Amidst the recent decrease in COVID-19 cases across the country and the need to reopen and re-invigorate the economy, especially the agriculture and the livestock industry, Kia Philippines presented to the motoring media via a group test-drive its contribution to improving business logistics and mobility by offering the latest variants of the K2500 commercial vehicles.
The Kia K2500 is a light truck that has 4×2 and 4×4 capabilities and is a good option for entrepreneurs to move their products from off-road farms to market municipality roads. This is the reason why Kia Philippines demonstrated the quality and capability of their light trucks to the members of the media. The drive started from a short briefing from their Kia BGC Taguig Office in Fort Bonifacio all the way to General’s Farm, which is located in Talisay-Tanauan Batangas.
One of the variants that were brought to the 60-kilometer drive (120 kilometers round trip) includes the popular K2500 4×2 named “Kargo”–a 3-seater utility variant with an enclosed rear body for pure cargo loading. Other variants that were brought in include the dropside body with 4×2 and 4×4 options.
Since agri-business like the poultry and livestock farms are located mostly on remote off-road provinces, Kia also offers also a 4×4 capable “Kargo” variant in single or dual cab rear dropside body and a “Karga” variant that has dual or single aircon vents in an FB body.
Adding an offroad stage to the event after a tarmac highway speed cruise to reach the General’s Farm is a welcome idea as it further subjected the vehicle to various traction, suspension, and control tests. The K2500 Dual Cab Dropside in particular stands out because it is the only 4×4 light truck with a dual cab body in the market. The dual-cab body option is very useful in transporting both much-needed farm equipment along with six persons on a trip.
Across the variants, the Kia K2500 has a 2.5-liter CRDI turbocharged four-cylinder diesel engine which has a maximum power distribution of 130 horsepower at 3,800 rpm and a maximum torque of 255 Nm from 1,500-3,500 rpm. This is mated to a 6-speed manual transmission which is quite good enough to serve minimal off-roading activities with personnel and cargo on-board.
I was assigned to drive the Kia 2500 4×2 Kargo variant driving it from BGC to Star Tollway exiting at the Tanauan toll gate leading to the venue which is in the vicinity of the Tanauan-Talisay road. During the offroad activities, I tested the 4×4 Single Cab dropside running it on dirt and to some uneven embankments inside the farm. The idea is for us to feel how the Kargo performs on an uneven road that is predominant in farms.
The 4×2 K2500 Kargo which I used to reach the farm has a cab and chassis measurement of 4,825 x 1,740 x 1,995 (mm). The vehicle can load up to 30 several empty balikbayan boxes to simulate its loading capacity. Thanks to its built-in dual tailgate doors which can be opened wide at the same time to complement its 3,050 x 1,740 x 1,665 (mm) cargo area. Even in ordinary all-weather tires in regular steel rims, the Kargo traversed easily the muddy and uneven road of the farm.
On our way back to Kia BGC, Taguig, it’s my turn to drive the 4×4 Single Cab Dropside Kargo variant on tarmac, and I was surprised that the route we took for our way home is going uphill via the Talisay–Tagaytay twisties. Luckily, a month ago I was able to test a pickup truck on the same road, and in fact, I’m still fresh from testing another pick-up vehicle days ago in an uphill trek at Angat Dam which equipped me with some confidence to climb the twisty road, this time on a “manual” transmission.
For the power climb, the 4×4 Single Cab dropside did not disappoint me at all, allowing me to keep up with the pace of the convoys’ lead car. The dropside Kargo like most four-wheel drive (4WD) trucks are capable of receiving torque from the engine towards all of its four wheels. Situations like these, especially on the wet, and when the cargo area is empty, can lead the rear axle to lose grip, but with the 4×4 system, this is not going to be a problem.
In summary, the Kia Motors drive event on a new normal era, is an inspiring one, that despite setbacks in the economy caused by the pandemic, the mobility industry is doing all its best to uplift the economy by offering and providing quality and affordable vehicles for business and commercial use.