Kia K2900 2009 Review
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You don't drive a truck because you appreciate fine handling, responsive engines and the G-force chest crushes on acceleration. You drive a truck because someone pays you too. But it doesn't need to be a chore and for owner-drivers, there are clever trucks that will help you improve the business' bottom line. Which is where Kia comes in. After the demise — permanent, I believe — of the Pregio one-tonne van, Kia has been left with a single imported commercial vehicle.
The Kia K2900 replaces the K2700 with more than 50 per cent more power, better comfort and a greater load-carrying ability. Sadly, it's still a truck and any resemblance to a passenger car is in your dreams.
Driving a small truck is no fun when they are empty because they buck like a branded steer. They are also very short on safety. But to improve the ride quality, put a tonne of load in the back and it’s plain sailing.
So when the financial advisor at home decided on a back garden upgrade, the Kia took aboard 1.2 tonnes of crushed quartz. Later this was transferred, incrementally, to my arms, shoulders and back. But that's now a medical issue.
The K2900 — the K is for Kia (d'oh!) and the 2900 represents the capacity of the four-cylinder, common-rail turbo-diesel engine — is pure function and any aesthetics is purely accidental.
It is keenly priced at $30,490 — including a steel tray — which is practically irresistible to a tradie on a budget.
Platform and drivetrain
And it does an excellent job. The rear deck is 3.11m long and 1.63m wide. At 761mm from the ground, the low deck also makes it a relatively easy to shovel off sand or load hardware. The low deck height is attributable to underslung chassis rails and small-diameter rear wheels — in this case, the dual 12-inch rears compare with the 15-inch front wheels and, for this reason, one of each tyre is carried as a spare.
The four-cylinder engine is related to the previous 2.7-litre mill though is significantly upgraded to produce more power. This engine is also an option for the Grand Carnival people mover.
There's only one transmission in the K2900 and it's a five-speed manual that turns a long prop shaft to the rear wheels. Conventional technology means a live rear axle with leaf springs and that produces the unnerving ability for an unladen rear end to hop and buck at any road surface irregularity.
Put some weight in the rear and the truck rides like a quality mid-size car. That's good news for the driver and up to two passengers who live in a forward cab cell with typical bare-bones features. The seating position is quite good and I never suffered any aches from driving. The turning circle is brilliant despite the truck's 5m-plus length and visibility is excellent.
There are electric windows and a CD player, but there's no airbags, no ESC and no ABS — though the front brakes are discs. But there is some handy stuff. The centre seat has a fold-down back that becomes a flat workspace for documents.
It's a pure form of transport and with its claimed 10.6 litres/100km and the five-year, 130,000km warranty it makes sense for a bloke who needs an affordable worker.
KIA K2900 Trayback
Price: from $30,490
Engine: 2.9-litre, 4-cyl, common-rail turbo-diesel
Power: 92kW @ 3800rpm
Torque: 245Nm @ 1500-3250rpm
Economy (official): 10.2 litres/100km, 10.9 litres/100km
Emissions: 272g/km (Corolla: 175g/km)
Verdict: 80/100 for doing exactly what it's designed to do.
Range and Specs
|(base)||2.9L, Diesel, 5 SP MAN||$8,580 – 12,100||2009 Kia K2900 2009 (base) Pricing and Specs|
Lowest price, based on third party pricing data