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Early mark for 2025 Kia Tasman! Game-changing diesel dual-cab could be fighting the Ford Ranger and Toyota HiLux in Australia sooner than you think as production shifts to this year | Reports

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An early mark for Kia Tasman? (Image: NY Mammoth)
An early mark for Kia Tasman? (Image: NY Mammoth)

The Kia Tasman could land in Australia sooner than we thought, with the start-of-production date for the hotly anticipated dual-cab ute now locked in for late 2024, according to new reports from Korean media.

Kia in Australia has always said the Tasman would arrive in Australia in 2025, and earlier reports had pointed to the ute's Korean production commencing in February next year, which would mean Australian arrivals about the end of March.

But reports out of Korea now point to the Tasman production line firing up in December 2024, which mean the ute could be in Australia at the very end of this year, or more likely in January 2025.

The news will come as music to the ears of those in the queue for the Kia Tasman, with registrations of interest now open ahead of the official order books opening later this year.

While Kia in Australia is yet to fully detail the Tasman, we have no shortage of educated guesses about what will be powering it when it is finally officially revealed.

The brand has flagged a "familiar" four-cylinder diesel engine, which would likely mean the same 2.2-litre unit found in the Sorento and Carnival, which produces 148kW and 440Nm, and which pairs with an eight-speed automatic gearbox.

There will be a manual option, too, along with a 1000kg-plus payload and a 3.5-tonne braked towing capacity.

All of which, the brand says, are non-negotiables in the Australian ute space, and key steps in its quest to become a benchmark product in its segment.

"We've said all along that if we're going to develop this vehicle, then it has to be a solid competitor for HiLux and Ranger," Kia Australia's GM of Product Planning, Roland Rivero, has told CarsGuide.

"We're not mucking around when it comes to the ute. We want to make sure that the first attempt at a ute from our brand is one that's going to do well in our market."

It will also be the most Australian-focused product ever produced by Kia, such is the importance of our market when it comes to ute sales.

CarsGuide understands Kia has funded several top-secret missions to our market to study its competitors, its customers and Australia's unique conditions, with development stretching way back to 2020.

Having been previously asked whether the new ute would be the most Australian Kia ever, Mr Rivero replied: "Definitely."

"It's a different sport," he says. "But with that involvement comes a lot of responsibility."

Andrew Chesterton
Contributing Journalist
Andrew Chesterton should probably hate cars. From his hail-damaged Camira that looked like it had spent a hard life parked at the end of Tiger Woods' personal driving range, to the Nissan Pulsar Reebok that shook like it was possessed by a particularly mean-spirited demon every time he dared push past 40km/h, his personal car history isn't exactly littered with gold. But that seemingly endless procession of rust-savaged hate machines taught him something even more important; that cars are more than a collection of nuts, bolts and petrol. They're your ticket to freedom, a way to unlock incredible experiences, rolling invitations to incredible adventures. They have soul. And so, somehow, the car bug still bit. And it bit hard. When "Chesto" started his journalism career with News Ltd's Sunday and Daily Telegraph newspapers, he covered just about everything, from business to real estate, courts to crime, before settling into state political reporting at NSW Parliament House. But the automotive world's siren song soon sounded again, and he begged anyone who would listen for the opportunity to write about cars. Eventually they listened, and his career since has seen him filing car news, reviews and features for TopGear, Wheels, Motor and, of course, CarsGuide, as well as many, many others. More than a decade later, and the car bug is yet to relinquish its toothy grip. And if you ask Chesto, he thinks it never will.
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