Is 2020 KIA Picanto GT the best ever City Car?

KIA released Picanto to fill a gap in their line-up. In doing so, it reinvigorated the micro car segment, and quite right too.

See our launch review HERE

Does it look good?

The venerable Peter Schreyer heads the KMC design studio, and brings the epitome of European good taste to KIA’s humble offerings.

Yes ladies and gents, KIA is nipping at the heals of those uber-posh Euro-snobs by making sexy cars that are reliable, and have a 7 year warranty. Those well healed buyers who think only Euro will do, will get a 3 year warranty at best.

GT gets a neat body kit, loads of red highlights, and 16” alloy wheels.

Picanto is a 5 door hatch, brightly lit by creative external themes. Headlights look complex with a “Transformers” look to their lenses. Rear lights are C shaped, and lovingly cuddle the rear hatch.

Everything about Picanto is cute.

City cars are cramped inside aren’t they?

Don’t be daft, there is oodles of space for quick trips around town.

Head height is excellent with inches to spare, even for a 6’ driver.

Seating is genuine fake leather, and continues the red highlight theme from outside.

You want for nothing. Every gadget you can think of has been lavished on the nifty commuter’s interior.

A floating tablet houses the latest Apple CarPlay/Android Auto apps. You can stream music, and best of all, you need never miss the 6pm news again.

Cubby holes aplenty adorn the console and doors, and the glove box is big enough for the largest hand warmers.

The boot is snug, so your oranges won’t roll too far. Fear not, you can lay the back seats down. My folding E Bike fitted perfectly.

Picanto GT must be gutless right?

Picanto GT might be puny proportionally, but performance figures find favour among the frugal. 74kw and 171Nm is more than enough to propel Picanto pleasingly. Bowser shock is a thing of the past because fuel are as low as 4L/100k.

Ride is excellent. You’d be forgiven for thinking you’ve been spirited into a much bigger car. KIA says the steering has been sharpened, but I was having so much fun, I didn’t notice.

Picanto GT is no rocket, but nor is it a slug. It has all the fun of a classic Mini, but the latest gear and handling.

More importantly, the 7 year warranty comes with 7 year roadside assist.

Sound from the 3 cylinder engine is raspy and urgent, and gear shifts are snappy with an uber-light clutch. Some say it is too light, but they are just being grumpy, and they’re wrong.

How easy is Picanto GT to park?

Picanto is tiny, and has parking sensors.

You can see all 4 corners of the car, so touching up your neighbours is less likely, unless of course, you want to. But, that’s a tale for another time.

How safe is Picanto GT?

  • Safety: 4 stars tested 2017
  • AEB (vehicle detection only by radar)
  • six SRS airbags,
  • ABS,
  • ESC,
  • Hill Assist Control,
  • Vehicle Stability Management,
  • Torque Vectoring Brake Based,
  • Forward Collision Warning
  • Straight Line Stability

Picanto at a glance.

Engine: 1.0L 3cyl (200bar) turbo, 12 valves, 74kw/171Nm

Econ: 4.8 L/100km combined

Transmission: 5-speed manual


  • 7 years/unlimited km (private buyers)
  • 7 years/100,000 km (business buyers)

Safety: 4 stars tested 2017

Origin: Korea

Price: $17,990 drive away

Tags: kia, kia Australia, kia picanto gt, kia city car, small car, ideal second car,