EDITOR'S NOTE: The image above shows the Hyundai Santa Cruz pickup truck concept. But since Kia has not released any image for its midsize pickup truck, we decided to use the closest thing from its sister company for visualization.
Take the more refined exterior and interior of a Kia and place it inside something as utilitarian as a pickup truck – that’s what is happening now with Kia in Australia. Work has begun on the South Korean brand’s foray into the midsize pickup market. The vehicle is said to arrive in the Land Down Under by 2022 or 2023, with a Hyundai counterpart in tow.
In an interview with CarsGuide.com.au, Kia’s Chief Operating Officer (COO) for Australia, Damien Meredith, also shared that the project is already underway. According to the COO, the Kia pickup will not be a lifestyle vehicle like the brand’s many crossovers. It will be a truck that focuses on utility, offering both dual and single cab configurations, as well as gas and diesel options in Australia.
As stated earlier, the Kia pickup is a midsize, so it will be competing with other trucks in the segment, such as the Toyota Hilux, Nissan Navara, Ford Ranger, and Mitsubishi Strada amongst others.
Because Australia shares some models with the Philippines, there is a possibility that the truck will be in Kia Philippines lineup in the future. It is quite possible given that some South Korean manufacturers, such as SsangYong with its Musso, already have pickup trucks on sale in the archipelago. As to how the truck will look like, there are no photos or teasers that have surfaced just yet. The closest thing that may resemble the new truck comes from the Hyundai family of vehicles in the form of its Santa Cruz (image on top of this page).
Kia has a certain way of doing interiors and exteriors. Translating its design language onto the body of a pickup truck is a new concept for the brand. Hyundai previously unveiled its Santa Cruz concept back in 2018, but is holding off the launch in order to prioritize other products.