Kia’s Strategy to Win in the Dual-Cab Ute Battle

Kia UTE 2023

In the ever-evolving landscape of utility vehicles, Kia is poised to make a lasting impact with its upcoming ute, combining rugged aesthetics with a luxurious cabin experience. Recent reports shed light on the Korean automaker’s strategy to set its diesel dual-cab offering apart from competitors like the Toyota HiLux, Ford Ranger, and Mitsubishi Triton.

Traditionally, utility vehicle interiors have favoured practicality over luxury. However, sources close to Kia, as reported by US outlet Car Scoops, reveal that the new Kia ute is set to revolutionize this norm. The forthcoming ute will introduce an expansive dual-screen arrangement, featuring a sizable 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster positioned before the driver, complemented by an additional 12.3-inch multimedia display at the center of the dashboard.

The infusion of cutting-edge technology extends beyond the screens. The new ute will feature wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, along with convenient wireless smartphone charging. Notably, Kia’s commitment to sustainability is evident in the cabin’s design, which incorporates eco-friendly materials such as cork, while adopting a minimalist aesthetic for both the front and rear areas.
Kia’s design philosophy doesn’t merely prioritize aesthetics; practicality is a key focus as well. The brand aims to establish its five-seat dual-cab as one of the most spacious options in the utility vehicle segment.

Turning attention to the engine options, the local automotive website Performance Drive provides valuable insights from an inside source at Kia. The ute is set to debut with a 2.2-litre turbo-diesel engine, drawn from the Kia Sorento, delivering 157kW and 420Nm of torque. While this power output aligns with the norm for four-cylinder diesel competitors, it slightly trails in torque compared to the current standard of 450Nm to 500Nm.

In addition to the diesel variant, Kia is gearing up to offer a turbo-petrol engine option—an impressive 2.5-litre four-cylinder unit derived from the Sonata N Line. This powerplant generates an energetic 213kW and 422Nm, catering to those prioritising power over towing capacity.

For those with a penchant for cutting-edge technology and environmental consciousness, Kia has an exciting prospect on the horizon: an electric flagship. Anticipated to boast a 123kWh battery pack, this EV ute promises an impressive driving range of 450km, accompanied by a staggering 410kW and 800Nm of torque. These figures are unparalleled in the current market and position the all-wheel-drive electric Kia ute as a standout flagship in Australia.

Looking back to 2019, Kia Australia COO Damien Meredith hinted at the brand’s dual-cab venture, confirming plans for both diesel and petrol options. The company’s dedication to catering to a broad spectrum of preferences and needs is evident in its comprehensive approach.

As details continue to emerge, anticipation builds for the reveal of the Kia ute’s features and specifications. The production of this eagerly awaited ute is slated to commence in late 2023 or 2024, promising an exciting addition to the utility vehicle landscape.


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