We’ve been waiting for the Kia Picanto GT Line, the top-of-the-line variant of the competent, likeable city car, ever since a purported brochure for the car showed up in June last year. Now, Naza Kia has finally confirmed that the car has gone on sale, priced at RM57,888 on-the-road without insurance.

Yes, that’s a whole RM8,000 more the standard EX variant, but you get a whole lot more for your money. It’s very well-equipped indeed, matching the car that was previewed at the Kuala Lumpur International Motor Show (KLIMS) last November. For a start, it’s fitted with the sportier exterior design that typically comes with the GT Line badge.

These include a larger lower grille with integrated fog lights, deeper side skirts and an aggressive rear diffuser design with twin exhaust exits. You’ll also get 16-inch eight-spoke alloy wheels in a two-tone finish, plus contrasting accents for the grille, front intakes, side skirts and rear diffuser (the show car had red highlights). Inside, there’s a leather-wrapped flat-bottomed steering wheel and two-tone leather seats.

The GT Line also gets plenty of added kit over the EX – a sunroof, a Supervision instrument cluster, automatic air-conditioning, a front armrest, an illuminated vanity mirror, cruise control and a tyre pressure monitoring system are all present and correct.

That’s before you get to safety, where the GT Line receives autonomous emergency braking (AEB), putting it on equal footing with the RM54,090 Perodua Myvi 1.5 AV. That’s on top of all the already impressive safety kit that comes as standard, which includes six airbags, ABS with EBD and brake assist, stability control, hill start assist and ISOFIX rear child seat anchors.

Other items carried over from the EX include automatic projector halogen headlights with LED daytime running lights, LED taillights, keyless entry, push-button start, a reverse camera, six speakers and a seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.

Despite the hotted-up looks, the GT Line is powered by the same engine as the EX – a 1.2 litre Kappa II naturally-aspirated four-cylinder engine that makes 84 PS at 6,000 rpm and 122 Nm at 4,000 rpm. This is mated to a four-speed automatic transmission that drives the front wheels.

The standard Picanto EX held its own against the Myvi and the updated Proton Iriz in our Driven Web Series comparison last year – watch the video below to see how it fared.

GALLERY: Kia Picanto GT Line at KLIMS 2018