The Kia Telluride is one of the most popular SUVs on the market right now, but will the brand ever turn it into a Kia truck? There have allegedly been plans for the Kia truck in Australia, but it seems it might not come to fruition anytime soon. So what exactly are the rumors about this mysterious vehicle?
Will the Kia truck come to the U.S.?
Right about now, we have no confirmation about the Kia truck coming to the U.S. However, back in 2019, CarsGuide spoke to Kia Australia and confirmed a truck was in the works for that market. Kia Australia’s Chief Operating Officer, Damien Meredith, said, “Work has begun. We’re talking about a dual-cab, a single-cab – what we’ve requested is the full gambit for the ute.” Meredith also confirmed that meant a diesel option and a gasoline option.
However, that was back in 2019. With the news surrounding the Hyundai Santa Cruz and Ford Maverick trucks, is it the right time for the vehicle to make an appearance?
The rendering above was created by KDesign AG and shows a Kia Telluride truck. It looks like there would still be room for five passengers and have a full-size truck bed. To capitalize on the popularity of the Telluride, this is a creative idea.
Does Kia make a pickup truck?
In an update from CarsGuide from May 2021, the Kia truck continues to be elusive. The tone of the response from Kia was a bit more lukewarm this time around. Almost two years after the initial confirmation, the ton changed from “when the Kia truck happens” to “if the Kia truck happens.”
In the article, the truck was referred to as a light commercial vehicle (LCV). However, Meredith noted that the brand was not yet sure what would happen with the LCV. “We would hope that in the next couple of years that something does occur with LCV for our brand, not just for Australia but globally,” Meredith responded.
The push was for a 2022 release date, which is definitely not happening now. By the time it reached the U.S., it could be 2023 or 2024. When asked about a potential vehicle in the works, Kia North America responded. “Kia America will not comment on possible future product.”
Will the Ford Maverick and Hyundai Santa Cruz steal the spotlight?
The Ford Maverick is a smaller pickup truck that is starting at $19,995. It can tow 2,000 pounds with the base trim. The all-wheel-drive option increases the towing capacity to 4,000 pounds with the optional towing package. The truck is still compact enough to fit into smaller spaces but has the capabilities of a pickup truck. The affordable starting price also makes it more accessible for potential buyers.
The Hyundai Santa Cruz has two gasoline options for the engine, but it comes in front-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive. This truck gets an EPA-estimated 23 mpg combined. The all-wheel-drive option comes with a turbocharged engine getting 22 mpg combined. The 2.5L four-cylinder engine that comes standard gets 191 hp, while the 2.5L turbocharged four-cylinder makes 281 hp and 311 lb-ft.
By the time Kia gets around to releasing the Kia truck, will the momentum be over for trucks? Of course, anything is possible these days, so we hope Kia isn’t discouraged enough to scrap the idea.