Which Kia Picanto variant should you buy? [Comparison Guide] 

Updated May 10, 2021 | Same topic: Which Car Variant to Buy?

It has two main trims, and four different variants.

The Kia Picanto is a five-door hatchback classed as a city car. While small, the Kia-made hatch is one of the most recognizable models in the Korean car maker’s local lineup, and it has been competing in its segment since 2004 both globally and locally. Suffice to say, it has a lot of staying power, and many people are still looking to owning and driving this Korean-made city car. 

A picture of the Kia Soluto

The cute and youthful-looking Kia Picanto

Now, the third-generation Kia Picanto for the Philippines has four variants: The LX MT, LX AT, EX MT, and the EX AT. So, just how different are these variants from each other in terms of specs? Let's talk about that.  

Kia Picanto Variants: Exterior 

In terms of size, all four variants come with identical measurements. All have a length of 3,595mm, a width of 1,595mm, and a height of 1,495mm. The Picanto model in general also has a wheelbase of 2,400mm, and a ground clearance of 151mm. 

A picture of the Kia Picanto's side

The Picanto from the side

For exterior equipment, all trims are more or less the same save for some select features. All four Picanto variants come standard with multi-reflector halogen headlamps, a front grille with chrome trim, body color bumpers and door handles, as well as a rear spoiler. 

The only difference between the EX and LX main variants is that the latter is equipped with fog lamps, while the LX is not.  

A picture of the Kia Picanto's rear end

The Korean-made hatchback's rear end

Kia Picanto Variants: Interior 

Inside, the Picanto offers a well-arranged interior with enough space for five occupants including the driver. All variants come standard with a manual air-conditioning system, a manually adjustable driver’s seat, and fabric-covered seats. 

For the driver, all trims of the Picanto provide a turn-key ignition system, a 2.6-inch LCD trip meter, and analog gauge clusters. The Picanto as a whole also comes standard with a 12-volt accessory outlet, and a polyurethane steering wheel with tilt adjustability.  

A picture of the Kia Picanto's dashboard, steering wheel, and center console

The Picanto EX's front cabin

There are however some differences between the interior of the EX and LX main variants. For starters, the higher-spec EX is equipped with steering wheel mounted audio controls, a 50:40 folding rear seat, and silver accents for the dashboard and interior door handles. 

The aforementioned steering wheel mounted controls are absent on the LX variants. Moreover, the entry-level trim instead comes with an all-black interior, and a folding bench-type rear seat. 

As for on-board entertainment, the EX MT and EX AT also have a better headunit in the form of a seven-inch touchscreen. This unit is capable of connecting via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Bluetooth, USB, and Aux-in. It is then linked up to a six-piece speaker system.

A picture of the Picanto's rear seats

The rear seats offer a decent amount of legroom 

The LX MT and LX AT meanwhile, comes standard with a 2-DIN audio unit. It has fewer speakers numbering at four, but it can also connect via Bluetooth, USB, and aux-in. 

Kia Picanto Variants: Engine and Performance 

There are two available engine options for the Philippine-spec Picanto. All variants however, come with a front-engine, front-wheel-drive layout. 

For the LX variants, they use a 1.0-liter inline-3 gasoline engine. It makes up to 65 horsepower and 95 Nm of torque, and is paired with a five-speed manual transmission, or a four-speed automatic torque converter. 

The higher-spec EX, on the other hand, is equipped with a 1.2-liter gasoline four-banger, capable of producing up to 83 horsepower and 122 Nm of torque. The engine is mated to either a five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic transmission, depending on the variant.

A picture of the Kia Picanto's 1.2-liter engine

The Picanto EX trim's 1.2-liter inline-4 engine

Suspension-wise, the Picanto’s locally available variants are pretty much uniform. All use a MacPherson strut front suspension, paired with a torsion beam rear end. Braking is then handled by a front disc brake and a rear drum brake. The Picanto also uses a hand-operated manual parking brake. 

And lastly, the Picanto uses 14-inch wheels. The lower trim LX however, are made out of steel, while the EX rides on alloys.  

Kia Picanto Variants: Safety 

For safety, the more affordable LX comes with a driver airbag, seatbelts, and a child proof door locks for its rear doors. The EX, on the other hand, has a better kit. It has anti-lock braking, a car alarm and engine immobilizer, dual front airbags, as well as child seat anchors. 

Kia Picanto Variants: Price 

Kia Picanto 


Picanto LX 1.0 MT 

Php 590,000 

Picanto LX 1.0 AT 

Php 635,000 

Picanto EX 1.2 MT 

Php 700,000 

Picanto EX 1.2 AT 

Php 745,000 

Kia Picanto Variants: Conclusion 

When it comes to the overall difference between variants, the Picanto is pretty linear. The more you pay, the more equipment and power you get. 

If you just want a basic, no-frills daily transport, then the LX might be your go to Picanto variant. Then again, some of you might feel iffy about its slim safety kit, so the EX might be more to your speed. And speaking of speed, the EX variants are significantly more powerful than the LX.  

Another picture of the Kia Picanto while it is parked under trees

So, do you think that the LX trim can fit your needs, or do you prefer the higher-spec EX?

Also, one cannot ignore the headunit that comes with the EX MT and EX AT. It is quite capable considering that it has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and its six-piece speaker system will definitely sound better than the four-piece one on the LX. 

So, have you made your pick of Picanto? Did this help you differentiate the Korean-made city car’s variants? If it did, read more variant comparison articles, car news, and car reviews here on Philkotse.com

Know more about Kia Picanto 2021

Kia Picanto

<p>The Picanto is a city car manufactured by South Korean automaker Kia, sold under various names across Asian markets since 2004. Currently on its third generation, the name was derived from the Spanish word <em>picante,&nbsp;</em>meaning spicy or hot. The Picanto has been a recipient of the Red Dot Design Award in Europe in 2018 for the Car Design category, having been penned by Audi TT designer Peter Schreyer.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>In the Philippines, the model is sold in four variants with six exterior color options.&nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;</p>

From ₱590,000

Cesar G.B. Miguel

Cesar G.B. Miguel


Cesar is a graduate of AB English with previous experience working as a freelance writer for varied internet publications in-between his former stints in the Pharmaceutical Industry, and later as a First Aid Provider and Training Staff at the Iligan City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office.

Since childhood, Cesar has been keenly interested in cars. He has learned the ins and outs of these marvelous vehicles and is a competent amateur mechanic who is keen on sharing his knowledge.

Cesar is perceptive of car culture in general – not only in the Philippines but in global regard, as well. His knowledge ranges from the prevalent stories and trends among car enthusiasts around the world, to closely following the latest local and international developments in the automotive industry.

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