It might be happening, after all, Kia is about to enter the pickup game with their 2023 Kia Pickup Truck. Apparently, it is still in the planning phase, but it is imagined as a Sportage with a cargo bed. Now, this isn’t a bad thing, Sportage does a lot of things properly.
It is after all one of the top-selling SUVs at the moment. Another good proxy for the truck would be the Mohave, it is bigger and would make sense for a mid-size pickup. But apparently Kia is aiming at a small truck category, something like Santa Cruz. Let’s see how it would look.
Kia Pickup Truck Interior
The inside of the 2023 Kia Pickup Truck is going to look similar to Sportage’s cabin. This is of course a good thing, as the SUV has one of the most stylish and well-designed cabins on the market at the moment. Of course, this doesn’t mean that Kia should simply copy it. Adding some contrast stitching to the seats and perhaps multiple colors for material would be great.
Infotainment is good enough, and has good connectivity. But perhaps throwing in hands free driving is a good move. This would allow drivers to relax a bit behind the steering wheel. A nice addition as well would be a sunroof. We suspect it will be able to seat five people.
The 2023 Kia Pickup Truck is an empty slate right now. If they simply cut the back and add a cargo bed on Sportage, that wouldn’t work. Most of the pickups on the market have a more blocky look.
So a truck with so many curves and angles doesn’t make sense. A Telluride like exterior would work though. Expect standard 18-inch rims from lightweight aluminum to shave off some weight.
The type and size of the powertrain will most likely depend on the proxy for the truck. But we also have to take into consideration that Kia announced two electric pickups by the year 2026. This means that this truck will have an electric powertrain from the start. Since there are a lot of rumors and not a lot of valid information all we can do is speculate. Some sources indicate that the pickup will run on a Telluride engine. This means a 3.8 liter V6 with 290 horsepower and an eight-speed automatic transmission.
There are also rumors about a 2.5-liter four-cylinder unit. If they go down the Sportage path it might be a 2.4-liter four-cylinder with 180 horsepower. There is also the SX Turbo trim engine which is a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 240 horsepower. This means six-speed automatic transmission and front wheel drive. Also looking at the electric announcements by Kia, we might be looking at a brand new platform to start off well. A battery pack of about 150 kWh would be more than enough to boast tremendous power and excellent range.
We are hoping for at least 350 miles, but anything below 300 is not acceptable. Fast charging should be present as well. This sounds like the proper option considering upcoming emission regulations and how that will affect vehicles around the world. We would have liked to have more information about this aspect of the pickup. But again it is fun to speculate and think about what could be. But the most probable option is the electric exclusive pickup. They are popular at the moment as F-150 Lightning and Cybertruck are taking over the world.
The fuel economy for the 2023 Kia Pickup Truck will be determined, as you guessed, by the engine they choose. If they go down the Telluride path, that means 19mpg in the city and 24 on the highway. Not bad for a pickup. Sportage however gets 23 in the city and 30 on the open road. But if they electrify the pickup, we are hoping for a big battery with at least 350 miles on a single charge.
2023 Kia Pickup Truck Price and Release Date
There is no estimated price at the moment, since a lot of information is withheld. But we are expecting the pickup to arrive at the beginning of next year. Stay tuned for more details about the 2023 Kia Pickup truck.