Kia to have a crack at ute market

An artists (from the Telluride Forums) rendition of what a Telluride based ute may well look like.

It seems that Kia and Hyundai are planning on having a crack at the booming ute market. Both brands have in recent years, stepped away from their Four-Wheel Drive SUVs, namely the Hyundai Terracan and the Kia Sportage. They are now focusing more on ‘Soft-Roaders’ with All-Wheel Drive capability. That may be a thing of the past, as the Australian ute market continues to grow month after month, with Kia Motors Corp having a crack at the ute market.

It may well be based on the Kia Telluride from the US?

Now things are still very early days, with very little in concrete. However, from a source at Kia, we’ve been told that development has commenced on a ute that is set to go up against the big players in the market; namely the Ford Ranger, and Toyota HiLux.

We’re not sure on the style or setup for the Korean ute yet, however, the expectation is that it will have a unibody style frame, as opposed to the body on chassis that most of the big players utilise. That said, KMC could go in the other direction and build a body on chassis style ute. This setup then gives them the option to have very different styled utes between brands and also offers access to SUV models utilising the ute chassis. Most of the big players have gone this way; think the Isuzu D-MAX vs. MU-X or the Ford Ranger vs. Everest.

Oh God! Kill it with fire!

Interestingly enough, this is not the first time Kia has toyed with the idea of a ute/pick-up style vehicle; those with rather long memories would recall the KCV4 Mojave. This gorgeous (read: horrendous) piece of engineering was their last attempt at a concept vehicle for the US market, way back in 2004. Thankfully, Kia has employed a bunch of new designers and engineers since those days. They’re actually releasing some rather impressive looking cars – think the Kia Stinger.

The million-dollar question, is can they translate the better-looking cars they’re creating into utes and SUV’s? Or will this be another abomination like the KCV4? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

What were they even thinking?!


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  • Hyundai made a great 4wd in the TERRACAN but they stopped making them in 2007 such a shame they should reconsider redoing a proper 4wd again

  • Kia’s ute looks alright when you compare it to some of the other on the market, namely the new Triton. What did they use to design that, shoe boxes?

  • Just got back from a 9000k loop towing a caravan, spoke to like minded travellers with GMCs ,Dodges,and not one was totally happy with their choices, all said theyre having ongoing problems, with their units, some were down right scathing, but i only spoke to 6 owners

  • I have a Nissan d40 2.5ttdi 2008 200000kms on it dpf has killed this engine! I need help as no Machanic most to deal with it!!!! Class action to Nissan I’m all for it d40 2.5ttdi people most be all over Australia and the world let’s get together and go!!!!

  • Overseas Kia have a dual cab 4WD 2.9 turbo diesel based on the same platform as the Pregio van (similar to a Toyota Hi-ace). How good would it be to have a dual cab with a tray long enough to actually put something in!

  • Diesel Turbo with a minimum Towing 3.5Ton + Canopy etc, what is the CAPEX vs OPEX of a Korean Car have found genericly that the CAPEX is good yet they tend to hide the OPEX behind the CAPEX as the quality of the components are not that great and when it fails the OPEX (cost of owning it) it usually very high.

  • Kia/hyundai.
    We want ladder chassis, live axles both ends with decent axle loads, and decent size turbo diesel. Long range tank.
    Thanks in advance.

    • True, and decent power from the decent size turbo deisel aswell. Doesn’t have to be supercar performance but 200kw or more would be nice. Shouldn’t have to ring it’s neck too be first off the lights and ahead of the traffic.
      The first green ute and the SUV pictured look great, the other ute pictured doesn’t have a nice looking front end at all though.

    • SS,
      Have no problems with your wishes but for me, I’d like to see a smaller ute (remember 1/2-tonne utes of yesteryear paved the way). For a city dweller like me, the current crop of oversized 1-tonne utes are a nightmare to park and use on congested city roads. Yes, I accept that many tradies have the need for the current size vehicles but there is an opening for say a 3/4 tonne, smaller, more city friendly ute (with all the features you suggest). The only reason I don’t have a 3.2 L Ranger is its size.
      LeW a diesel lover in Sydney

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