2025 Kia Tasman ute: Price, engines, size and everything we know - SUV VEHICLE

2025 Kia Tasman ute: Price, engines, size and everything we know

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Kia’s new ute, expected to be called Tasman, could have a huge impact on the Ranger and HiLux-dominated Australian ute market when it launches in 2025.

Kia Australia’s best hopes of climbing the sales charts – and dethroning Ford and Mazda – will come in the form of its first dual-cab ute, expected to be dubbed Tasman.

It’s new territory for the South Korean brand, and Kia has been charting this course for years, but with an official reveal not due until late 2024, what can we expect from the new rival to the popular Toyota HiLux, Ford Ranger, and Isuzu D-Max?

Kia is yet to formally announce the ute’s name – though it is all but assured to be called Tasman, and Drive understands the name may be confirmed this month – let alone reveal crucial details about engines, capability, and pricing – but here is everything we know so far about the new ute.

What engines will the Kia Tasman ute have?

The Kia Tasman ute is all but confirmed to be available with a 2.2-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder engine.

It is an engine already under the bonnet of the Kia Sorento, where it makes 148kW/440Nm and is paired with an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.

While this is close to the outputs on offer from the Isuzu D-Max and Mazda BT-50 (140kW/450Nm), Mitsubishi Triton (140kW/470Nm), and Nissan Navara (140kW/450Nm), it is expected Kia may look to increase outputs to better rival the Ford Ranger and Toyota HiLux.

Under the bonnet of the former, a 2.0-litre twin-turbo unit produces 154kW/500Nm, while the latter has a 2.8-litre turbo-diesel capable of a 150kW/500Nm output.

If Kia wants to steal the thunder away from the Ranger and HiLux, circa-150kW/500Nm would certainly put it in contention for buyers – if, of course, it can still meet incoming emissions targets.

As for a V6 version, one is not planned at launch – but there is a slim chance one could follow at a later date if Kia can sell enough electric cars to offset a six-cylinder Tasman’s impact on its CO2 emissions.

Kia has also talked about its desire for a full-fat Ford Ranger Raptor-rivalling Tasman that will need to come close to the headline-stealing ute’s brawny 292kW/583Nm 3.0-litre twin-turbo petrol V6, as well as offering a host of go-fast and off-road-ready upgrades – but it’s not confirmed.

An electric version of the Tasman is planned to launch overseas in 2026 – but it may come to Australia later – especially given the ever-tightening New Vehicle Efficiency Standard (NVES) that is set to be introduced in 2025. Plans for a hybrid version are unclear.

When will the Kia Tasman ute launch?

Kia Australia is targeting a mid-2025 launch for the Tasman, but it will have been a long road to get there.

In 2017 – or even earlier – Kia Australia was lobbying head office in South Korea for a ute, while sister-brand Hyundai was on the record from 2015 with the same request.

Development work on such a model was reported to have begun in 2019 as it looked like the Kia and Hyundai utes would share much of the same technology as the brands eyed a boost in local sales.

The trail of new publicly available information began to run cold in 2020 as COVID sent the world into lockdown – and Kia executives seemingly became more cautious in their comments about a vehicle that we now know was five years away.

In March 2022 Kia’s global CEO confirmed the company was developing two electric utes – and by the time the first Kia ute spy photos appeared in November 2022, it became clear one of the utes would also be offered with an internal-combustion engine.

In May 2023, Kia Australia revealed to dealers it was working to bring a new ute to market – known internally by the TK model code – with an Australian on-sale date in 2025.

A few months later, the Tasman name was trademarked by Kia, and since then, the brand has been testing, tuning, and honing its Ford Ranger-rivalling model over an extensive development period.

What kind of capability with the Kia Tasman ute have?

Kia has made no illusions about what it is targeting with its new Tasman – arguably the benchmark in the dual-cab ute space, the Ford Ranger.

And it is very clear what the Tasman needs to sway buyers away from Ford showrooms.

A 3500kg braked towing capacity is a must, as is a near-enough-1000kg payload capacity to meet the demands of buyers with boats, caravans, tools, jetskis, and more.

Some new utes also offer a tray large enough to accommodate a Euro pallet between the wheel arches.

Spy photos suggest the Tasman will be bigger than a Ranger – though it is expected to be smaller than a full-size pick-up, such as a Ford F-150 or Ram 1500.

For off-road fans, a selectable four-wheel-drive system with a low-range setting is all but confirmed – capable of operating in 4×4 mode on tarmac – but there will likely also be a smattering of settings for sand, mud, and towing situations.

Kia Australia will also play a big part in the development and tuning of the Tasman to make its ride and handling more competitive against the top-selling Toyota HiLux, Ford Ranger, and Isuzu D-Max.

How much will the Kia Tasman ute cost?

All other things aside, price may be the single most crucial factor in the Kia Tasman’s success or failure, and it is a tight road to navigate.

The Tasman’s main benchmarks – the Ford Ranger, Volkswagen Amarok and Toyota HiLux – occupy the more expensive end of the ute market, with prices stretching beyond $70,000 for top-of-the-range versions.

It would be a bold price position for a manufacturer new to the ute market – without the same decades of experience in building pick-ups as Toyota and Ford.

A lower price point – in the $60,000 range for a flagship model – would see it line up against the Isuzu D-Max (priced from $32,200-$67,500), Mitsubishi Triton (from $43,690-$63,840), and Nissan Navara (from $33,050-$70,765).

Kia is unlikely to go even cheaper in pursuit of budget offerings from SsangYong, GWM, and LDV.

The South Korean car maker has something many of its big-name competitors can’t match – a seven-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty, that should give prospective buyers more peace of mind.

How will the Kia Tasman ute compare to others?

Last year, Kia Australia sold 76,120 vehicles, putting in fourth position behind Ford (87,800), Mazda (100,008), and Toyota (215,240).

But that hierarchy may change with the launch of the Tasman.

Kia Australia has suggested a target of 20,000 annual sales for its ute, which would eclipse the Sportage, Seltos, and Carnival and shoot it straight to the top as the most popular model in its stable.

However, in the ute market, 20,000 won’t even get you on the podium.

Last year, it was the Ford Ranger, Toyota HiLux, and Isuzu D-Max taking out not only the top three spots in the ute market, but overall, with 63,356, 61,111, and 31,202 sales respectively.

However, if Kia manages to sell 20,000 Tasmans per year, it would be more popular than the Nissan Navara and Mitsubishi Triton – at least based on 2023 sales.

Keep in mind not all of those 20,000 customers will be ute market, as a percentage will likely be ‘conquest’ sales from rival brands and models.

Still, adding 20,000 units to its bottom line – and likely stealing share away from Ford and Mazda – will give Kia its best chance at securing the overall number two position in the Australian market.

The post 2025 Kia Tasman ute: Price, engines, size and everything we know appeared first on Drive.

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