After teasing the public with the name of the upcoming Kia ute in an advertising blitz, the company has confirmed its first double-cab pick-up will be called the Tasman.

The Australian-themed name was selected by the South Korean company because the Kia ute has primarily been designed and engineered for the Australian market (although it will be sold in other countries as well).

According to Kia’s press blurb: “Tasman was initially proposed by Kia Australia and ultimately chosen for its connection to the Tasman Sea and Dutch explorer Abel Tasman, who discovered the rugged landscapes of Tasmania.”

Kia Australia has been instrumental in the development of the top secret ute, which has been in the works for more than five years.

Here’s everything we know so far about the new Kia Tasman ute:

  • It is due in Australian showrooms mid 2025, pending any delays;
  • Australian product planners and chassis engineers have been involved in the project from Day One;
  • It is expected to be powered by a 2.2-litre turbo diesel four-cylinder engine;
  • Spy photos (such as these ones from The Korean Car Blog) show the Kia Tasman is bigger than a Toyota HiLux and Ford Ranger but smaller than a Ford F-150 US pick-up;
  • Spy photos show it will have a bold and boxy exterior design and a rugged interior for work and play;
  • The front end appears to adopt Kia’s vertical headlight design theme;
  • Spy photos show a step wedge in the corners of the rear bumpers for easier access to climb up to the ute tub;
  • Camouflaged versions of the Kia Tasman have been caught on camera being driven alongside the Ford Ranger Raptor and Toyota HiLux (benchmark cars for stability control calibration and off-road ability, according to reports);
  • Kia Australia has expressed interest in a Ford Ranger Raptor rival (perhaps with twin turbo V6 petrol power) however the initial focus will be on the workhorse and luxury diesel variants;
  • Kia’s sister brand Hyundai may not get a version of this Kia ute. Overseas reports suggest Hyundai may develop a car-derived electric ute instead;
  • Utes were the top three selling vehicles outright in Australia last year (Ford Ranger, Toyota HiLux, Isuzu D-Max) and Kia says it wants a slice of the booming ute market so it plans to make a big entrance;
  • Kia may be able to offset the emissions penalties imposed on the Tasman ute (which ramp up just as the Kia Tasman arrives locally) with its growing range of electric cars.