New Kia Tasman Will Be The Weirdest-Looking Pickup Truck, And That’s A Good Thing


New Kia Tasman Will Be The Weirdest-Looking Pickup Truck, And That's A Good Thing

A few months ago we shared spy photos of the new Kia Tasman, the brand’s first pickup truck. Designed primarily for Australia, Africa and the Middle East to do battle with trucks like the Ford Ranger and Toyota Hilux, the midsize body-on-frame Tasman is rapidly approaching its debut, and Kia just released the first official teaser image. Despite the wrap designed by New Zealand–based artist Richard Boyd-Dunlop, we can see the Tasman will have the strangest styling of any pickup on sale — and I think that’s a good thing.

The Tasman has super blocky, upright proportions with a blunt face that reminds me of a hippo. Small headlight pods are pushed to the corners, and there’s a snout-like grille opening above a prominent bumper. The headlights flow into black plastic boxed fender flares that look pretty cool, and the Tasman has chunky all-terrain tires.

We can also see a kicked-up C-pillar, some nice crisp surfacing lines along the sides, steps set into the rear bumper, and taillights that protrude from the rear corners. Overall it’s a distinctive thing so far, certainly not just a rehash of any existing trucks. Kia has been taking extremely bold styling risks with new cars like the EV6, EV9 and K4, and the risks have paid off — 2023 was the brand’s best sales year ever. If Kia really wants to compete in such a competitive market, it needs to stand out, and it seems like the Tasman will do exactly that.

Still, we don’t know many details about the Tasman’s mechanicals or powertrains, which are obviously of huge importance to truck buyers. Previous reports have said the Tasman will get a turbodiesel 2.2-liter engine with an automatic or a manual, and it could get Kia’s twin-turbo 3.3-liter V6, too. This is what Kia’s press release had to say about the Tasman’s positioning:

The concept of ‘The Path Never Taken’ embodies the adventurous spirit of the Kia Tasman, which will inspire customers to embark on journeys filled with discovery and adventure in a vehicle that prioritizes reliability and performance. Through this theme, the Kia Tasman will lead people towards unknown and beautiful landscapes. In addition to effortlessly fulfilling the role of a work-orientated pickup, the Tasman is designed to meet customers’ diverse personal needs. Suitable for a demanding 24/7 lifestyle, Kia’s versatile truck will support even the most extreme leisure activities.

Despite the truck looking basically ready, Kia says the Tasman won’t debut until 2025. Tasman prototypes have been spotted testing in the U.S., and while that doesn’t necessarily mean the truck will be sold here, Kia has previously talked about developing trucks for the U.S. market, and strong rumors have pointed to the Tasman being offered in America. As long as Kia nails the truck stuff, the combo of the brand’s quirky design and excellent value could make it a winner.