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Kia Picanto GT 2019 pricing and specs confirmed

The new Kia Picanto GT is turbocharged and sporty, but manual only - will that detract from its appeal?

The Kia Picanto 2019 range has expanded with the inclusion of a new pint-sized hot-hatch model at a bargain basement price.

The Kia Picanto GT model adds turbocharged zest, a manual transmission and sporty styling all for a sharp price tag of just $17,990 drive-away. 

The Picanto GT is powered by a punchy 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol three-cylinder engine producing 74kW of power (at 4500rpm) and 172Nm of torque (from 1500-4000rpm). It is front-wheel drive, and has a five-speed manual transmission only.

The GT model has received a model-specific suspension tune by Kia Australia, with a "more aggressive tune for the shock absorbers and a stiffer spring rate" that offers "greater body control with better road feedback and improved ride comfort". The electric steering system has been retuned for "quicker response and enhanced stability when under load". 

The GT model rides on 16-inch alloy wheels with low-profile 195/45 rubber, which are said to offer improved grip and predictability in corners. The wheels combine with a body kit, contrasting body colour accents, a twin exhaust and GT badging. The Picanto GT is available in no-cost 'Clear White', or in the added-cost 'Titanium Silver', 'Aurora Black' or 'Signal Red' (adding $520 to the price).

  • The Picanto GT is available in no-cost 'Clear White', but other colours will cost extra. The Picanto GT is available in no-cost 'Clear White', but other colours will cost extra.
  • The GT gets auto headlights and fog-lights. The GT gets auto headlights and fog-lights.
  • The GT features a twin exhaust. The GT features a twin exhaust.
  • The GT model rides on 16-inch alloy wheels with low-profile 195/45 rubber. The GT model rides on 16-inch alloy wheels with low-profile 195/45 rubber.

The interior features 'premium trim' (faux leather) and red flashes up front, with a more sedate full-black look in the rear. There’s a 7.0-inch touchscreen media system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard, and a reversing camera and rear parking sensors are standard as well.

As with the regular Picanto models, the GT gets auto emergency braking (AEB), as well as cruise control, auto headlights, and fog-lights. 

It may have a bit more posh, poke and presence than the standard Picanto, but it’s still a fuel miser - the claimed consumption figure is just 4.8 litres per 100 kilometres - 0.2L better than the non-turbo 1.25-litre version. 

Kia Australia’s chief operating officer, Damien Meredith, said the Picanto has gone from strength to strength in the Australian market since its launch in 2016.

  • The interior features 'premium trim' (faux leather) and red flashes up front. The interior features 'premium trim' (faux leather) and red flashes up front.
  • There's a more sedate full-black look in the rear. There's a more sedate full-black look in the rear.
  • The back seats fold down to give more boot space. The back seats fold down to give more boot space.
  • The manual-only turbocharged GT warm hatch is $19,190, down from $21,911. The manual-only turbocharged GT warm hatch is $19,190, down from $21,911.

"We were warned that trying to launch a micro car into Australia was a fruitless exercise and doomed to failure. The segment was shrinking fast with only a handful of cars being sold. Three years on and we are very happy with the way the Picanto has found a comfortable niche at the entry-level of the market.

"With that in mind it seemed like the right time to give an opportunity to a sporty version of the car, a version for which there has been a constant undercurrent of demand," he said.

The pint-sized Picanto GT becomes the fourth member of Kia's GT family, joining the just-unveiled Cerato GT sedan and hatch, the Optima GT sedan and the Stinger GT fastback. The brand also has an extensive range of GT-Line models, which offers the appearance of the sportier version, but not the extra grunt. 

Indeed, the Picanto GT joins the regular S version (available in manual and auto) and the GT-Line auto - which runs a 1.2-litre non-turbo engine and four-speed automatic. The recently added Picanto AO Edition - which is expected to be a permanent addition marketed as the X-Line - also gives compact car customers a chance to ride higher and with rugged styling. 

We’ve listed the current drive-away pricing for all Picanto models below to give you an idea of where the new GT sits in the line-up. 

Kia Picanto 2019 range - current drive-away pricing:

 ManualAuto
Kia Picanto S$14,690$15,990
Kia Picanto AO Edition$16,990$17,990
Kia Picanto GT-Line17,990$17,590

Check out all 2019 Kia Picanto price and spec info here.

A pint-sized hot-hatch? Tell us what you think about it in the comments below.