Perodua Axia or Kia Picanto - The better buy

Perodua Axia or Kia Picanto - The better buy

Kia Motors hasn’t had it easy. Living under the shadows of Hyundai which itself is renowned for making small as well as large cars with lots of features packed in and a reasonable price tag to go with it. However, Kia Motors did emerge out of the shadows and in fact, they have also made a name for themselves. Offering slightly more kit than Hyundai and with prices being on the affordable end, Kia could earn profits and sell their cars to a much wider audience. That 10-year warranty on the powertrain is proof of how much the manufacturer wants customers to believe in it.

Perodua Axia or Kia Picanto Rear

Perodua, on the other hand, has been Malaysia’s budget brand and along with Proton, maintained that standard. Their cars used to be strictly cheap but now have a good amount of safety dialled in as well. As entry-level offerings, Perodua offers the Axia (pronounced as Azz-ia) and Kia, the Picanto. Both the models offer a decent amount of kit and bring in the moolah for their respective manufacturers. So, which one should you buy? Let’s take a look.


In terms of looks, there is nothing to beat a Kia. Except perhaps the Perodua car here doesn’t lose out on the external flair. Both here have projector lights with LED elements. The Perodua Axia uses chrome in its grille and surrounding elements to attract attention. It may be a good thing for many but few will shy away from it. These people will flock to the Kia which doesn’t have the bling factor and makes use of less chrome for the styling bits. The Kia Picanto also boasts LED projector fog lights, a novelty considering its only an entry-level hatchback.

Perodua Axia or Kia Picanto Front

The Axia makes do with regular incandescent bulbs as fog lights. There is also the chrome strip beneath the fog lamp housing that takes care of the additional styling bits. Perodua has given different alloys depending on the trim one chooses. However, all the variants get a single tire configuration - 175/60 R14. The Kia Picanto in the meanwhile also continues with the same pattern. We quite like the ones on the Perodua though. At the rear, both the cars employ LED lights and the Kia definitely looks more stylish from this angle. In terms of measurements, the Kia Picanto is 3,595 mm in length, 1,595 mm in width and 1,485 mm in height. The wheelbase is 2,400 mm. Perodua Axia measures 3,640 mm x 1,620 mm x 1,510 mm in the length, width and height parameters. It also has a longer wheelbase at 2,455 mm.

You can order the Kia Picanto in a choice of four colours whereas the Perodua Axia is available in six colours.


It is hard to believe that both these offerings are entry-level hatchbacks. If the exterior was hard to discern, the interior is even more so. The Kia Picanto has got red highlights in the cabin. The features list is very long (remember this is a Kia). It includes push-button start, height adjustable driver’s seat, multifunction steering wheel, floating-type infotainment system, cooled glovebox, auto headlights, adjustable headrests for the front and rear passengers, storage spaces around the cabin, ISOFIX mounts at the rear for child seats, and 60:40 split rear seats. The cabin quality is very good and its hard to fault Kia here. That being said, if the upholstery was done in beige, it will have been an airier cabin. The front seats have less travel to allow the rear passengers to have more room. There is less room at the back and if you intend to travel with family, it is best to keep it for short distances.

Perodua Axia or Kia Picanto Cabin

Cabin space is the best part of the Perodua Axia. It has got better head-, leg-, and knee-room at the back when compared with the Kia. The features aren’t half as bad and in fact, on some counts, they even beat the Kia here. Speaking of which, there are front corner sensors, push-button start, a multimedia system with navigation as well as SmartLink, leather seats, multi-function steering wheel, rear wiper, and touchscreen infotainment system. We like the way the cabin layout has been done. However, quality could have been a tad better here.

Engines and transmission

Both the cars here come with a single petrol engine option - a 1.0-litre VVT producing 68 PS of power and 91 Nm of torque in the Axia while the Picanto gets a bigger 1.2-litre motor that makes 84 PS of power and 122 Nm of torque.

Perodua Axia or Kia Picanto Engine

While the Perodua offers a choice of 5-speed manual and 4-speed automatic transmissions, the Kia is available only with a 4-speed AT. Both the engines are reasonably refined, however, the one in the Axia is slightly better. Both can do 0-100 kmph in around 13 seconds whereas the top speed should be around 145 kmph for both. In terms of efficiency, the claimed number for the Axia is higher at 21.6 kmpl while the Kia comes in second at 17.57 kmpl.


Perodua Axia or Kia Picanto Safety

Safety wise, it is the Kia Picanto which has more kit on offer. This includes six airbags, traction control, ABS, Brake Assist System, Electronic Stability Control and Hill Start Assist Control. The Perodua Axia gets dual SRS airbags, ABS, EBD, and a four-star rating from ASEAN NCAP.

Ride and handling

Both the cars here employ a similar suspension set up. This means MacPherson struts in the front and coil springs at the rear. The ground clearance of the Kia Picanto is 172 mm whereas that of the Perodua Axia is 165 mm.


While there are multiple trims of the Perodua Axia that one can choose, the 2018 Kia Picanto is available in a lone top-spec trim. Prices for the Axia start from RM 22,621 whereas the top end goes for 39,160. In contrast, the Kia Picanto is priced at RM 48,291 on-road. Both the cars come with a five-year warranty. Our pick is the Axia because of its better mileage and space in the cabin. Go for the Kia if you feel build quality, as well as more safety features, float your boat.

Perodua Axia vs Kia Picanto Comparison

Perodua Axia
  • RM 23,367 - RM 41,427
Kia Picanto
  • RM 43,170 - RM 59,888
Axia vs Picanto

Perodua Car Models

  • Perodua Myvi
    Perodua Myvi
  • Perodua Bezza
    Perodua Bezza
  • Perodua Axia
    Perodua Axia
  • Perodua Aruz
    Perodua Aruz
  • Perodua Alza
    Perodua Alza
  • Perodua Ativa
    Perodua Ativa
Perodua Cars


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