The Kia Tasman ute is one of the most hotly anticipated new cars coming to Australia in the next 12 months.

    Set to be revealed this year and hit Australia in time for the 2025 Australian Open tennis tournament, the Tasman will fill another void in the Kia range locally as it looks to challenge Mazda and Ford for second place on the VFACTS sales charts.

    Like the best-selling Ford Ranger and Toyota HiLux, it’s a body-on-frame ute with a boxy design.

    Kia has confirmed it wants to take on the current segment leaders, which means the Tasman will need to offer a 3500kg braked towing capacity and a 1000kg payload on some variants.

    It won’t, however, feature a V6 engine to take on high-end variants of the Ranger.

    As recently reported, the Tasman will launch in Australia with a four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine. Kia hasn’t announced plans to add a six-cylinder engine or hybrid and plug-in hybrids to the lineup, as the majority of its rivals are also sold with four-pot engines.

    Outside, our renders – and the camouflaged prototype on which they’re based – reveal the Tasman will feature a very distinctive design.

    The cabin is likely to be quite a high-end place to spend time, based on spy photos and our recent renders.

    Expect to see a version of the dual-screen infotainment setup rolling out across the Kia range up front, although exactly how it’ll be differentiated from its less rugged SUV siblings isn’t yet clear.

    A retro T-bar shifter and big dials for the four-wheel drive system are also likely to feature.

    Our renders point to chunky grab handles for the doors, but lots of leather in high-end GT-Line models. Down back, there’s a distinctive sweep to the window line that also has an impact on rear visibility.

    While the Tasman will be produced in South Korea, Kia Australia CEO Damien Meredith says the Australian division has played an important part in making sure it’s up to scratch with rivals which dominate the local sales race.

    “The team at Kia Australia has been working closely with the Research and Development team at headquarters to develop Tasman, a vehicle we believe will meet the needs of our unique market, so it’s very rewarding that it has been granted an Australian-inspired name befitting its personality,” Mr Meredith said.

    “We have strong ambitions for Tasman in our market, and the fact that its name has such distinct links to our region is evidence of Kia Australia’s instrumental role in its development and future success.”

    Kia has previously said it’s targeting for the Tasman to account for 10 per cent Australia’s light commercial vehicle sales.

    In 2023, almost 240,000 utes were sold in Australia, among the 1.2 million new vehicle sales recorded across the 12-month period.

    MORE: Why the 2025 Kia ute won’t have a V6 engine
    MORE: 2025 Kia ute – No hybrid, plug-in hybrid Tasman for now
    MORE: 2025 Kia ute – Five-star ANCAP rating a “non-negotiable” for Tasman
    MORE: 2025 Kia Tasman ute’s interior spied

    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.

    Buy and Lease
    Uncover exclusive deals and discounts with a VIP referral to Australia's best dealers
    Uncover exclusive deals and discounts with a VIP referral to Australia's best dealers