2020 Kia Picanto EX Review | Philkotse Philippines

Updated May 23, 2023

User's: 4.0/5 Editor's: 3.9/5
Underrated subcompact hatch.
2020 Kia Picanto EX Review | Philkotse Philippines

In this review...

  1. Introduction
  2. Exterior
  3. Interior
  4. Tech & Safety
  5. Engine & Performance
  6. Fuel Efficiency
  7. Verdict
  8. Variants & Price
  9. Color Options
  10. Specifications
  11. FAQs

2020 Kia Picanto: Introduction

Subcompact hatchbacks are arguably among the popular vehicle of choice for individuals who consistently drive through the urban jungle. It’s one of the ideal vehicles for places such as Metro Manila due to its diminutive dimension, light steering feel, five-seater capacity, and relatively fuel-efficient engine. The said characteristics make subcompact hatchbacks a practical and economical choice.

As such, local car brands are pitting their respective challengers in the said segment. Kia Philippines is not a stranger when it comes to offering a reliable subcompact hatchback. Through the years, the Kia Picanto has been one of the contenders in its segment. We took the 2020 Picanto EX for a weeklong drive to see what it can offer. This is Philkotse’s 2020 Kia Picanto review.

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Kia Picanto 2020 Review

How we do our reviews
  • aesthetics

    Overall exterior & Interior design, build quality, form vs function

  • Safety & Technology

    Number of safety & tech features, consistency during usage

  • Performance

    Power delivery, acceleration, transmission, suspension, handling

  • Comfort & Practicality

    Overall Ride Comfort, Space, Storage Areas

  • Value for Money

    Sticker price vs overall package

2020 Kia Picanto Exterior Review: Less is more

The 2020 Kia Picanto has the right amount of striking and smooth exterior styling. It does not come with as much sporty-like appeal that’s seen on its segment rivals such as the Honda Brio and Toyota Wigo. The 2020 Kia Picanto’s exterior is rather simple, subtle, and tamed.

2020 Kia Picanto front profile shot

The Kia Picanto comes with a distinctive fascia

The striking styling can be seen at the front end of the Picanto. It is fitted with sweptback multi-reflector halogen headlights that also comes with a bit of blacked out effect. You can also see Kia’s signature tiger-nose grille featuring a black mesh design. It also has an angular bumper that gives the Picanto enough presence even at standstill.

In addition, the bumper is integrated with fog lamps, which come with a fang-like housing design. As a whole, the 2020 Picanto’s front end is not the most striking in its segment but it looks sleeker compared to other vehicles in its class.

2020 Kia Picanto side

The Picanto is a small yet functional hatchback

Turning at the side, the 2020 Kia Picanto comes with crisp character lines as seen on the fenders, and the door panels. The vehicle also gets a body-color door handles, which is nice since it creates a seamless look to the Picanto’s side profile. However, the exterior or the side mirrors of the 2020 Picanto are not integrated with turn signals and are not power-folding, which are features found on other vehicles in its class such as the Honda Brio RS. The Picanto’s side profile is finished off with a stylish set of 14-inch alloy wheels.

2020 Kia Picanto exterior: rear profile shot

The rear of the Picanto is fitted with wraparound taillights

The simplicity in terms of design continues to be seen on the Picanto’s rear. It comes with wraparound halogen taillights that are sort of a better version of the taillamps seen in the second-generation Kia Carens (model sold way back 2008). The Picanto’s rear also gets a spoiler that’s integrated with a third brake light.

Overall, the exterior design of the 2020 Kia Picanto is a representation that having less could sometimes be more. Despite having a less striking design compared to its rivals, the 2020 Picanto still looks good. Its simplicity translates to sleekness, which could tap car buyers who are looking for a subcompact hatch that comes with a simple yet distinctive exterior design.

2020 Kia Picanto Dimensions: Length, Width, Height & More
2020 Kia Picanto
3,595 mm
1,595 mm
1,495 mm
2,400 mm
Tire Size
14-inch Alloy


Lexus CT

Lexus CT

Model Price Philippines

₱ 2,458,000 - ₱ 3,178,000

Toyota Prius C

Toyota Prius C

Model Price Philippines

₱ 1,970,000

Toyota Yaris

Toyota Yaris

Model Price Philippines

₱ 973,000 - ₱ 1,114,000

2020 Kia Picanto Interior Review: Straightforward and clutter-free

The 2020 Kia Picanto’s interior comes with a dark theme along with silver trims. Similar to its exterior, the Picanto’s cabin has a straightforward styling that seamlessly integrates essential vehicle functions.

2020 Kia Picanto interior dashboard

The Picanto’s straightforward dashboard layout

The Picanto’s cabin is filled with hard plastics, which is expected given the price point in the subcompact hatchback segment. Despite having hard plastics throughout the cabin, the Picanto has a classy interior. I find it classy because the layout of the dashboard all the way to the center console looks neat. It’s clutter-free and gives you a relaxed feeling when you are seated in the driver’s seat.

Moreover, the floating type 7-inch infotainment touchscreen is a nice touch as it gives the Picanto a more standout head unit as compared to its segment rivals. To put things in perspective, the infotainment system of other subcompact hatchbacks in the Philippine market is integrated or housed into the center of the dashboard.

2020 Kia Picanto steering wheel

Picanto’s three-spoke steering wheel

The 2020 Kia Picanto also comes with a 3-spoke steering wheel made from polyurethane, which is a material that’s common in the small hatchbacks in the local market. It is equipped with audio and phone controls. It also comes with a trip meter button that allows you to view essential vehicle information such as your average fuel consumption. In case you’re wondering, the steering comes with a manual tilt-only adjustment, which is once again a feature that’s expected in consideration of the Picanto’s price point.

The instrument cluster of this subcompact hatchback has a white on black design. The analog speedometer is clear even in daytime driving. Another thing I like about the Kia Picanto is the design of its aircon vents, which come in a vertical orientation on the sides while horizontal in the middle. This design adds to the Picanto’s unique look among its segment rivals.

2020 Kia Picanto rear seats

Rear seats can be folded down for more cargo space

In terms of seats, this car uses cloth or fabric as its main material. The seats provide a comfortable driving experience and provide enough support when you’re making a full turn. This Picanto can accommodate up to five occupants including the driver. However, to maximize ride comfort, the Picanto can best accommodate four individuals. The rear passenger area has more than enough leg- and head-room for individuals standing at 5’5”.

2020 Kia Picanto cargo space

You can fit an assortment of items in the Picanto

On the other hand, the Picanto’s default trunk space (with the rear seats up) offers a decent luggage room. You can fit an assortment of items to it such as two small to medium-sized maletas, four to five overnight bags, three gym bags, and even a five-day supply of groceries. In case you need more cargo space, the rear seats of the Picanto can be folded down. In fact, it comes with a 60:40 fold configuration for you to maximize its cargo space.

>>> Related: Toyota Wigo vs. Kia Picanto: Specs comparison

2020 Kia Picanto: Tech & Safety Review

As I mentioned earlier, one of the highlights of this 2020 Kia Picanto is its 7-inch infotainment touchscreen. Aside from having a floating-type design, the said infotainment is integrated with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. This feature allows you to mirror your phone’s operating system to the infotainment touchscreen, allowing access to your favorite apps.

2020 Kia Picanto reverse camera

Reverse camera with static guidelines

Moreover, the infotainment touchscreen transforms into a rear-camera display when you shift to reverse. The rear-camera of the Picanto also comes with static guidelines, which move simultaneously in the direction of the steering wheel. In this way, parking the vehicle becomes easier and safer. Aside from the infotainment touchscreen, the Picanto is equipped with speed-sensing door locks, driver and front passenger airbags, an anti-lock braking system, Isofix, and immobilizer.

2020 Kia Picanto: Engine & Performance Review

Engine Specifications
2020 Kia Picanto
Engine Type
1.2L Gasoline
Max Power
83 hp @ 6,000 rpm
Max Torque
122 Nm @ 4,000rpm
4-speed automatic transmission
Drive Type

The 2020 Kia Picanto is powered by a 1.2-liter gasoline engine that delivers 83 hp and 122 Nm of torque. The engine is mated to a four-speed automatic transmission.

2020 Kia Picanto engine

Powered by a 1.2-liter gasoline engine that delivers 83 hp and 122 Nm of torque

The Kia Picanto’s 1.2-liter gasoline engine puts out adequate power. It accelerates well and has minimum to no delay in terms of power delivery. The engine shifts a little bit above the 2,000rpm mark, which relatively adds to the overall fuel efficiency of the vehicle. The Picanto’s four-speed automatic transmission is smooth and doesn’t have shift shocks. As such, expect to have a smooth and comfortable drive onboard this subcompact hatch.

2020 Kia Picanto rear

The Picanto has a composed stance

Speaking of ride comfort, the Picanto can absorb impacts within reason. This car can take on the dilapidated roads along EDSA without compromising overall ride comfort.

The suspension does a good job of minimizing the impacts especially when you accidentally drive through a pothole. Another thing I like about the Picanto is its light steering feel, which responds even to minor inputs.

The light and responsive steering result in less driver fatigue since it quickly points the vehicle in the direction you want to go. As such, weaving through the tight city roads is not a problem for the 2020 Kia Picanto. Moreover, parking the vehicle is as easy as 1-2-3 because you can steer the vehicle with minimal effort.

2020 Kia Picanto front

This car can be your daily city driver

The Picanto can also take on the up and downhill terrain as seen on the inner roads of Kapitolyo in Pasig City. With three passengers onboard, the Picanto can climb inclined roads without putting too much stress on its engine. However, I noticed that the Picanto has a little hint of body roll when driving through tight turns. But, the driver’s seat does a good job of keeping your body in place.

Another thing I noticed during testing is that you can hear a significant amount of engine noise inside the cabin as you put more pressure on the accelerator. But overall, the Picanto is a fun car to drive due to its adequate power, good acceleration, and light steering feel.

>>> Related: 8 small hatchbacks you can buy in the Philippines in 2020

2020 Kia Picanto: Fuel Efficiency

Fuel Efficiency
2020 Kia Picanto
Fuel Type
Fuel Tank Capacity
35 liters
Fuel Economy
10 km/l (ave. speed of 20 km/h) | 13 km/l (ave. speed of 40 km/h)

During the test drive, I was able to get 10 km/l while driving at an average speed of around 20 km/h. When city roads get a bit cleared up, the Picanto registered 13km/l while driving at 40 km/h.

As a whole, the Picanto can be considered as one of the fuel-efficient cars in its class.

2020 Kia Picanto: Verdict

The 2020 Kia Picanto EX should be on your list when you’re shopping for a subcompact hatchback. It comes with notable features such as the Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, floating-type infotainment touchscreen, straightforward yet functional interior layout, a fuel-efficient engine, among many others.

2020 Kia Picanto front profile

The Kia Picanto is an underrated subcompact hatchback

As such, the Picanto is an underrated subcompact hatchback that’s sitting in the shadows of its Japanese counterparts in terms of popularity in the market. Why so? Well, one big factor is the Picanto’s price tag. This 2020 Kia Picanto top-spec EX variant is priced at Php 745,000 as of this writing.

In comparison, the Picanto is Php 15,000 more expensive than the sporty-looking Honda Brio RS. Moreover, Kia’s subcompact hatchback is priced Php 45,000 more as compared to the Toyota Wigo TRD.

But, Kia Philippines offers the Picanto with a five-year warranty, which is not bad at all, and it has a relatively more refined four-cylinder engine, so there’s that.

2020 Kia Picanto: Variants & Price

Kia Picanto Price & Variants in the Philippines
Kia Picanto 1.2 EX AT
Php 745,000
Kia Picanto 1.2 EX MT
Php 700,000
Kia Picanto 1.0 LX AT
Php 635,000
Kia Picanto 1.0 LX MT
Php 590,000

>>> Find more deals for Kia Picanto for sale in the Philippines

2020 Kia Picanto: Color Options

2020 Kia Picanto Color Options
Clear White, Titanium Silver, Pop Orange, Lime Light, Alice Blue, Honey Bee

2020 Kia Picanto: Specs

Picanto EX AT
Body Type
Subcompact Hatchback
Dimensions & Weight
3,595 mm
1,595 mm
1,495 mm
2,400 mm
Ground Clearance
151 mm
Engine & Transmission
1.2L Gasoline
Max Power
83 hp @ 6,000 rpm
Max Torque
122 Nm @ 4,000rpm
4-speed automatic transmission
Chassis & Suspension
Brakes (Front / Rear)
Disc / Drum
Suspension (Front / Rear)
MacPherson Strut / Torsion Beam
Wheels and Tires
175/65 R14 Alloy
Multi-reflector Halogen Headlights
Fog Lamps
Rear Spoiler
High Mount Stop Lamp
Rear Combination Lamp
Fabric / Cloth Seats
3-Spoke Polyurethane Steering Wheel
Manual Tilt Steering Wheel Adjustment
Steering Switch (Audio Controls)
Power Windows
Power Door Lock
7-inch infotainment touchscreen
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
6 Speakers
Rear Camera Display
Safety & Security
Front Airbags (Driver and Passenger)
Anti-lock Brake System
Rear Camera

2020 Kia Picanto: FAQs

Q: Is Kia Picanto worth buying?

Similar to other subcompact hatchbacks in the Philippine market, the Kia Picanto is worth buying. Although, the top-spec Kia Picanto EX is not the cheapest subcompact hatchback that’s available in the local market.

Q: How much is Kia Picanto in the Philippines?

The Kia Picanto is available with four variants. It has a starting price of Php 590,000 for the LX MT variant. On the other hand, the top-of-the-line EX AT comes with a price of Php 745,000.

Q: Is Kia Picanto fuel efficient?

During our test drive of the 2020 Kia Picanto EX, we got 10km/l while driving at an average speed of 20km/h. Of note, the Picanto EX is powered by a 1.2-liter gasoline engine that’s mated to a four-speed automatic transmission.