The Kia Pregio is a light commercial vehicle, built as a 4-door van or 4-door minivan with a front-engine, rear-wheel-drive layout. It appears in several nameplates in other countries, including Kia Besta GS, Kia Pregio Grand, Kia Bongo III Coach, and Kia Travello.
Kia Motors began producing the Kia Pregio in 1995 based on the Kia Bongo or Kia K-Series, where the K2700 and K2900 are among its variants. Production continues to the present, slotting between the smaller Kia Carens and the larger Kia Carnival.
Kia released the Pregio, an improved version of the passenger van Kia Besta. Instead of marketing an upgraded Besta, Kia decided to use a new name and retire the Besta nameplate, which had become unpopular due to engine issues.
The new passenger van utilised the technology and engine of the Bongo J2 (aka Bongo Wide) and entered the market as the Kia Pregio van. In Brazil, however, the Besta didn’t suffer any performance issues and continued to sell as the Besta GS. It was, in fact, Brazil’s highest-selling imported vehicle during the time.
Through its production since 1995, three engines were introduced at different times. Transmission options included a 5-speed manual gearbox and 4-speed automatic transmission. These were:
2.7-litre J2 inline-4 diesel
3.0-litre JT inline-4 diesel
2.5-litre 4D56 inline-4 turbocharged diesel
The first powertrain used on the Pregio was the 2.7-litre J2 engine paired with a 5-speed manual gearbox, the same one that powered the Bongo J2 (the J2 in its name refers to the engine).
Kia introduced the 3.0-litre JT engine in 1997 and the 4-speed automatic transmission in 2001. The 2.5-litre Mitsubishi-sourced engine came much later and was only available for Europe-spec Pregios.
Meanwhile, in Australia, the Kia Pregio arrived only in 2002 and not as a passenger van but as a 2-door, 3-seat panel van. This cab-over-engine came packed with the Bongo-derived 2.7-litre 4-cylinder J2 diesel engine, which produced up to 62 kW of power and 172 Nm of torque. In the same year, Australia also imported the K2700, which used the same J2 engine. The Pregio would use this same engine up to the last unit sold in the country in 2006.
There was only one model available – the base model – which featured air-conditioning, central locking remote control, cloth trim, engine immobiliser, power steering, power windows, and radio CD with two speakers.
It used ventilated disc front brakes and drums at the rear. Front suspension is served by coil springs and double wishbones, with elliptical leaf springs for the rear suspension.
Facelift & Phase-Out
Other markets received facelift versions of the Pregio in 2003, while Australia continued to receive the same model released in 2001 until 2006 when it was phased out of the country.
Restoring a Pregio van or other models that are already out of production can be quite a challenge. Fortunately, the used car parts industry in Australia is alive and thriving, and that’s what we're offering here at Carpart.com.au, a hub where both sellers and buyers converge. If you’re a seller, you can advertise with us. If you’re a buyer looking for used cars or parts, you can browse our current listing or send us a parts request, and we'd gladly assist you.