2017 Kia Picanto GT-Line S Review

Driven: 2017 Kia Picanto GT-Line S Review

After testing out the Kia Picanto GT-Line S here are our first thoughts on the car.

What is the 2017 Kia Picanto GT-Line S all About?

The Picanto is the smallest car in Kia’s offering and one of the best sellers from the brand, now with the all-new 2017 car, it is in the best position yet.

After testing a range of models the favourite for me was the range-topping GT-Line S which adds a level of sportiness to the line up. The GT-line S includes 16 inch alloy wheels, more aggressive front and rear bumpers with highlights. At the back you will notice twin tail pipes. Moving inside there is some premium-feeling black and red leather upholstery and a 7 inch centre-mounted floating touchscreen. Furthermore, there is a wireless phone charger, electric sunroof, heated seats and steering wheel and Keyless Go.

Kia Picanto GT-Line S red front on

The Picanto at launch has two engine options: a 1.0 litre 66 bhp engine and a 1.25 litre 83 bhp engine. The 1.25 litre that we are testing creates 83 bhp, 122 Nm of torque, this goes through a 5 speed manual gearbox to the front wheels and will get the car from 0-60 mph in 11.6 seconds, the top speed will be reached at 107 mph. Economy figures for this car are great at average 61 mpg whilst only creating 106 CO2/km.

Kia Picanto GT-Line S engine 1.25-litre petrol

How Does it Drive?

Driving this sporty 1.25 litre version there is lots to enjoy about the characteristics of the car. But the real elements of enjoyment from this car come when the corners get twisty. The car has a very nimble and responsive steering feel, you can throw the car corner to corner and the stiff platform that the car sits on works really well. You can tell the development efforts from Kia using high strength steel has made significant improvements to the car with regards to handling performance.

Kia Picanto GT-Line S red driving

Engine performance is sprightly and economical without a doubt. The performance figures on paper don’t really match up with how the car feels on the road. Although the 0-60 mph speed of the car is 11.6 seconds, most of the fun will actually be from between 20-50 mph anyway. The moment the road opens up, you can give the car full throttle and enjoy the rev range of the car without having to hit dangerous speeds. By the time you reach 60 mph you will be in the next corner ready to hit the brakes and take it round the next bend.

Kia Picanto GT-Line S red side on

Economy-wise, because of the low weight of this car at 939 kg the small engine works well to give great returns for your fuel. Kia state that you should be able to average 61 mpg from the car and driving the car carefully, I fully believe this to be true, which is an incredible achievement for a car that you can also have a mad dash in.

Kia Picanto GT-Line S red side on alloy wheels

Safety-wise the Picanto GT-Line S is equipped with Autonomous Emergency Braking which can bring the Kia Picanto GT-Line S to a complete stop up to a speed of 50 mph meaning that if you have a lapse of concentration then the car maybe able to stop or decrease the chance of an accident. The car also comes with Electronic Stability Control and Vehicle Safety Management which will help to counteract any skids you may find yourself in. Lastly to assist you driving there is also Hill-Start Assist, preventing the car from rolling back whilst doing a hill start. Surprising for a city car, the Picanto also comes with Torque Vectoring which will brake individual wheels if it detects that the car is going off its intended course. This is a very sophisticated little car.

Kia Picanto GT-Line S front red

What’s it Like Inside?

The interior of the GT-Line S is where the difference really comes compared to the base model. Taking a first look inside the car you will notice the black and red leather upholstery and a 7 inch centre mounted floating touchscreen. The interior is aligned nicely to the rest of the Kia range from a design perspective.

Kia Picanto GT-Line S interior

The kit included in this Kia Picanto GT-Line S is incredible. There is a wireless phone charger, Bluetooth, DAB radio, heated seats, heated steering wheel, climate control and sat nav. It was a very well thought out and highly equipped car.

Kia Picanto GT-Line S sat nav display infotainment

The Experience

The driving experience from the GT-Line S is very endearing and will safely allow the sporting driver in you to explore the roads without breaking the speed limits. The car leaves you feeling thrilled and encourages you to push the car to get the most amount of enjoyment out of it.

Kia Picanto GT-Line S headlight


The Picanto GT-Line S spec is a playful and sporting car with a realistic and economical grounding. The equipment level on the car is by far more than I would expect on this class of car and is reasonably affordable at £13,950 on the road. The real beauty of the Picanto is that the car also has a solid 7 year transferable warranty from Kia. You simply can’t argue with that.

Kia Picanto GT-Line S front on hero shot

Drive Experience


2017 Kia Picanto GT-Line S Specs

  • Price:£13,950
  • Engine: 1.25 litre Petrol 
  • Power:  83 bhp
  • Torque: 122 Nm
  • Transmission: 5 speed manual
  • 0-62mph: 11.6 Seconds
  • Top speed: 107 mph
  • Weight: 939 kg
  • Economy combined: 61 mpg
  • CO2: 106 g/km


Author: Paul Hadley