2024 Kia Picanto GT-Line Review

Kia has JUST Facelifted the 2024 Kia Picanto, with a bunch of new features is this the best cheap car in Australia?

Jacob Brooke
Expert reviewer
Updated on
February 11, 2024
Saucey score

Pros

  • Crazy good new looks
  • New autonomous driving features
  • One of Australia's cheapest cars

Cons

  • So, so slow
  • Ergonomics could be better
  • Stiff ride
Car specs

62kW + 122Nm

$23,490 driveaway

6.0L/100km

Unrated

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There’s not many cars Matt and I test where we think, yeah - this is f**king awesome.

And yet, every now and then, we get an absolute pearler. In this case, it’s the teeny-tiny, 993kg Kia Picanto.

Or, as some might call it now, the Kia Picant-go - considering they have deleted arguably the best powertrain globally as part of this extensive facelift, the 1.0L 3-cylinder turbo-petrol engine.

Still, with a new look, new tech and a higher price tag - should you buy the updated Kia Picanto?

How much does the Picanto cost?

The entire Picanto range is up, thanks to its new features and design (detailed below!)

For 2024, the new Picanto Sport (previously named ‘S’) is up $1,800, while the flagship GT-Line on test today is up $2,100.

The Kia Picanto comes standard with a 5-speed manual transmission, though a 4-speed auto can be optioned for $1,000.

In fact, the Picanto has lost its place as the cheapest new car in Australia, starting at $20,690 drive-away for the base Sport Manual.

The cheapest car in Australia is now the MG3, starting at $19,990 drive-away - although the MG3 is set to receive a new generation sometime this year, which may increase its price.

2024 Kia Picanto Price:

  • Picanto Sport Manual: $20,690 (drive-away, +$1800 from base S manual) / Base: $17,890 (+$1600)
  • Picanto Sport Automatic: $21,690 (drive-away, +$1800 from base S manual) / Base: $19,490 (+$1600)
  • Picanto GT-Line Manual: $22,490 (drive-away, +$2100) / Base: $19,690 (+$1950)
  • Picanto GT-Line Automatic: $23,490 (drive-away, +$2100) / Base: $21,290 (+$1950)

Note: Base prices do not include additional on-road costs.

What’s do you get with the Kia Picanto?

Sport Standard Features:

  • 14-inch alloy wheels (NEW)
  • Dusk-sensing halogen headlights with automatic high-beam (NEW)
  • LED rear fog lights (NEW)
  • 8.0-inch infotainment touchscreen
  • Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto (wired/wireless)
  • Bluetooth, AM/FM radio
  • Digitized instrument cluster with 4.2-inch display (NEW)
  • Six-speaker sound system (four speakers, two tweeters)
  • Air conditioning
  • Cloth seat upholstery
  • Six-way manually-adjustable driver's seat
  • Synthetic leather-look steering wheel and gear knob (NEW)
  • Power-folding side mirrors (NEW)
  • Rear-view camera with dynamic guidelines
  • Rear parking sensors
  • Six airbags, including front-centre
  • Autonomous emergency braking, lane-departure warning (NEW), lane-keep assist (NEW)
  • Blind-spot monitoring with braking (NEW), rear cross-traffic alert with braking (NEW)
  • Cruise control
  • Power windows (auto up/down for driver)
  • Remote central locking, space-saver spare
  • 3 x top-tether and 2 x ISOFIX anchor points for child seats
  • 1 x USB-A, 1 x USB-C (NEW), 1 x 12V outlet

GT-Line Additional Features:

  • 16-inch alloy wheels
  • LED headlights (NEW)
  • LED daytime-running lights
  • LED tail lights (NEW)
  • Synthetic leather-look seat trim with contrasting accents
  • Sliding front-centre armrest
  • GT-Line exterior styling, including heated side mirrors (NEW)
  • Six-way manual driver’s seat adjustment (includes height adjustment)
  • Three-spoke ‘Sports’ steering wheel (NEW)
  • Metal pedals (NEW)
  • 1 x rear USB-C outlet (NEW)

What’s the interior and tech like of the Picanto GT-Line?

If you are worried you’ll get into a Kia Picanto and be disappointed, you’ll be happy to know it does not.

New for the 2024 facelift is the digital instrument cluster up in front of the driver… or really, a digitised display.

Frankly, it offers no added benefit over the previous analogue gauges, which kept the same overall functionality with the 4.2” TFT display in the centre as well, but hey, it arguably looks cooler.

The faux leather steering wheel has also been updated to have a cool D-shape with white stitching and does feel absolutely fantastic in the hands.

A new USB-C port can also be found up front for those looking for faster charging, along with the traditional USB-A port and 12v socket.

The seats are also re-upholstered with a black faux leather with white highlighting, and offer okay support - though some lumbar adjustment would be welcome.

There is certainly no escaping that the Kia Picanto is a cheap car, however. Hard, scratchy plastics are just about everywhere, the air conditioning controls are manually adjusted using dials and nothing screams luxury.

But let’s be honest, if you were expecting the finer things in life with the Picanto, you’re looking at the wrong vehicle class.

Taking the Picanto for what it is, it certainly punches well above its weight. The 8” infotainment display has wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, and works flawlessly. 

The 6-speaker sound system in the GT-Line also sounds fantastic for such a cheap car.

And practicality is great, with a soft centre armrest that provides a little bit of storage, a large glovebox, big door-bins, hidden cupholders up front, and two levels of shelving above.

Kia have done a fantastic job at packaging such a small car, and everyone who got in during my week-long loan was seriously impressed.

What about the back seats of the Picanto GT-Line?

Despite its tiny size, the Picanto has 3 seats in the rear. 

Though good luck getting 3 adults in the back… maybe three small children.

Still, the faux leather extends to the rear, and the seats are comfortable enough.

At 5’10”, I don’t have much leg room at all, but head-room and toe-room are plentiful thanks to the boxy design.

New for the facelift is a single USB-C port, but you’ll need to go the GT-Line to get that.

How much can fit in the boot of the Picanto GT-Line?

Boot space is surprisingly good for such a compact car.

At 255L, there is plenty of usable space behind the second row of seats.

Drop the seats, and you will get a rather large hump in the floor - but at least that opens up 1,010L of boot space.

But if you want even more space in your micro-car, check out the ‘SUV’ Suzuki Ignis.

What’s under the bonnet of the Picanto GT-Line?

RIP to the Kia Picanto GT, its fruity 1.0L 3-cylinder Turbo Petrol engine. You will be missed!

Now you can only get the Kia Picanto with one engine option, and that is the carry-over 1.25L 4-cylinder naturally-aspirated petrol engine, which outputs just 62kW of power and 122Nm of torque.

Power is sent to the front wheels through a 5-speed manual transmission or $1,000 optional 4-speed automatic transmission, which the latter is what we’re testing today.

Fuel efficiency for the manual variants is now rated at 5.4L/100km, a slight increase from the previous 5.0L/100km, while automatic models have seen an increase to 6.0L/100km from 5.8L/100km.

Over a week of driving, we found the real-world fuel economy to be around 6.2L/100km for the automatic Picanto.

How does the Picanto GT-Line drive?

Getting the bad out of the way here, the Kia Picanto is really slow. 

We timed the 0-100km/h sprint at 14.44 seconds, so highway overtaking is almost certainly out of the question.

However, speaking of highways, the Kia Picanto now scores some autonomous driving features usually reserved for much more expensive cars, namely lane-keep assist and lane-centering, which will essentially steer the Picanto down the highway. 

This is a fantastic feature and makes longer commutes an absolute breeze.

A massive shout-out needs to be given to the new design of the Kia Picanto, which we here at CarSauce think looks phenomenal. The new EV9-inspired design is really head-turning and turns an economy car into something far more expensive looking.

In Australia, the Kia Picanto received an Australian suspension tune when the new generation was released. It is certainly on the stiffer end, considering the tune is actually from the outgoing Kia Picanto GT - which means its fantastic when cornering, but can be a little stiff around town.

For me personally, I love the more ‘euro’ feel - the steering feels incredibly direct, and there is plenty of grip despite the 16” wheels on paper spec.

If you can, definitely stick with the 5-speed manual. We’ve driven that box before, and while it could never be described as great, it gets the job done. 

The 4-speed automatic is a bit of a slushbox; slow to respond, and because it is only a 4-speed, it sits at over 3,000 RPM at highway speeds - so its loud and noisy.

It’s fine, but the 5-speed manual is simply better.

Cabin noise is surprisingly okay too, and unlike the Suzuki Ignis, the boxy shape of the Picanto never feels like its being pushed around on the highway.

Around town, the Kia Picanto is extremely easy to live with, considering it has a very narrow turning circle of just 9.4m and is so small it can easily dart around traffic and parking is always a breeze.

It may not be fast (at all…) but every time you step out of the Picanto you have a smile on your face. What a hoot!

Is the Picanto GT-Line Safe?

The Kia Picanto did have a 4-star safety rating based on 2017 ANCAP testing protocols, however this expired in December of 2023. 

Therefore, the Kia Picanto is currently unrated by ANCAP.

It does however come with a comprehensive list of active safety technology, with new features added for 2024:

  • ABS (Anti-lock Braking System) with EBD (Electronic Brakeforce Distribution) & BA (Brake Assist)
  • ESC (Electronic Stability Control) with TCS (Traction Control System)
  • VSM (Vehicle Stability Management)
  • HAC (Hill-start Assist Control)
  • ESS (Emergency Stop Signal)
  • AEB (Autonomous Emergency Braking) with FCWS (Forward Collision Warning System)
  • BCA (Blindspot Collision Avoidance Assist) (NEW)
  • RCCA (Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Avoidance Assist) (NEW)
  • SEW (Safe Exit Warning)
  • LKA (Lane Keeping Assist) (NEW)
  • LFA (Lane Follow Assist) (NEW)
  • MSLA (Manual Speed Limit Assist)
  • ROA (Rear Occupant Alert)
  • DAW (Driver Attention Warning) with Lead Vehicle Departure Alert
  • Seatbelt reminders for all seating positions
  • Reverse parking sensors
  • Rearview camera with dynamic parking guidelines
  • Dusk-sensing automatic headlights
  • Halogen projection headlights & DRL (Daytime Running Light)
  • LED Headlights & DRL (Daytime Running Lights) with LED Centre Light
  • HBA (High Beam Assist)
  • High-mounted rear stop light

How much does the Picanto GT-Line cost to run?

Kia offers a robust seven-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty on its vehicles.

Official service pricing updates are pending for the 2024 Kia Picanto.

The previous model featured seven years of capped-price servicing, requiring maintenance every 12 months or 15,000km. 

The costs for the first seven services are sequentially $285, $467, $341, $511, $321, $584, and $341.

What’s CarSauce’s take on the Picanto GT-Line?

The 2024 Kia Picanto challenges the notion of what a budget car can be. Despite shedding its title as Australia's cheapest car and the regrettable omission of the spirited 1.0L turbo engine, the Picanto still stands tall with its facelift, improved tech, and elevated price tag. 

Its comprehensive feature list, from the new digital cluster to enhanced safety tech, sets a high bar. The interior, while budget-conscious, cleverly maximises space and comfort, proving that affordability need not compromise on functionality or style.

On the road, it may not break speed records, but the inclusion of semi-autonomous driving features and its nimble city driving dynamics make it a joy to drive. 

With its eye-catching design and packed feature list, the Picanto continues to punch above its weight, offering a compelling package for those seeking value without skimping on modern necessities.

Saucey score breakdown

8.3
/10
Performance
6.0
Maintenance Costs and Warranty
8.0
Comfort
7.0
Fuel (or EV) Efficiency
8.0
Safety
8.0
Interior Design and Features
9.0
Value for Money
10.0
Technology and Innovation
9.0
Is it fit-for-purpose?
10.0
Practicality
8.0
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Jacob Brooke
Jacob Brooke, a respected voice in the world of automotive journalism, brings a wealth of knowledge and insights to his reviews at CarSauce. His keen eye for detail and passion for all things cars shine through in his in-depth analysis and honest evaluations of the latest models of cars. Join him as he guides readers through the car-buying process and explores the exciting world of motoring.
Car specs

62kW + 122Nm

$23,490 driveaway

6.0L/100km

Unrated

Buy a Car!
No Obligations, Hassle Free.

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