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Cleaner new CRDi is Kia's K2900 curve ball

Load-lugger: New Kia ute's tray payload rises to almost 1500kg.

All-new K2900 light truck lands from Korea's Kia, complete with a $4000 price rise

11 Mar 2008

KIA has replaced its long-serving K2700 light truck with the improved K2900 CRDi, which boasts a more powerful, cleaner new engine and an increased payload.

The heart of the changes is the ‘K3’ 2.9-litre turbo-diesel engine. The new engine has better refinement and improved suppression of noise, vibration and harshness, according to Kia. The common-rail turbo-diesel is Euro IV emissions-compliant, while the old truck was only Euro II-compliant.

The K3 is essentially an updated version of the Terracan engine, and uses common-rail fuel-injection, an exhaust-gas recirculation system and a simple wastegate turbocharger to suit its detuned state, (instead of a variable-vane type turbocharger). With outputs of 92kW of power at 3800rpm and 245Nm of torque at 2000rpm, the new engine has improvements of 59 per cent and 49 per cent respectively over the outgoing K2700.

The K2900’s average fuel consumption is 10.2L/100km according to the ADR 81/01 test, a six per cent improvement over the outgoing K2700.

17 center imageThe new model uses a modified version of the K2700 ladder frame, improved by way of chassis strengthening and different suspension location points to permit a higher payload.

The cab-chassis payload is up from 1259kg to 1740kg, while the factory steel tray version's has increased from 1000kg to 1481kg.

Gross Vehicle Mass has improved from 2920kg in the K2700 to 3290kg in the K2900.

The factory tray model costs $1500 over the cab-chassis but the painted steel tray has a tailgate and drop-sides, and offers a claimed class-leading tray size of 3110mm long and 1630mm wide. The tray has a 761mm deck height (floor to tray height).

The front suspension is a double-wishbone set-up with torsion bar springs, gas-filled dampers and a stabiliser bar, while the rear suspension is a live axle, leaf springs and gas-filled damper set-up.

Turning circle is 10 metres, with 3.32 turns lock to lock.

While front wheels are 15x5.5-inch steel rims fitted with 195 R15 8PR tyres, the rear wheel set consists of dual wheels, each side measuring 12-inch in diameter and 3.5-inch wide. Tyres are 5.00 R12 8PRBraking is via ventilated discs at the front and drums at the rear.

Standard equipment includes air-conditioning, remote central locking, AM/FM/CD audio with MP3 player compatibility, cup-holders, variable intermittent wipers, headlight level adjustment, tinted windows a and driver’s footrest.

The K2900 has three-occupant capacity, the steering wheel is tilt-adjustable and the side mirrors feature a convex lower mirror to allow a view of the rear wheel area.

Available in white or blue with grey interior trim for both colours, the K2900 comes with a five-year/130,000km warranty.

Kia’s Product planning manager, Nick Reid, says that the K2900 will appeal most to owner-operators, who typically buy one or two vehicles at a time. These buyers, says Mr Reid, “act like a retail customer, walking off the street into showrooms” rather than going through fleet sales.

The majority of potential buyers are the typical tradesmen, Mr Reid says, such as builders, plumbers, electricians, but he added the K2900 “appeals to a very wide range of customers”.

“We already have a good relationship with councils. The K2900 is low enough to fit in council carparks.”“We have a lot of opportunity with this vehicle,” he said.

Pricing for the K2900 has increased by $4000 over the superseded model. The K2900 CRDi cab-chassis is $28,990 and the K2900 CRDi with optional factory tray is $30,490.

Kia has sold more than 4000 examples of the K2700, which arrived in October 2002, as the replacement for the Ceres.

The K2700 last year dominated its light truck segment: with 718 units sold, it took 48.1 per cent of the light truck market, leading the Ford Transit at 543 units (36.3 per cent) and the Volkswagen Transporter at 231 units (15.5 per cent).

Kia has forecast 600 to 700 sales between now and the end of the calendar year, but believes the K2900 could do even better than the K2700.

“We'd like to think that we can get up to the 970 that K2700 did in 2006,” said Mr Reid.

2008 Kia K2900 pricing:

K2900 CRDi cab-chassis - $28,990
K2900 CRDi trayback - $30,490

GoAuto can help you buy a new K2900

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