Kia pickup expected to compete with Ranger
Model could follow to truck-hungry North America
A new report says that Kia is planning a new pickup. The question then becomes one of whether or not the antipodean Ute will make the long trek to North America to join the Hyundai Santa Cruz.
Carsales Australia reported on the imminent reveal of the Kia Tasman. It wouldn’t be the company’s first truck – Kia has built a handful of commercial vehicles – but it would be its first entry in the compact pickup segment.
The report cites Kia’s head of design Karim Habib, who said “I think you’ll get a peek pretty soon” when talking about the ‘Ute at the brand’s first EV day. The report says that this will be a dual-cab 4×4 pickup, joining what is a very popular segment in Australia. It would compete with the Ford Ranger and Toyota HiLux.
He didn’t confirm the Tasman name, but it is one that Kia has used in trademark filings. It has also been in the rumour mill for some time.
While the down under truck is expected to launch with a diesel, an EV is expected to follow.
Hyundai’s Santa Cruz, a crossover-based pickup, has not been a sales hit compared with the more truck-like Ford Maverick. This Kia model, anticipated to be a real body-on-frame 4×4, could fare better in our truck-obsessed markets. At least if Kia is able to build it here, in order to avoid punitive U.S. tariffs on imported trucks.