2025 Kia Tasman ute may be four-cylinder only – report

A new report claims the Kia Tasman ute will miss out on V6 diesel or petrol power at launch – but could add the option of hybrid technology.

What the Kia Tasman could look like, illustrated by Theottle.

The 2025 Kia Tasman ute may only be offered at launch with a four-cylinder engine – and no V6 to rival the Ford Ranger and Volkswagen Amarok, at least initially – according to an unverified overseas report.

It says the engine will produce about 148kW – which, if the report is accurate, would suggest unchanged outputs of 148kW and 440Nm from the 2.2-litre diesel’s use in a Kia Sorento.

It would place the Tasman down on power and torque compared to four-cylinder rivals – the 150kW/500Nm Toyota HiLux, 154kW/500Nm Ford Ranger and VW Amarok, and on torque, the 140kW/450Nm Isuzu D-Max and Mazda BT-50 twins.

Kia Australia has said the company is benchmarking the Ford Ranger – among other top-selling utes – in development of its ute, so it would be odd not to consider an upgraded version of the engine to match the Tasman’s rivals.

The Korean Car Blog claims there will not be a V6 version – diesel or petrol – at launch, but one could be added at a later date, alongside hybrid technology, according to the website’s sources.

An electric version of the Tasman has already been confirmed by Kia head office in South Korea, and is expected to follow the diesel by a year or two.

2.2-litre diesel engine in a Kia Sorento.

Kia Australia has previously expressed interest in a twin-turbo petrol V6-powered, high-performance Tasman to rival the Ford Ranger Raptor.

“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.”

What the Kia Tasman could look like, illustrated by Theottle.

The Hyundai Motor Group produces a 3.0-litre turbo-diesel V6 for use in the Kia Mohave SUV sold in South Korea, but it is a near-20-year-old engine – fitted to a car launched in 2008 – so it would not be fitted to an all-new model.

One other 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 of the Tasman.

The Tasman is set to offer leaf-spring rear suspension, selectable four-wheel drive with a 4×4 mode suitable for use on tarmac, and a boxy profile with LED lights and a step behind the rear wheels for access to the tray.

The South Korean car giant is said to be targeting a 3500kg towing capacity and 1000kg payload.

Kia commenced its teaser campaign for the Tasman last week with a star-studded TV advertisement filled with ‘Easter egg’ clues pointing to the Tasman name, which is yet to be confirmed.

The new ute is due to be unveiled in late 2024, ahead of an Australian launch due in 2025 – likely close to the middle of the year, Drive has previously reported.

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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.

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