The Kia Picanto always seems to stay one step ahead of its arch-rival.
The Mitsubishi Mirage received a significant tech upgrade last year but the Picanto has one-upped it for 2021, adding standard wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability to a larger 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system.
Also new is a 4.2-inch colour display screen for the instrument cluster, some cosmetic tweaks to the exterior, and an upgraded turbocharged 1.0-litre three-pot for the flagship GT, albeit with no extra power or torque.
The Picanto is still available in S, sportier-looking GT-Line and more powerful GT models, though the crossover-inspired X-Line has been dropped.
The micro car segment may be, well, micro in size in Australia but Kia has a disproportionately large share of it.
Last year, the Picanto accounted for just over three quarters – or 77.7 per cent – of the segment, its 3891 sales dwarfing the 594 of the Mitsubishi Mirage and 520 of the Fiat 500.
- 2021 Kia Picanto S manual: $15,190
- 2021 Kia Picanto GT-Line manual: $16,140
- 2021 Kia Picanto S auto: $16,790
- 2021 Kia Picanto GT-Line auto: $18,240
- 2021 Kia Picanto GT manual: $19,490
All prices exclude on-road costs.
The 2021 Kia Picanto range comes with a choice of two engines.
S and GT-Line models have a naturally-aspirated 1.25-litre four-cylinder engine with 62kW of power and 122Nm of torque, mated to either a four-speed automatic or five-speed manual transmission.
The range-topping Picanto GT has a turbocharged 1.0-litre three-cylinder engine with 74kW and 172Nm. It’s mated exclusively to a five-speed manual transmission.
The 2021 Kia Picanto sips 5.0L/100km on the ADR combined city and highway cycle when equipped with the five-speed manual transmission and 5.8L/100km with the automatic.
The GT uses 5.2L/100km on the combined cycle.
All models run on 91RON regular unleaded fuel and have a 35L fuel tank.
The 2021 Kia Picanto measures 3595mm long, 1485mm tall and 1595mm wide with a 2400mm wheelbase.
The Kia Picanto’s total luggage space is 255L, expanding to 1010L with the rear seats folded.
All 2021 Kia Picanto models require servicing every 12 months or 15,000km, whichever comes first, except for the Picanto GT which requires servicing every 12 months or 10,000km.
In addition to a seven-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty, Kia offers seven years of capped-price servicing. The GT has an average service cost of $444, while all other Picantos have an average cost of $400.
When the Kia Picanto was tested by ANCAP in 2017, it received a rating of four stars.
That rating was based on an adult occupant protection score of 87 per cent, child occupant protection of 64 per cent, pedestrian protection of 54 per cent and safety assist of 47 per cent.
All 2021 Kia Picanto models come standard with autonomous emergency braking with forward-collision warning, as well as anti-lock brakes, and front, front-side and curtain airbags.
The base model Picanto S comes with the following standard features:
- Reversing camera and rear parking sensors
- 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
- 4.2-inch instrument cluster display screen
- Automatic headlights
- Cruise control
- Power windows
- Remote central locking
- 14-inch steel wheels
Next up the rung is the GT-Line, which adds the following:
- GT-Line exterior package with contrasting body accents, dual exhaust tips and body kit
- 16-inch alloy wheels
- Electric folding mirrors with indicators
- LED daytime running lights
- Alloy sports pedals
- Premium seats with red accents
- Leatherette-wrapped shifter and steering wheel.
- Sliding front centre armrest
The range-topping GT adds the following features:
- Turbocharged 1.0-litre three-cylinder engine
- Sports-tuned suspension and steering
- GT exterior package with contrasting body accents, dual exhaust tips and body kit
- Contrasting body accents