Auto Review: 2018 Kia Picanto GT-Line

KIA just keeps on giving. When you think they’ve done enough across every other category they play in, they come up with a cheeky, personality filled little number in the 2018 Kia Picanto GT-Line.

Playing in the small car arena is not an easy thing these days. There are in essence two separate categories within the space, ‘normal’ small cars, and what’s known as light small cars, or ‘small’ small cars – if you will.

There are lots of ‘small’ car competitors, including from Kia’s own stable, so we’ll stay away from those and focus on a category that includes the likes of the VW Up, Nissan Micra, Mitsubishi Mirage, Holden Spark and Suzuki Celerio.

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Some of those models have been around for eons, and some now lie at the bottom of a graveyard of cars no longer on the market here in Australia. The Kia Picanto GT-Line, and its base model partner in crime, are however ready and willing to take on all comers.

It’s not only a good-looking rooster on the outside, but the inside of this little hatch is finished to a very high standard too. Nothing looks or feels cheap, or is half done and everything looks more expensive than the $17,810 (our test car) price tag suggests.

The driving experience from the plucky little 62kW 1.25-litre motor isn’t too bad either. It wasn’t that long ago that small automatic cars were considered the hallmark of the frail and elderly, who wouldn’t drive over 60km/h, EVER.

Not so these days, and there is an excellent little motor under the bonnet that will definitely suit anyone who needs an economical and stylish run around (we achieved 6.2-litres/100km), or is space challenged when it comes to parking.

It’s only 3.6-metres long and will fit pretty much anywhere, even the fuel tank is tiny, at 35-litres, and while the Picanto GT-Line won’t set the world on fire in a 0-100km/h time trial, it will get four adults to where they need to be, in comfort.

We threw three adults in the back seat to find out that there was actually a decent amount of head and leg room, if not a little squishy across ways. We did however feel the driving position in this little car might not suit everyone.

The pedals are a little close, especially if you’re even a little on the tall side, and while the steering wheel can be adjusted up and down, it needs the option of in and out, should a bigger person need to get in and drive.

As we mentioned earlier, interior is pretty darn good, and features red stitching on the doors and seats, with some red design touches offering some extra nice, all tastefully done, without feeling cheap.

The infotainment system is excellent with a good-sized 7-inch touch screen, with Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The air conditioning works well and there’s plenty of space to put things like wallets, phones and other stuff.

There’s some good safety tech too, with reverse parking sensors, autonomous emergency braking, dusk sensing headlights and cruise control with a speed limiter. All-in-all the GT-Line makes a standard Picanto a cool little set of wheels.

And speaking of wheels, it rides on some nice 16-inch alloys. Our test car came in Titanium Silver, but it’s also available in Clear White, Aurora Black and Signal Red. The accent colours for each of the paint schemes are pretty cool too.

Our test vehicle was provided by Kia Australia. To find out more about the 2018 Kia Picanto GT-Line, contact your local Kia dealer.


Driving experience
Exterior styling
Interior look and feel
Technology and connectivity
Family friendliness


Pros - styling; economy; technology.
Cons - pedals to close; steering wheel adjustment.
Tony Cavanagh
Tony Cavanagh
Tony Cavanagh has always had a thing about cars. He usually owns two at a time (there may also be a motorbike in the garage as well). Excessive maybe, but a car guy is a car guy. He's driven everything from Minis (the original ones) to V8 Commodores and 4WDs, as well as little go fast Japanese buzz boxes and hot hatches. He loves everything automotive, and doesn't have a clear favourite – yet.



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<strong>Pros -</strong> styling; economy; technology.<br> <strong>Cons -</strong> pedals to close; steering wheel adjustment.Auto Review: 2018 Kia Picanto GT-Line