A runabout for deliveries - Kia's little city-car just got smarter with new Picanto Runner

• Kia expanded its LCV offering with the Picanto Runner.

• The Runner has a 350kg payload.

• The Picanto Runner retails for R198 995.

For more motoring stories, go to www.Wheels24.co.za

Kia South Africa expanded its light commercial vehicle (LCV) portfolio with the introduction of the Picanto Runner. The Picanto Runner is the cousin of the Hyundai Grandi10 Cargo and also comes equipped with a 350kg payload.

Kia says that its Runner is a cost-effective delivery vehicle for urban use, but foregoes none of the comfort, convenience, and safety features the Picanto range is known for.

Stephen Crosse, sales director for Kia SA, says: "When you consider the rise of e-commerce, small businesses and services-on-demand, especially under the 'new normal' brought about by the global Covid-19 pandemic, there is a clear need for a compact delivery vehicle that can deliver goods practically, quickly and at a more manageable cost."

Kia Picanto Runner

2020 Kia Picanto Runner (MotorPress)

Start as base

The Picanto Runner is based on the Picanto Start - the entry-level model to the Picanto range. At R198 995, the Runner is R20 000 more expensive than the model it is built on, but with the benefit of offering 820L of practical space and the payload size.

Kia says that it removed the rear bench in the Runner and added metal dividers to keep cargo in place. The rear windows are also laminated to keep cargo secure and out of sight. At the front, the Picanto Runner offers steering wheel controls, air-conditioning, Bluetooth connectivity, and AUX/USB connection.

The seats and steering can also be adjusted.

Kia Picanto Runner

2020 Kia Picanto Runner (MotorPress)

Engine and warranty

The Picanto Runner is powered by a 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine that produces 49kW and 95Nm. Kia says that the engine returns nippy performance and has a good fuel return. A five-speed manual gearbox sends power to the front wheels.

The Runner has an unlimited km/five-year warranty, as well as a two-year/30 000km service plan. Kia's Corporate Fleet Care Package also covers the car. This includes access to, among others, the Kia one-hour Express Service, courtesy vehicle rental and Premium Roadside Assistance, which includes minor mechanical assistance, emergency fuel delivery, flat tyre assistance, battery jump-start and towing.

Wheel24's Janine Van der Post says: "The Covid-19 pandemic has forced many South Africans to become entrepreneurs, and perhaps your little side business has now developed into a full-time operation. Perhaps you've started cooking from home and selling meals, or baking cakes, or started a repair company of sorts. Whatever the venture, a delivery vehicle is needed. But, perhaps you're not all that comfortable driving a bakkie, but need the space. And perhaps a panel van is too large, too.

"Hyundai has been selling its Grandi10 Cargo model for the last few months and its become a great alternative to a half-tonner bakkie - a vehicle which is much needed in SA, but lacking severely with only the Nissan NP200 as an option. Now, Hyundai's Korean sister company has its own version in the form of the Runner. It's a Picanto at heart and still looks the part, but now has a work-badge.

"Even if you haven't started a business, it's the kind of car perfect for people on the go - no matter the age. I think of my mother, and this little car would be perfect to get her to school and back, and stash all her daily utensils and groceries for the children's meals. Or when she does flowers at church and needs to transport a large centre piece.

"It's an affordable option and comes with Kia's value-for-money unlimited km or five-year warranty, as well as a two-year or 30 000km service plan."   

Kia Picanto Runner

2020 Kia Picanto Runner (MotorPress)

Compiled by: Charlen Raymond

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