Micro cars aren’t in vogue in the Australian market and probably never will be, but the diminutive Kia Picanto has gained some traction.
It’s still here more than two years after I first tested it at the launch, while the likes of, say, the Suzuki Celerio have faded into obscurity.
I took a look at the Picanto GT-Line, the slightly more kitted out of the two spec range.
A body kit, red accents inside and out, and alloy wheels and pedals separate it from the base model.
Bang on another $520 for premium paint and it’s all yours for 17,490 drive away.
Generally the same shape as when it first came out, only a few minor styling adjustments have been made to the Picanto.
The current GT-Line possesses an exterior package including body kit, red and chrome accents, and a twin exhaust tip.
This sporty look coupled with the aggressive looking blunted nose surprisingly drew some attention from onlookers normally reserved for a high-performance coupe.
Down the lower end of the market you do expect black plastic, manual A/C and a monochrome LCD driver info display.
However a few features lift up the Kia Picanto GT-Line from a budget offering.
Red accents on the premium seats, red stitching, and faint red stripes on the doors give more appeal along with the high gloss black surrounds on the dashboard, alloy sports pedals and premium steering wheel and shifter knob.
One feature that really brings up the level is the 7” touchscreen with Bluetooth, and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto.
A far cry from the basic red LCD display of the first generation.
In tiny cars like this there is often no storage box between the front seats, but the Picanto has a proper bin. Though tiny, it’s better than nothing.
Given the flat rear end, the boot is limited but enough to fit some shopping or a little luggage.
Overall presentation is neat and attractive and doesn’t look cheap and nasty.
There are some decent specs but you miss out on digital radio, sat-nav and have to deal with tilt only steering wheel adjustment.
ISOFIX ports have no designated plastic housing or velcro straps though slits in the seats provide a neat appearance when not in use.
- 7” touchscreen
- Electric folding mirrors
- Cruise control/speed limiter
- Apple CarPlay/Android Auto
- Dusk sensing lights
- LED DRLs
- 16” alloys
Given the size of the 1.25 litre engine, acceleration and pickup is slow even if you step on it.
At 62kW/122Nm it just can’t give anymore.
And with only a four-speed gearbox, this Kia doesn’t have long legs.
But driven sedately for everyday commutes the Kia Picanto is perfectly fine and you won’t notice the lack of gears or power.
The plus side is consumption is low – 7.6L/100km during my week – and think it could go lower.
While the engine may work hard at time, it still doesn’t sound clunky or noisy and is quiet while in idle or cruising.
Even at speed, the micro car feels stable whereas others are more like tin can on wheels.
Steering is a little vague but you still feel in touch and at only three and a half metres in length, the turning circle is astounding.
It’s a shame there isn’t a turbo version of the PIcanto. Imagine zipping about in one of these.
- Reverse parking sensors
- Rear view camera
- Inclusion of touchscreen
- GT-Line features
- Easy to park and manipulate
- Interior presentation
- Fuel economy
- Turning circle
Not So Good Bits
- Slow pickup
- Four gears
- Boot space
- No turbo
The Kia Picanto is a great little runabout for getting around town. It’s easy to manoeuvre and easy to park.
While it is power deficient, it has a good balance of features in an otherwise basic model.
Kia always doesn’t disappoint and the Picanto is fun and economical even if you have to compromise on space.
- Engine: 1.25L four-cylinder petrol producing 62kW/122Nm
- Transmission: Four-speed automatic
- Warranty: 7 years/ unlimited km
- Safety: Four stars
- Origin: South Korea
- Price: from $17,290