2025 Kia Tasman ute spy photos: This is the real thing - SUV VEHICLE

2025 Kia Tasman ute spy photos: This is the real thing

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The final design for the Australia-bound Kia ute has been caught on camera at last, after months of test ‘mules’ wearing bodywork improvised from other Kia models.


Images via Woopa TV on YouTube.

The 2025 Kia Tasman ute has been photographed in its showroom-bound bodywork for the first time, ahead of Australian showroom arrivals due in mid-2025.

Previous photos of the Kia Tasman – a dual-cab diesel rival for the Toyota HiLux and Ford Ranger – have shown test ‘mules’ with temporary bodywork derived from the Kia Mohave SUV sold in South Korea.

Now Kia’s new ute has been caught wearing its final bodywork in a YouTube video from South Korean creator Woopa TV – with bold, blocky styling that looks to be more upright and imposing than its rivals.

Of note are the large windows, which contribute to a body that is noticeably taller than a Ford Ranger or Toyota HiLux – vehicles which are already close to about 1.9 metres high on highway-terrain tyres.

Highlights visible through the gaps in the heavy camouflage include a bluff front fascia with low-set headlights and a large grille – with a Kia badge that appears to sit on the leading edge of the bonnet.

There is black panelling on the top of the flared wheel arches, a steep windscreen, and LED tail-lights that look to be more compact than a Ranger, HiLux or other rival.

The 265/65 R17 profile of the tyres – with a 30.6-inch (777mm) diameter – makes them slightly smaller a Ford Ranger XLT (255/70 R17, 31.1-inch diameter), a match for a Toyota HiLux SR, and larger than an Isuzu D-Max LS-M (255/65 R17, 30.1-inch diameter).

Visible in the spy video is leaf-spring rear suspension, a step on the rear bumper for easy access to the tray, and – according to the presenter – space for a battery pack in the middle of the chassis, for an electric variant due in 2026.

Further images (below) posted by New Autopost – via The Korean Car Blog – provide a look at its wheel design.

Inside, most notable is a four-wheel-drive mode selector with a ‘4A’ setting – all but confirming it will be capable of driving in 4WD mode on sealed surfaces, as per many Ford Ranger, VW Amarok, or Mitsubishi Triton variants.

The switch also includes 2WD high-range, 4WD high-range and 4WD low-range modes, while the gear selector is a conventional ‘T-bar’ design, rather than the rotary dial or steering column-mounted stalk seen in many new Kias.

The front seats look similar to the Kia EV9 electric SUV, while the interior door handles for rear-seat passengers are distinctive.

It is unclear what will power the Kia Tasman in diesel form.

The leading theory is a version of Hyundai and Kia’s familiar 2.2-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder engine, which in the Kia Sorento SUV develops 148kW and 441Nm.

Kia offers a turbo-diesel V6 engine in the Mohave SUV sold in South Korea, but it is a near-20-year-old engine that may not be suitable in an all-new vehicle, as it may not meet future emissions regulations.

Another option is the 204kW/588Nm 3.0-litre inline six-cylinder diesel from the Genesis GV80 luxury SUV, but it is unclear if there is space under the bonnet for six cylinders arranged in line.

No matter the engine offered, it is expected the Tasman – the expected name, if trademark filings are a guide – will offer 3.5-tonne braked towing and a one-tonne payload.

The Kia Tasman is expected to be unveiled before the end of this year, ahead of the start of production in South Korea early next year – and first Australian arrivals in mid-2025.

Australia has been at the centre of development for the ute – as a key market for the vehicle – and testing is expected to be conducted here closer to showroom arrivals.

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Alex Misoyannis

Alex Misoyannis has been writing about cars since 2017, when he started his own website, Redline. He contributed for Drive in 2018, before joining CarAdvice in 2019, becoming a regular contributing journalist within the news team in 2020.

Cars have played a central role throughout Alex’s life, from flicking through car magazines at a young age, to growing up around performance vehicles in a car-loving family.

Read more about Alex MisoyannisLinkIcon

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