Kia’s new dual-cab ute is coming to Australia – and it’s going to be called the Tasman, according to a new ad posted to Instagram today.

    The Toyota HiLux and Ford Ranger rival has long been high on Kia Australia’s wish list, as it pushes to topple Mazda and Ford on the sales charts locally – last year, it finished fourth on the VFACTS sales charts having narrowly outsold its Korean sibling, Hyundai.

    Based on the cryptic ad posted to Instagram today, rumours suggesting the ute will be called the Tasman are bang on the money.

    How do we know? Check out the dart at 56 seconds landing square on the Tasman Sea, and the carefully cropped hotel name at the end of the commercial.

    That’s bad news for the cast of sporting heroes vying for a gig instead, which range from Australian Open winner Ash Barty to AFL legend Lance ‘Buddy’ Franklin.

    Here’s what else we know about the Tasman:

    • The ute is known internally as “TK”
    • Kia engineers have used Australia as a test bed for the ute
    • It’s been benchmarked against the Ford Ranger and Toyota HiLux
    • Power will come from a diesel engine

    The ute is one of two coming from Kia. The other will be a dedicated electric model.

    We’re expecting a braked towing capacity of 3500kg, and a payload around the 1000kg mark depending on the variant. It’ll be a ladder frame vehicle, rather than a softer SUV-derived model like the Hyundai Santa Cruz offered in the USA.

    According to leaked dealer information, engineers from Kia head office have been flown to Australia “on multiple occasions” to experience competitors and local conditions, so you can expect the ute to be well-tailored to our roads.

    Would you buy a Kia ute instead of a Toyota, Ford, Mitsubishi, Isuzu, or Mazda?

    MORE: Dealer leak gives us our best idea yet about the new Kia ute

    Scott Collie

    Scott Collie is an automotive journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Scott studied journalism at RMIT University and, after a lifelong obsession with everything automotive, started covering the car industry shortly afterwards. He has a passion for travel, and is an avid Melbourne Demons supporter.

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