As far as compact cars go, the Kia Picanto has always stood out for the right reasons, and the introduction of the GT Line variant makes it an even more compelling proposition. Our man Jonathan Lee finds out if it’s a worthy alternative to the likes of the Proton Iriz and Perodua Myvi.

The GT Line sits above the EX in the local Picanto line-up, and at RM57,888 on-the-road without insurance, costs RM8,000 more than the EX. It’s powered by the same 1.2 litre Kappa II engine – offering 84 PS and 122 Nm – and four-speed automatic transmission, but there’s a lot of extra goodies for the extra dosh asked.

Exterior-wise, there’s a new front bumper with a larger lower apron and integrated fog lights, deeper side skirts and an aggressive rear diffuser design with twin exhaust tips. The look is further enhanced by contrast highlights on the grille, front intakes, side skirts and rear diffuser and 16-inch eight-spoke, two-tone alloy wheels.

Inside, you’ll find two-tone leather seats, a leather-wrapped flat-bottomed steering wheel, automatic air-conditioning, sunroof, Supervision instrument cluster, front armrest, an illuminated vanity mirror, cruise control and a tyre pressure monitoring system. The variant is also equipped with autonomous emergency braking (AEB), which the EX doesn’t get.

Standard kit identical to that on the EX includes six airbags, ABS with EBD and brake assist, electronic stability control and hill start assist, 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.

GALLERY: Kia Picanto GT Line at KLIMS 2018