The new Kia Picanto does not disappoint

The KIA Picanto has established itself as a keenly priced, well built and reliable small car over the years. The new one does not disappoint. Practicality and design has been improved as well as the tech levels.


Kia Picanto Smart – Side view


Kia Picanto Smart – Rear Quarter


Even though the new Picanto is basically the same size as its predecessor, the space inside the vehicle is now being used more efficiently. The interior space is definitely larger as well as a significant increase in boot space from 200 litres to 255 litres.

The Picanto has always been well built, even if the quality of the materials left something to be desired. The latest car is much improved on that front, particularly inside, where the dashboard and doors seem well finished and are pleasant to the touch. It also has a livelier feel inside than previous models.


Kia Picanto Smart – Interior

The engine lineup consist of only 2 options:

The 1-litre three-cylinder, naturally aspirated, motor that produces 49kW at 5500rpm and 95Nm at 3750rpm.

The 1.2-litre four-cylinder unit is unfortunately also naturally aspirated and produces 61kw at 6000rpm and 122Nm at 4000rpm.

Although there is only 2 engine options, there is now 4 styling packages available namely: Start, Street, Style and Smart.

It handles and drives well for a car in its class, but keep in mind this is not a hot hatch or German Autobahn bruiser. Its size, or lack thereof, makes it easy to maneuver in city driving and when parking.

Pricing is also not bad, the Start model starts at around R140k and the top of the range model is just under R200k

So how does the package options stack up ?

The Start Model does not have much features but comes with an airbag for the driver only, air conditioning, power steering and a two-speaker audio system with USB and Aux ports.

The Street Model adds dual front airbags, ABS brakes, remote central locking, driver seat height adjustment, audio controls on the steering wheel as well as 14-inch steel wheels.

The Style Model adds 14-inch alloy wheels as well as foglights, daytime running lights, a rear window wiper, auto light control and two extra speakers.

The Smart Model adds electric windows and mirrors, a 17.8cm touchscreen multimedia system with Bluetooth and voice recognition, reverse camera and rear park distance control. The Smart also gains a leather steering wheel and gear knob, aluminium pedals and partial leather seat upholstery.

All models come standard with a 5-year/ UNLIMITED Warranty and 3-year / Unlimited km Roadside Assistance


The Kia Picanto is excellent value for money. That engine could do with more grunt, the steering could be lighter, but the Picanto is still easy to drive and parking is anxiety free. A quality feeling cabin, good boot space, plus a comfortable ride make it easily one of the bets in this segment.

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Murray Kroucamp

Murray Kroucamp Has a passion for cars and the wonderful world of motoring journalism. Background includes: Regulatory liaison; Customer Experience Executive Complaints Management; Data analyst. Founded the Mazda 2 Owners page on Facebook in 2008. Founded Murray’s Car Reviews (South Africa) on Facebook in 2015 which has around 800 active members. Also started writing car reviews on Linkedin in 2017. Working on turning the hobby into a profession.

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