Home » The 2025 Kia Tasman Has a Very Important Job To Do

The 2025 Kia Tasman Has a Very Important Job To Do

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In one way, the Australian car market has increasingly come to imitate the American one. Trucks now dominate all other models in sales. Kia has noticed this, and it wants a piece of the action. To that end, it’s been pushing hard to get the word out about the 2025 Kia Tasman.

The Korean automaker has been trickling details out bit by bit, using Australian sporting figures to hint at the name for a full month before we even got a look at the thing. Today, the first public pictures of the Tasman have dropped, clad in a daring color camouflage from artist Richard Boyd-Dunlop.

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It’s an important model for Kia, which must earn its place in the truck world. To that end, the Tasman is slated to take on all comers in Australia, Korea, Africa, and the Middle East. The question is, does it have what it takes? Let’s speculate based on the information available!

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Kia hired this man to make it harder for us to figure out what the Tasman looks like. Richard did a great job though, because the artwork looks killer.

The Look

Beyond the lurid colors on the body, the number one thing that stands out are the large rectangular protrusions over the wheel arches. You might think the plastic panels are just more camouflage, but Kia has confirmed they’re going to be a part of the showroom model.

The angular wheel arches contribute to the very boxy, squared-off appearance of the truck as a whole. It’s looking like a bold design choice from Kia, but that’s not a bad thing. The Australian market has swelled in recent years with anonymous, interchangeable crew-cab trucks. Abandoning restrained design makes sense given Kia doesn’t want to blend in with the crowd. A blocky box on wheels—appropriately styled— should make a real splash.

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Indeed, it could be that the Tasman draws from the Kia EV5 and EV9 in this regard. Both feature clean, rectangular lines that look fresh and push forward the brand’s current design language.

Most of the lighting is obscured, too, but we do see some LEDs up front on the wheel arches. Kia has been doing an excellent job of late with futuristic lighting design. Expect the Tasman to follow other Kia models in this regard. It’s something Kia, and its cousin Hyundai, have been doing incredibly well over the last few years.

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Kia’s shots are dark…
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…but we can do something about that. How rad are those wheel arches? TOUGH!

For now, we know it’s a diesel dual cab with deliveries due to begin in mid-2025. The Tasman is expected to show up with a 2.2-liter turbodiesel at launch. It’s believed this is the same engine as seen in the Kia Sorento, which is good for 198 horsepower and 324 pound-feet of torque. Those numbers are competitive, if not class-leading.

However, it’s entirely possible that the Tasman could debut with the engine in a higher state of tune to best compete with rivals like the Ford Ranger and Toyota Hilux. Both have engines putting out in excess of 200 horsepower and 368 pound-feet of torque. An electric version is also expected to hit global markets in 2026, but there’s no timeline for Australia just yet.

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Boosting the light gives us a better look once more.

The Tasman also has a trump card that is very relevant to modern Australian trends. It’s believed the new model will be a touch larger than other mid-sized trucks like the Hilux and Ranger, though still smaller than trucks like the Ford F-150 and Ram 1500. This would be an astute move on Kia’s part, as Aussie buyers have recently been going bananas for full-sized trucks imported from America. It’s probably all down to the daily pissing contest on the job site, but hey—sometimes that’s what moves product.

We’ve also had a sneak peek at the interior thanks to a leaked video, too. The Tasman rocks a modern, rugged look that goes heavy on style. If it’s as tough as it looks, that should please potential buyers.

The full reveal is still some time away, with full specs and finer details are still up in the air. Kia is expected to give us the full goss on the Tasman by the end of the year.

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The Battle Plan

Automakers sometimes tread carefully when they’re trying to broach a new segment. Kia has done anything but. It’s been going wall-to-wall with advertising, blasting its message online, on TV, and even on billboards. “Kia’s getting a ute,” goes the message. That’s the conversation starter Kia wants people using down at the pub. They literally role play it in the ad.

That’s step one—getting the word out. It’s no good to just have a few car magazines run their reviews while the trucks sit at the dealership. The launch needs to be an event. Kia needs the Tasman to be in the heads of everybody looking to buy a new truck next year. Hence the advertising strategy—which is anything but subtle.

For now, the Ford Ranger and Toyota Hilux are Australia’s best-selling vehicles. Last year, they did just over 60,000 units apiece. Kia will be hoping it can rob a few sales from each, along with other popular trucks like the Mitsubishi Triton, Nissan Navara, and a raft of cheaper Chinese and Indian offerings.

A unique look that’s well-received could do a lot to give the Kia a running start. Better specs than its rivals could help too, along with solid price positioning. The Kia of two decades ago wouldn’t have been seen as a serious option next to brands like Nissan, Toyota, and Ford. Today, it should be able to mix it up with the best of them, while standing tall above bargain-basement trucks like the Mahindra PikUp and the SsangYong Musso.

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Thanks to Kia’s constant baiting, Australia waits with bated breath for a real look at Kia’s new workhorse. At the very least, from the sneak peek so far, we can see that it won’t be boring when it finally hits the road next year.

Image credits: Kia

 

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Rust Buckets
Rust Buckets
1 month ago

Those wheel well eyebrows look incredibly awful, and I am very certain that that will not change even when it is painted a normal color.

Does anybody actually like those?

Rockymountainhigh
Rockymountainhigh
1 month ago

My gf has a Honda Passport, we have 2 Honda Navi’s and of course a sweet Honda mower so we’re kind of Honda fans. I wish the Ridgeline was truck-like boxy looking like this Kia truck instead of so curvy and car-like. I dig the rugged looks of this thing.

Gene1969
Gene1969
1 month ago

The more truck choices there are, the better it is for the buyer.

Rod Millington
Rod Millington
1 month ago

Dual cab utes are dominating the market because of the ridiculous tax concessions you get when you hit a certain weight.

Geoff Buchholz
Geoff Buchholz
1 month ago

Lewin, I know the mighty Holden range has disappeared, but does Chevrolet sell trucks there? Or has GM forsaken Oceania?

IDM3
IDM3
1 month ago
Reply to  Geoff Buchholz

US resident here. Chevrolet sells RHD-modified Silverados in Australia (via a third party, I think), but GM only does business in North, Central and South America, the Carribean, China and South Korea.

Robot Turds
Robot Turds
1 month ago

Oh boy. Another medium sized truck with a useless 4 foot bed.

Jim Stock
Jim Stock
1 month ago
DadBod
DadBod
1 month ago

It would be so cool if KIA actually offered kooky factory wraps like this.

Andy Individual
Andy Individual
1 month ago
Reply to  DadBod

LSD dazzle!

Greg
Greg
1 month ago

I’m usually in the “America is better” camp, even though often that’s not true. But whatever the hell is going on with our federal auto safety that lets all these other highly advanced countries get dope ass cars, but exclude us, needs to be changed. Do whatever it is they are doing in Aus and EU! Get me this truck, mini toyota trucks and crazy hot hatches and wagons!

Can someone explain what the two sides are looking for that are so far off we can’t get any of their cars? I thought we had good standards, but I also thought EU was safer than us with stuff? Would CARB and all their followers accept these Euro/Asia rides?

Also, high 5 to KIA on that camo! Love some fun camo!

Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
1 month ago

Sounds like they’re gonna run afoul of TVR using the Tasmin name.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TVR_Tasmin

Oh wait… Kia is calling it the TasmAn. Well that’s okay then…

Andy Individual
Andy Individual
1 month ago

My mind went straight to assman for some reason. :GIGGLE:

Frown Victoria
Frown Victoria
1 month ago

That dude in the video seemed way too excited. I think he needs a moment alone with it

Dogisbadob
Dogisbadob
1 month ago

They need to sell it here

GreatFallsGreen
GreatFallsGreen
1 month ago

The interior as in the spy vid looks nice and probably so as far as the segment goes, but the person in the video fawning over it sounds like he hasn’t been in a modern car in 20 years.

GreatFallsGreen
GreatFallsGreen
1 month ago
Reply to  Lewin Day

Definitely agree, given the way someone suggested that in the comments and they replied like “NO IT’S NOT THEY ARE ACTUALLY SO MAD WE DID THIS!”

Musicman27
Musicman27
1 month ago

I was only in a (new) modern car once. I was in the passenger seat, and I stared at that 18ish-inch touchscreen the entire ride and loved every minute of it.

Last edited 1 month ago by Musicman27
GreatFallsGreen
GreatFallsGreen
1 month ago
Reply to  Musicman27

It’s totally understandable for someone that doesn’t spend a lot of seat time in newer cars. The odds of that happening with a car covered in camo seem slimmer, and the ‘leak’ is from a car news/tech source that presumably spends a lot of time in newer cars. And while the vehicle type is a new one for Kia, the interior design itself doesn’t seem too different from other Kias, pretty in line with their latest offerings (not a bad way).

Christo Arvanitis
Christo Arvanitis
1 month ago

I’ll reserve final judgement until I see it fully unveiled but what I see in these pics is pretty awkward looking. Forced. The flares are horrible IMHO and the interior (in the video) looks pretty clunky.

Ppnw
Ppnw
1 month ago

Yeah… this thing looks off. Headlights that far apart make it look… special.

Parsko
Parsko
1 month ago

I mean, you coulda put some decals on those flares….

Utherjorge
Utherjorge
1 month ago

I have lots of opinions, which is what it is…but I’ll wait to see the whole thing regarding the truck before the styling can have comments.

However, there’s no real reason to buy a Kia in America if you know what you’re doing. If your credit is bad and you don’t care about the worst dealer experience in America, I guess…but there’s no reason to trust Kia engines.

Having said that….are their diesels more reliable than the ones we get in the US?

Greg
Greg
1 month ago
Reply to  Utherjorge

We got a telluride in 21′, had tons of rave reviews etc… so figured maybe Kia had really turned a corner. We didn’t buy from our local dealer because they said we weren’t actually local (recommended on the kia website and literally an hour closer than the next closest) and upcharged over MSRP. Then they wouldn’t give us a loner when it kept breaking down and needed days to fix.

We maybe made it two years until my wife didn’t trust it, and I was probably going to lose my shit if I had to deal with the advisors there again. Lesson learned.

Never, ever, will we buy a kia again.

Utherjorge
Utherjorge
1 month ago
Reply to  Greg

I would really like to know what broke down on yours. I know the engines are bad. Or can be. I have heard about the transmissions. A friend’s interior is truly beaten and weather-worn after three years.

But agreed…it did seem like quality was….solved? But I still wouldn’t buy one.

Greg
Greg
1 month ago
Reply to  Utherjorge

It was actually the electronics and heating system. We had our rear heating system blow and drain all coolant from the car. Luckily my wife pays attention and stopped driving, noticed the drip and smell and we didn’t cook the engine. That took over a week to fix, loaner refused. But they would let me rent a car from them cheap!

Second time, the entire electronic system fried and none of the gizmos worked, but the engine would start and run. Just couldn’t see anything from the cameras and the dash.

Engine ripped, tranny was pretty smooth, no complaints there. If the dealer would have lent us a car, or if they didn’t try to blame us for everything and treat us like crap we might have kept it. We just couldn’t take the Destination Kia dealer (yes I will name them) crap and have the car breaking down a lot, the combo was too much.

edit: On the new telluride models, they redesigned the entire rear heating system. They denied it was an issue that was known about when I called to tell them the radiator burst and I didn’t know why. But if they redesigned it, I am guessing it happened to more people than they wanted to admit.

Last edited 1 month ago by Greg
Utherjorge
Utherjorge
1 month ago
Reply to  Greg

this is the subaru way, so…yep, they know

Aaron
Aaron
1 month ago
Reply to  Utherjorge

Hyundai/Kia has positioned itself as a value brand. They give you a lot for less money than a comparable model from another automaker. This comes at the expense of quality. That gets people in the door and off the lot. They’re just hoping the original buyer trades the car in before it becomes a problem.

That’s what my parents have done. They’ve been driving Kias for about 12 years. All purchased new. Traded in within 4 years for a total of 6 cars between the two of them in that time. Admittedly, their local dealer is better than average among Kia dealers, but the cars are cheap enough and well equipped enough that they’re hooked on getting a good deal on the latest features. Meanwhile, my wife and I are a Honda household and we’re aiming to get at least a decade out of each car.

Utherjorge
Utherjorge
1 month ago
Reply to  Aaron

I try to get that time/mileage out of my Toyota products and have been able to, though 10 years is about the limit due to rust shenanigans. But this sounds like the same way to handle BMWs, Range Rovers, etc….lease and then dump and lather, rinse, and repeat.

MrLM002
MrLM002
1 month ago

TBH the only reason I’d buy a short bed pickup is to put an aluminum flatbed on it (if it didn’t already come with one.

I really cannot justify getting a crew cab pickup.

MrLM002
MrLM002
1 month ago
Reply to  Lewin Day

Even if I was in the market for a short bed pickup, I too rarely have more than one passenger (except for dogs), and so I’d much rather have the shorter wheelbase single cab short bed than crew cab short bed.

That being said I’d much rather have at least a 6ft bed pickup with a nice camper top.

OM613
OM613
1 month ago
Reply to  MrLM002

Is there a tax dodge reason for short bed, crew cab pickups in Australia like there is in the UK?

MrLM002
MrLM002
1 month ago
Reply to  OM613

Not an Aussie so I wouldn’t know. I do know that there are some fishy tax laws around having a company Truck in the US though.

Classic and Clunker
Classic and Clunker
1 month ago

It’s sure got the looks to stand out – here’s hoping it’s competitive, too.

Gene1969
Gene1969
1 month ago
Reply to  Lewin Day

You have Roothy and Milo though. It’s a fair tradeoff.

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