2025 Kia Tasman ute illustrated, spotted testing with Ford Ranger Raptor - SUV VEHICLE

2025 Kia Tasman ute illustrated, spotted testing with Ford Ranger Raptor


Here’s what the new Kia Tasman ute could look like – as new spy photos reignite suggestions of a a Kia Stinger twin-turbo V6-powered performance version.

New computer illustrations have previewed what the new 2025 Kia Tasman ute may look like when it arrives in Australian showrooms mid next year.

And Kia has given the best hint yet its upcoming dual-cab ute will spawn a Ford Ranger Raptor rival – by benchmarking its new pick-up against one.

Photographers have captured a Kia Tasman prototype testing in Sweden alongside a new Ranger Raptor weeks after the new ute was spotted in South Korea in its production body for the first time.

It is unclear if Kia intends to build a Raptor Raptor rival – complete with one of the Hyundai group’s twin-turbo petrol V6 engines – or if it is testing the Tasman alongside a Raptor for its off-road capabilities, suspension comfort, or other attributes.

However the company has previously placed a Ranger Raptor competitor on the wish list for its first Toyota HiLux-sized dual-cab, due in mid-2025 with diesel, and possibly petrol power.

“We need to look at the entirety of the ute segment,” Kia Australia product planning boss Roland Rivero told a media briefing last year.

“When you dissect that category, there’s many sections … that every [vehicle manufacturer] would desire to have a crack at, and we’re no different.

“The Raptor has been around for a while, since [2018] when it was a four-cylinder bi-turbo [diesel]. You’re always looking at who are the main benchmarks, and Ranger is a major benchmark.”

The 3.3-litre twin-turbo V6 in the now-defunct Kia Stinger sports sedan is still in use in the Genesis G70 from Hyundai’s luxury division, and the full-size Kia K9 limousine, but the core engine design is 20 years old and nearing the end of the road.

Instead – if Kia elects to fit twin-turbo petrol V6 power to its new pick-up – the 3.5-litre engine from newer Hyundai, Kia and Genesis large cars is more likely, which can develop up to 305kW/550Nm with ‘electric supercharger’ technology.

The latest spy photos show in clearer detail the Tasman’s boxy, upright stance seen in the South Korean images last month.

Despite large all-terrain tyres and off-road suspension, the Ranger Raptor appears to be little taller than the Kia Tasman, thanks to large windows and roof rails on the South Korean ute.

Design highlights visible include a large front grille with thick vertical bars, low-set LED headlights, stick-on panelling on top of the wheel arches – which are camouflaged on the European test car, but undisguised on the South Korean prototype – and small LED tail-lights.

Spy photos have shown leaf-spring rear suspension, a step on the rear bumper for easy access to the tray, and – inside – a drive mode selector confirming four-wheel-drive will be able to be used on sealed surfaces, as per a Ford Ranger V6 or Mitsubishi Triton.

It’s not clear what will power the diesel version of the Kia Tasman, however the leading theory is a version of the company’s familiar 2.2-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder which develops 148kW/441Nm in the Kia Sorento SUV.

Another option is the 204kW/588Nm 3.0-litre inline six-cylinder diesel from the Genesis GV80 luxury SUV, but it remains to be seen if six cylinders arranged in line will fit under the bonnet.

Kia is said to be targeting a one-tonne payload and 3.5-tonne braked towing capacity for its new ute.

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MORE:Search Used Kia Cars for Sale
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.

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