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Kia Has Ambitious Dreams Of A Toyota Land Cruiser Rival

Key Takeaways

  • Kia Australia expresses interest in creating a body-on-frame SUV based on the upcoming Tasman pickup truck.
  • The potential Borrego successor could appeal to buyers desiring a family SUV with off-road capability.
  • Global demand for a body-on-frame SUV will need to be strong to justify development.

A Kia Australia executive has has expressed excitement in the idea of Kia creating a body-on-frame SUV based on the upcoming Tasman pickup truck. Speaking to CarsGuide, Roland Rivero, General Manager of Product Planning at Kia Australia, said the brand would “love” an SUV with serious off-roading credentials.

“We’d love one. But with Mohave already developed, and I know Mohave is a fairly old product now, but at this point in time, globally, you need a strong global case, not just an Australian business case,” he said. The new Tasman has been spotted testing in the US ahead of its reveal, but there’s no confirmation that it will be offered in America. But what about an SUV?

A Potential Borrego Successor?

Kia previously sold the Borrego (the US name for the Mohave) in the States but discontinued it due to slow sales. However, SUVs and crossovers are immensely popular, with few rugged body-on-frame models to choose from. A Borrego replacement, with a powerful V6 or PHEV drivetrain, could appeal to family buyers looking for an off-road-capable SUV.

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“So we’d love to spawn a ladder-frame SUV, like an Everest competitor, out of that same [Tasman] platform. And theoretically, you could, but it is something that we still have to negotiate hard with headquarters.,” said the executive. While this doesn’t look good for a planned Tasman-based SUV, there is space for a model like this now that the Mohave has reportedly been discontinued. According to reports out of Korea, production will end to accommodate the production of new SUVs and trucks, such as the Tasman.

Is There Space For Another Kia SUV?

Rivero said that other markets must also express interest in a ladder-framed off-roader for a Tasman-based SUV to come to fruition. “We’re hoping that South Africa or the Middle East would be keen on it, but at the end of the day, we need all of the stars to align for something like to happen,” he added. But would something like this work in America?

Related

Kia Tasman Caught Testing Again, Official Teasers Released

The pickup truck that reportedly isn’t coming to America has been caught testing on US soil.

Kia USA needs to ensure that it doesn’t oversaturate its SUV lineup. Currently, the automaker offers the Carnival, Sorento, and Telluride, all catering to larger families. Let’s not forget the smaller Sportage and the all-electric EV9. Is there space for a more rugged off-roader? We think so; currently, the best off-roaders Kia offers are the Telluride X-Line and X-Pro trims, although these can’t be considered serious off-roaders. If Kia wants to compete with the Toyota Land Cruiser, Jeep Wrangler, Ford Bronco, and Toyota 4Runner, a Tasman-based SUV could be a strong seller in the United States.

Initial Engines Won’t Appeal To US Customers

As mentioned, there’s no word yet on whether the Tasman will reach the US. Initially, the truck will be launched with four-cylinder gas and diesel engines. PHEVs and V6s may arrive later, but they’re not confirmed. As Kia expands the engine lineup, perhaps there’s a chance the Tasman may be offered locally. We’ve already seen it being benchmarked against the V6-powered Ranger Raptor, so there’s a good chance a high-end performance version is being developed. We’ve contacted Kia for comment on whether there are plans to introduce a body-on-frame SUV in America and will update this article with whatever response we receive.

Source: CarsGuide

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