Meet the Kia Picanto 'panelvan'

Kia's popular Picanto hatch loses its rear seats to become a light delivery vehicle.
Kia's popular Picanto hatch loses its rear seats to become a light delivery vehicle.
Image: Supplied

Kia Motors SA has made a light delivery vehicle out of the most unlikely car: a tiny 1.0-litre hatchback.

The newly-launched Picanto Runner is described as a compact and cost-effective urban delivery vehicle offering all Picanto’s regular conveniences, combined with the practicality of a functional load bay. It’s a cheaper alternative to service providers that don’t necessarily require the bigger space of traditional delivery vehicles.

The Runner is a regular entry-level Picanto Start that’s been converted into a “van” by removing the rear seats to create a flat loading area with 820 litres of space and a payload of up to 350kg.

It doesn’t provide much more loading area than a regular Picanto that has its rear seats folded down, but the Runner earns its delivery-vehicle stripes by also having sturdy metal cargo dividers to separate the cargo from the front seats, and laminated rear windows to keep loads out of sight and less likely to crash through the glass.

A steel grid protects the driver and passenger from loose cargo.
A steel grid protects the driver and passenger from loose cargo.
Image: Supplied

The 1.0-litre, three-cylinder engine musters a humble 49kW and 95Nm for a claimed top speed of 155km/h, and the gearbox is a five-speed manual.

Delivery drivers will be kept comfy and entertained by standard kit that includes steering wheel controls, central locking, air-conditioning, Bluetooth connectivity, an AUX/USB connection and Radio/MP3/RDS. ABS brakes and a pair of front airbags constitute the safety.

Priced at R198,995, the Runner costs R20,000 more than the standard Picanto Start.

Over and above Kia’s regular five-year/unlimited km warranty and two-year/ 30,000km service plan, the Picanto Runner is also covered by Kia’s Corporate Fleet Care Package, designed specifically for “working” vehicles, which includes access to the Kia one-hour Express Service and courtesy vehicle rental. The package also includes Premium Roadside Assistance for minor mechanical assistance, emergency fuel delivery, flat tyre assistance, battery jump-start and towing.


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