Old against new: 2nd gen vs 3rd gen Kia Picanto

kia picanto

Kia welcomed the third-generation Picanto in 2017, ushering in a whole new design for the compact city car inside and out. With the new generation comes plenty of changes, complemented by the revised version launched locally recently.

For those who would like to know how the Kia Picanto has evolved between the old and new generation, here’s a comparison of the changes to be found inside and out.


The new Kia Picanto is certainly one sporty and elegant little car. Oozing with contemporary style, this little South Korean beauty has been streamlined to make for one concise, less-confusing, and greatly improved small car offering.

kia Kia Picanto GT LineAlthough the vehicle retains the same overall length (3595 mm) of the outgoing model. It's bigger and better than before, and every change from the previous version only serves to impress. In addition, Kia increased the wheelbase by 15mm, which means more cabin space for occupants front and back.

kia picantoKia Picanto GT Line

As for the most noticeable changes, a larger Tiger Nose grille welcomes the Picanto’ onlookers, creating a thick ‘unibrow’ look that links to both headlamps. the front and rear overhangs have been reduced, and character lines across the side profile are less prominent. A muscular stance complemented by the protruding chin help the Picanto stand out from the crossover market. Out back, the taillamps take on a more obvious ‘C’ shape, complete with LED lighting, finished with a sportier bumper with chrome exhaust pipes.


If the exterior changes seem mild, the interior has been completely overhauled, with styling cues made more to coincide with Kia's latest generation of cars. Compared to the outgoing model, it looks more feature-laden and more contemporary.

kia picantoKia Picanto GT Line interior

The new Kia Picanto welcomes occupants to 60:40 split-folding rear seats, while a dual-level luggage board enhances storage capacity. For drivers, the Motor Driven Electric Power Steering (MDPS) tilt steering wheel and segmented cluster LCD makes viewing controls easier and more convenient while also ensuring comfortable driving positions. Infotainment in the upper trims is handled by a 7-inch touchscreen with Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto linking.

A rearview parking camera with dynamic guidelines can also be had on a new Picanto. As for additional creature comforts, the new model also offers AUX and USB ports, located at the base of the center console.


The old Kia Picanto ran on a 1.0-liter dual CVVT gas engine good for 67hp and 95Nm of torque. This was paired with a 5-speed manual or 4-speed continuously variable transmission.

kia picanto

Despite the current model being a new generation, it retains the 1.0-liter engine of the old model. However, 1.2-liter version is also now on offer, propelling the new Picanto to 84hp and 122Nm. Transmission options remain the same in the new model.


Safety is much-improved in the Kia Picanto, with many noting that the car is among the safest in the segment. This is courtesy of the newly introduced Advanced High Strength Steel (AHSS) body frame.

kia picanto

Close to half of the new Picanto’s bodyshell—44 percent in all—is cast in AHSS, as opposed to just 22 percent in the old generation. This reduces body-in-white weight by 23kg while improving tensile strength by 12 percent. The new, stronger steel has been used to reinforce the engine bay, roof, and floor pan, as well as the A- and B-pillars, strengthening the car’s core structure immensely.

The stronger, lighter body is supported by multiple airbags, along with a whole suite of active safety technologies that include Vehicle Stability Management (VSM) with Electronic Stability Control (ESC) to ensure stability during braking and cornering, detecting a loss in traction ,and helping the driver keep the car on course.

Interested in making the Picanto your next car? Check out our selection of new and used Picantos here on Carmudi.

Photos from Kia

Also read:

New Kia Stonic receives significant updates to tech, mechanicals

New-generation Kia Carnival reveals SUV-inspired design language

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₱590,000 - ₱745,000 Emi Starts : ₱10,121

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