The New Kia K2700
14th April, 2005
In just two years the Kia K2700 has transformed the light truck sector in Australia, going from nothing to a 52 per cent share of its sector in 2004 and with the launch this week of the new K2700, Kia is set to maintain its vice-like grip on the 2.5 to 3.5 GVM light truck sector.
"With the success of the Kia Pregio, it was obvious that the K2700 had the basis for being another outstandingly successful Kia commercial vehicle," says Ed Butler, General Manager of Kia Automotive Australia. "But even we were not prepared for a level of success that has seen Kia consistently take half the entire market, not to mention the fact that in some states there have been months were the only vehicle sold in its sector was the K2700, such is the popularity of our light truck.
"Therefore, the new Kia K2700 has some pretty big shoes to fill and it's, therefore, not surprising that Kia have not strayed from the path that has made the K2700 such a success.
Rather Kia has kept the key features that have made it successful, including a big 2.7 litre diesel engine, a 1.5 tonne payload, a full standard equipment list, a comprehensive warranty with three years/100,000 km and 24 hour roadside assistance and loan car programme should the K2700 be off the road for more than 24 hours with a warranty issue. And, as if this was not enough, the Kia K2700 offers the option of a strong steel tray top, fully factory fitted, for just $1200.
To this successful formula Kia have honed the K2700 to make it more refined and easier to use. The new cab is and more functional, with more space inside and better aerodynamics, the optional tray top is lower for easier loading and has a range of improvements to make it easier to use. Changes to the suspension and sound proofing make the K2700 an even better environment in which to work.
The new K2700 will continue to offer spectacular value for money from all angles, with a highly competitive recommended retail price of $23,990.
"K2700 has proven an invaluable business tool for thousands of companies across Australia," says Mr Butler. "Its price, economical diesel engine and high level of standard equipment mean it works well in the accounts, while its tough, durable quality means its works hard out in the real world. The sales of the first K2700 prove that this is an unbeatable combination and we fully expect this to continue with the new K2700."
The most obvious change to the K2700 is its all new cab design which is more than just a face lift. It provides real operational benefits for the K2700 owner. By extending the nose of the K2700 and reclining the windscreen from 34.4 degrees to 44.8 degrees Kia has been able to reduce the drag co-efficient of the K2700 from 0.54 to 0.50, a substantial improvement that benefits fuel economy and reduces wind noise. To reduce weight and boost safety, Kia has replaced the conventional front bumper beam with a new high tensile strength steel beam that is both lighter and stronger.
The headlights are larger, brighter and offer more efficient control of light on both dip and full beam. To keep the new, bigger windscreen clean in all conditions, the wash jets are now fitted to the windscreen wipers, with three jets per wiper. This means more effective use of wash fluid - it goes exactly where it's needed - and less frequent washer bottle filling, as less water is required to clean the windscreen. The new door mirrors are easily folded flat against the side of the vehicle for tight spaces - reducing the vehicle width by more than 20 cms - and their shape has been optimized to cut wind noise and reduce wind resistance. Each mirror frame now contains two mirrors, one for a normal view and second, more convex mirror for a wider angle, a combination which means safer driving.
The new cabin also offers substantial improvements inside. There is more head and leg room, while the maximum seat recline has been increased to 21 degrees and the seat cushions are now thicker, wider and the backrest is higher. Foot space has been improved by fitting a new combined heating, ventilation and AirCon unit, which offers a 20 per cent increase in airflow and a quicker response to new temperature settings. The all new dashboard is fresh and modern, but still meets the requirements of a busy truck user, with plenty of storage space, cup holders and generous standard features such as air conditioning, digital CD player, electric windows and remote central locking. These changes all combine to offer a more comfortable driving position and a better working environment.
The Kia J2 2.7 litre diesel has been revised to reduce emissions and boost economy. It produces 57 kW and 172 Nm of torque, sufficient for a top speed of 120 km/h and the ability to dispatch the dash to 80 km/h in 23.7 seconds. But what really counts is that torque. It means that even full laden, the K2700 is still an agile quick load carrier.
The chassis of the K2700 has been improved with revised front and rear suspension. The front wishbone T-bar suspension has a thicker (25 to 26 mm) anti-roll bar, new gas shock absorbers are fitted and the suspension bushes have been reworked for more effective control of wheel angle.
At the back larger (180 cc to 260 cc) shock absorbers are fitted and the leaf springs have been optimized for greater stability over a wider range of conditions. The steering has been improved with new couplings and joints that reduce vibration transmission to the steering wheel. The turning circle has been reduced from 5.3 metres to 4.93 metres. Brake performance is enhanced with a larger, tandem brake booster (23.81 mm to 26.99 mm) which has a substantial effect on brake performance. From 80 km/h the new K2700 takes 6.5 metres less distance to come to a halt. The new unit also offers the driver improved brake feel.
Nor are these the only changes to enhance safety. Over all panel thickness in the cab has been raised from 1.2 to 1.4 mm, as well as the new bumper beam, new reinforcement beams are fitted to the cab and these are also made out of high tensile strength steel, while chassis strength and durability has been improved by the used of interlocking C-beams.
Noise is traditionally always a problem in forward control vehicles. With the new K2700 has attended to this issue with a range of features that have provided substantial reduction in vibration, overall noising and body shell booming. These improvements are effective at all engine and road speeds. These include a range of new acoustic seals for the engine cover, doors, windows and the windscreen, better, tighter panel fit, anti-vibration panel designs and a new dual layer engine cover.
Routine maintenance is now easier and quicker. The new K2700 has a mini-bonnet at the front, which enables quick access to the windscreen washer bottle, the jack, the wiper motor, the coolant top-up and even the AirCon gas top-up value. A new, wider engine cover under the seats provides easier access for routing servicing. The optional load tray has not escaped the wide ranging improvements to the K2700.
It now sits 44 mm lower for easier loading onto a deck that is 3.11 metres long and 1.63 metres wide with drop down sides that are 355 mm high. These side panels now feature a new round edges rubber covers for durability and safety. The catches that hold them in place have been re-designed for greater safety and quicker operation and their hinges are bigger and stronger. Also bigger and strong is the load rest behind the cab and larger mud guards around the rear wheels reduce stone damage and noise.
WHEELS AND TYRES
Door Mirrors, left and right P
Power Steering P
Wheel covers Optional
Wipers, front, 2 spd, intermittent P
COMFORT AND CONVENIENCE