subscribes to the “good things in small packages” mantra.
It’s the range-topping Picanto, but still comes at a very affordable price.
List price for 2023 Kia Picanto GT Is $20,790 plus on-road costsbut Kia has a drive-away price listed. $22,890 2000 for postcodes. You can check the price of your drive on Kia’s online configurator.
This makes the manual-only GT version a bit of an oddity in the market – there’s nothing else performance-oriented at this end of the market, and it’s quite the standout when it comes to being offered with just three paddles. .
Looking to shell out nearly $20,000 for a brand new car? Pickers, my friends, are slim. If interior space is a priority, you could look at the MG 3, or the base Kia Rio. Or, if you can stretch the dollar a bit and want something European, the Fiat 500 is still for sale.
But if your budget is tighter than that, there are other options in the Picanto range. The S grade is cheaper, with the five-speed manual priced at $16,290, and the four-speed auto at $17,890.
Opt for the sporty-looking but sporty-to-drive GT-Line and you’ll pay a bit more – the five-speed manual is $17,740 and the four-speed auto is $19,340. Prices exclude on-road costs.
2023 Kia Picanto Pricing:
- Kia Picanto S 5MT: $16,290
- Kia Picanto S 4AT: $17,890
- Kia Picanto GT-Line 5MT: $17,740
- Kia Picanto GT-Line 4ATL $19,340
- Kia Picanto GT 5MT: $20,790
Prices exclude on-road costs.
It’s built to a price and definitely feels ‘cheap’ inside. And if you equate the value of that car to the real estate market – you’re not getting a whole lot of bang for your buck.
On top of that, the interior is tight. As such, you shouldn’t expect much when you’re buying a car under 3.6 meters in length, but the cabin is quite short in a few important ways.
You will sometimes bump shoulder to shoulder with your passenger, especially if you both fall into the car at the same time. And if you’re not romantically involved with the shotgunner, you’ll want to make sure he’s okay with you touching his leg occasionally as you shift gears.
There’s still some storage between the front seats though, including open cup holders and storage slots, including adaptive cup holders in front of the shifter and a nice open cubby with a shelf for your phone.
There’s a sliding center armrest, which is nice for a car this size (you don’t get one in the base model). The door pockets are large enough to fit a bottle and some other junk, and the glovebox is actually generous for the car’s size.
Front-seat occupants have adequate space, and the driver’s seat offers good adjustment for people of different ages and body types. I am 182 cm and I can be comfortable, and so can my 150 cm mother.
Steering wheel has tilt adjustment (no reach adjustment) Seat belts are height adjustable, seat height and slide adjustment. There’s no adjustable lumbar support, but I didn’t need it after several hours of highway driving.
The back seat is a bare-bones affair. There is a map pocket. that is it. No bottle holders, cup holders, vents, charging options… just a map pocket. And only one of them on the back of the passenger seat.
As for space, there’s just enough for me to get behind my driving position. My knees were hard against the front seat, but I had fine toe room and headroom once in place.
Three-across won’t be an option for most people, but there are three seat belts in the back, so if you have a single rider in the back seat, they can choose wherever suits them. .
If you’re a parent you’ll be encouraged to know that there are ISOFIX attachment points for the window seats, and a trio of top tether hooks on the top of the seatbacks. This is a clever design, as it means you won’t be putting unnecessary stress on your child seat straps, nor will said straps be eating into boot space.
Now, the bot isn’t winning any awards for spaciousness. It has 255 liters of cargo capacity, and is a bit of an awkward space as there’s a steep ‘cliff’ loading lip which meant I couldn’t even fit my pram in without taking the wheels off.
Speaking of wheels, there’s a space-saver spare under the boot floor. Yep, somehow they managed to fit it in there.
The Picanto GT is the most powerful variant, yet it gets an engine with less capacity and fewer cylinders than the other models.
This is because it scores a 1.0 liter three cylinder turbo petrol enginewhich is good for a big one. 74 kW (4500rpm) and 172Nm (1500-4000rpm).
Okay fine, too big is slightly stretched; But the extra 12kW and 50Nm make a big difference, considering the Picanto is so modest – the GT only 1012 kgthe GT-Line Auto is 1011kg, and the GT-Line Manual is 993kg.
As mentioned, if you want an automatic and a turbo engine, you’re out of luck. The GT is the only five-speed manual offering, and it’s front-wheel drive.
My mom, dad and colleagues all used to drive this car. In that order, here were their reactions: “That’s a little grover!”; “What a fun little car!”; and “I think I want one of those!”.
None of them are car reviewers. So here’s what I thought: the Kia Picanto GT is a groovy, fun little car, and I think I want one. hey wait…
Either way, I think anyone who gets behind the wheel of this car will feel the same way we all did. It’s heaps of fun, a bit old school in the way it plays.
The little three-pot rasper has a great character to it – it has a bit of a lag in the rev range and requires a lot of right foot to move it, but it’s faster than you’d expect.
The five-speed manual has quite a long throw in the shift, and the gears are also tall, meaning you may find yourself in third when you could be in fifth.
Some may find the shift action and the fact that you feel like you have to work a little unsophisticated on the drivetrain, but the enthusiasts out there will love the attention.
As well as having more grunt, the GT model has better suspension and steering than the GT-Line, and as a result it handles better than any other Picanto.
Sure, it’s not the last word in comfort or control – mid-corner bumps can really upset the chassis, and the ride is jarring and bouncy at times – but it’s certainly the most exciting car at this price point. Is.
And, as I spent most of my time in the car traveling the motorway, I gave him a pint every chance I got.
It is noisy, though. Coarse-chip road surfaces (of which there are plenty in Australia) will throw a lot of road roar into the cabin, and given the GT-Line models run the same wheel-tyre combo, you can bet they’re louder. Will be in voice. inside too.
But if you don’t spend that much time on the highways, and you really want a car that’s the essence of ‘zippy’, then this is it.
OK, so you’re going to get more out of your Picanto if you spend more – but here’s a list of standard equipment across all the different grades.
Highlights of Picanto S:
- 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system
- Wireless Apple CarPlay, Android Auto
- 4.2 inch instrument cluster display screen
- Automatic headlights
- Cruise control
- Power windows
- Remote central locking
- Air conditioning
- 14 inch steel wheels
The Picanto GT-Line added:
- GT Line exterior package
- Contrasting body tone
- Dual exhaust trims
- Body kit
- 16 inch alloy wheels
- Electric folding mirrors with indicators
- LED daytime running lights
- Sports pedals of Egypt
- ‘Premium’ seats with red accents
- Leather-wrapped shifter and steering wheel
- Sliding, soft-touch front center armrest
The Picanto GT (as tested) adds:
- 1.0L 3cyl turbo engine
- Sporty suspension and steering
If having some kind of autonomous emergency braking as standard in your new small car is important to you, then the Picanto will be the car to go for, as it has AEB and forward collision warning as standard on all versions. Is.
But, while some new cars have an array of functionality from their AEB systems, the Picanto can only avoid car-to-car crashes. No pedestrian or cyclist detection, and no junction assist.
However, if you ask me, having this technology is better than not. It’s just a shame the Picanto only managed one so far. Four star ANCAP safety rating Back in 2017, and things have gotten tougher since then.
It lacks any other smart safety tech – no lane keeping assistance, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert or rear AEB. But you get a reversing camera, rear parking sensors, and six airbags (dual front, front side and full-length curtain airbags) for occupant protection.
It’s worth noting that both the MG 3 and the Fiat 500 lack any active safety technology. MG doesn’t have a current ANCAP score (the pre-facelift version scored just three stars at Euro NCAP in 2014), and Fiat’s score (five stars – since 2008!) has just expired. .
Kia made a name for itself by being number one in the market Seven-year, unlimited kilometer warranty For private buyers, and the brand continues to offer this level of cover for new customers.
There’s also seven years of roadside assistance, and a capped-price servicing plan for up to seven services.
Now, this is an important condition. It could last you seven years of ownership, depending on how many kilometers you drive.
But the brand requires maintenance every 12 months or 15,000 km (whichever comes first) for the non-turbo models and every 12 months or 10,000 km (whichever comes first) for the turbo. So if you do a lot of work, Turbo will soon run out of its limited price plan.
Also keep this in mind – servicing is quite expensive for a small, cheap car. The non-turbo version averages $407 per service on this plan, while the turbocharged GT averages closer to $450 per service. And if you do a lot of driving, you may need to budget for more.
When it comes to keeping up with the fuel, it’s another “depends on which one you buy”. The non-turbo manual uses a claimed 5.0 liters per 100km on the combined fuel cycle, while the non-turbo auto is said to use 5.8L/100km. So a pretty decent amount more.
The Turbo model claims 5.2L/100km, and during my testing – which covered more than 700km – I averaged just 5.1L/100km. Yes, I beat that claim, and I beat him on occasion.
There’s no doubt in my mind that the Kia Picanto is a great little runaround car, and the GT makes those tasks much more fun than they would otherwise be.
The current purchase price is going up given that it was very cheap before, and servicing should be really cheap.
But for those who need a small car at a relatively low price, it’s a fantastic choice.
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More: Everything Kia Picanto