Kia Finally Starts Truckin' Around with First-Ever Tasman Pickup

kia tasman
Kia Starts Truckin' Around with First-Ever TasmanKia
  • Kia is building a mid-size pickup truck, which yesterday it said will be called the Tasman.

  • Named after the Australian island state of Tasmania, Kia has confirmed the truck will be sold in Korea, Australia, Africa, and the Middle East.

  • We think the Tasman could one day reach the U.S., but Kia would likely need to find space in its Georgia factory to avoid the 25 percent import tariff on pickups.

The first Korean pickup truck to reach the U.S. market arrived in 2021 in the form of the unibody Hyundai Santa Cruz, a compact lifestyle vehicle heavily based on the Tucson SUV. Now sister brand Kia is gearing up for its first-ever pickup (not counting the Kia K-series‚ a small commercial cab-over truck sold overseas). The company yesterday announced that the new vehicle will wear the name Tasman when it launches in 2025. So far, the Tasman is only confirmed for South Korea, Australia, Africa, and the Middle East, but we wouldn't be shocked to one day see Kia's pickup reach our shores.

The name Tasman is a reference to the island state of Tasmania off the southeastern coast of Australia, and Kia says the moniker "evokes a spirit of adventure and exploration." Kia describes it as a C-segment truck, and spy photos show a boxy body with similar proportions to mid-size trucks like the Toyota Tacoma. Some images show the Tasman being benchmarked against a Ford Ranger, and the Kia sports a four-door crew cab in every photo. Unlike the Tucson-based Santa Cruz, the Tasman is expected to use a more traditional body-on-frame setup.


While Kia has only officially said the Tasman will be sold in the aforementioned markets, the automaker says it is planning a "phased global launch strategy." Given Americans' huge appetite for pickup trucks, we think the Tasman has a chance to eventually be sold stateside.

The big questions is where it would be built. Production is initially expected to begin overseas, but any imported trucks face a 25 percent tariff nicknamed the "Chicken Tax." Kia currently has only one factory in the U.S. in West Point, Georgia, which has its hands full building the popular Telluride, Sorento, and Sportage SUVs as well as the new electric EV9.

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