The Kia Tasman – as it has finally, officially been christened – has been spied testing as the ute nears its 2025 local launch.

    Images shared by Autospy give us another look at the exceptionally boxy, upright styling of the ute, which appears more akin to a Jeep Gladiator than top sellers like the Ford Ranger and Toyota HiLux.

    Up front we can see vertical lighting assemblies, while there’s nary a curve to be seen – apart from what appears to be a belt line that ticks up halfway along the rear door.

    At the rear, we can see it rides on leaf springs like most of its rivals, while there are side steps built into the rear bumper like on a Ranger.

    As with most utes, the Tasman features body-on-frame construction.

    Kia has benchmarked the Tasman against the HiLux and Ranger and is set to match them with a braked towing capacity of 3500kg and a payload of around 1000kg, depending on the variant.

    Previously published interior photos also show it will have a selectable full-time four-wheel drive mode.

    As recently reported, the Kia 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 hybrid options to the lineup.

    While the Tasman will be produced in South Korea, Kia Australia CEO Damien Meredith says the brand’s Australian division has played an important part in making sure it’s up to scratch with its Thai-built 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, or around where the Isuzu D-Max currently sits.

    MORE: 2025 Kia ute: Tasman name confirmed for “most Australian Kia yet”
    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

    William Stopford

    William Stopford is an automotive journalist based in Brisbane, Australia. William is a Business/Journalism graduate from the Queensland University of Technology who loves to travel, briefly lived in the US, and has a particular interest in the American car industry.

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