Kia Picanto: More than Just a Hatchback

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In this article,we will take a look into one of this year’s favorite small hatchbacks, the Kia Picanto. Don’t let its small size fool you because it has a solid reputation and is able to take you from point A to point B without a fuss. We first reviewed the Kia Picanto a couple of years ago and it was one of our favorite hatchbacks to drive thanks to its fun factor, performance, and safety features. 

 Kia Picanto 2021 Overview

The Kia Picanto is one of the favorite cars around especially for first car owners and new drivers thanks to its affordable price and it is also easy to drive thanks to its small size. The Kia Picanto stands out from the rest of the competition thanks to its simple yet modern looks and styling. 

There is a lot to love with the Kia Picanto and the car has been continuously refined since it was first introduced in 2004. Back then, the first-generation Kia Picanto was a hit for first-time car buyers because it brought fresh air to the compact hatchback market thanks to its modern design and features. 

Kia Picanto Exterior

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The Kia Picanto underwent a refresh for the model year 2021 with updated exterior looks and interior functionality.  Currently, the Kia Picanto is in its third generation which was first released in January 2016. The 2021 refresh involved tweaks and improvements to the exterior design. The front fascia styling was improved with a much more aggressive styling and sporty stance. The first noticeable change is the larger and modern headlights as well as the expanded two-level grille. This design helps provide a stronger, bolder, and bigger impression. 

The side profile was also improved with new lines and styling that complement the improvements made in the front fascia. Kia also made major improvements in the read design of the vehicle with its revamped rear bumpers and new rear-tail combination lamps and indicators. The sleeker edges give the Kia Picanto a more modern and sportier look.

Kia Picanto Interior

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The Kia Picanto 2021 also had a major redesign change in the interior that also reflects the more modern, sportier, and refined exterior look. Kia went to great lengths to modernize the styling and make the car feel at home in the highly digitalize urban landscape. Kia was able to add tech upgrades to the Picanto that are commonly found on larger and more expensive vehicles. These improvements include a highly modernize cockpit system with a digital information display and improve gauges for better visibility and lesser distractions. 

The Upgrades include a 2.5in information display within the instrument cluster and a complete set of gauges that are ergonomically and intuitively designed to reduce distractions. The comfort level of the Kia Picanto has also been tremendously improved. Kia has added state-of-the are entertainment that will make the journey more fun and entertaining especially during long drives and journeys. It also includes AUX and USB ports to help power your mobile devices even when on the go.

The cockpit also has improved with MDPS with tilt steering wheel audio remote control and Bluetooth handsfree on the steering wheel. The Picanto is also filled with storage space from the double tray, glove box, and front cup holders. Don’t let the Kia Picanto’s small size fool you into thinking that it’s cramped inside but it’s the exact opposite. The Kia Picanto has more than enough headroom and legroom to comfortably seat 5 passengers and enough room for luggage with its dual-level luggage board. The Kia Picanto also has flexible seating with a 60:40 rear seat split and folding to provide extra cargo space for bigger items.

Kia Picanto Engine and Transmission

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The Kia Picanto has two types of the power plants. The 1.0 MPI Engine and the 1.2 MPI engine that is paired with a 4-speed automatic transmission and 5-speed manual transmission to efficiently power the hatchback.

Kappa 1.0 MPI Engine

The 1-liter engine can produce 67 PS power and 9.7 kgm torque perfect for city driving and also capable of long drives.

Kappa 1.2 MPI Engine

The1.2 Liter engine is a much more powerful engine with dual-CVVT MPI. The engine is capable of producing 84 PS and a torque of 12.4 km. 


The Kia Picanto has two transmission options, the 4-speed automatic transmission, and the 5-speed manual transmission.

Safety Features:

The Kia Picanto has also been improved with its Advanced High-strength steel (AHSS) and Hot-stamped steel construction that greatly improves rigidity and durability enhancing cabin projection and improving dynamic performance. The Kia Picanto is also equipped with front, side, and side curtain airbags, as well as a number of safety features like the Hill-start, assist control, Electronic stability control, improved braking system, and a parking distance notification system. 

Final Words

The Kia Picanto is a great car for new drivers and first-time car owners because of its amazing efficiency, outstanding safety, and great driving dynamics. The car is perfect for city driving thanks to its small and manageable size. It is a perfect vehicle to drive around the city thanks to its features and cargo space. 


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