Kia Telluride truck image mockup

What Should Kia Call the Potentially Forthcoming Kia Truck?

Kia Truck Name Speculation 2019

It’s no secret that we, at Friendly Kia, love to speculate about what Kia could have up their sleeves.

Although the brand formerly marked by the slogan “The Power to Surprise” consistently displays this ethos in the models and variants they release, the unique position in the market of being a challenger brand makes them a blank canvas for projecting our ideas about what is revolutionary in the current landscape.

>>> READ MORE: Kia Variants We’d Love to See <<<

With a Kia truck possibly being on the horizon, we’d like to see if we can nail down the direction Kia plans to go with the naming of said truck. Here are the directions we think they could go:

Geographic Name (Likelihood – Strong)

It’s no secret that Kia and sister company Hyundai love naming vehicles after places that embody the spirit of the models on which their badge is pressed.

On the Kia side of things, you have the Sorento SUV (after Sorrento, Italy), the Telluride SUV (after Telluride, Colorado), the Sedona minivan (after Sedona, Arizona) and the defunct Borrego (after Borrego Desert).

Meanwhile, Hyundai has the Santa Fe, Tucson, Palisade, Kona and the truck they’ve debuted is the Santa Cruz.

With Kia reserving these model names for their heavier-duty vehicles, we think the Kia truck stands a good chance of getting a place name. As far as a location that speaks into the strengths of a Kia truck, we expect it to be similar to the Telluride – an upscale, events-driven, high-altitude city that also requires some ruggedness to navigate.

We’re proposing the following:

  • Kia Kalispell – Kalispell, Montana is the gateway to Glacier National Park.
  • Kia Meridian – A relatively large city in Idaho, Meridian is a popular destination and one of the fastest-growing cities in the United States. The name Meridian is a great model name apart from its geographic status.
  • Kia Seward – Both a peninsula and the small town nestled in the Kenai Fjords National Park, Seward is an outdoorsy dream that is both rugged and cozily tucked away.
  • Kia Sitka – A city in Alaska noted for its maritime climate and sprawling fishing industry.

front three quarters of 2020 kia telluride

A Kia truck would likely share its unibody platform with the Kia Telluride crossover SUV.

2020 kia telluride interior

This hypothetical shared platform would allow the interior of the Kia truck to be among the best on the market.

Word Name (Likelihood – Medium)

While most domestic trucks sold in the North American market abide by a numbered naming scheme, models like the Toyota Tundra, Nissan Titan, Toyota Tacoma and Nissan Frontier all have word names. Additionally, the midsize trucks from Ford, Chevrolet, GMC and Jeep all have word names (Ranger, Colorado, Canyon and Gladiator respectively) and that is the segment in which the Kia truck is likely to compete.

Should Kia choose to go this route, we’re at a bit of a loss for the direction they would want to be seen. Honda’s Ridgeline is perhaps the best signal of where Kia would go with a name in this field. They would want to evoke some feeling of outdoorsy ruggedness. We think the following would be good ideas:

  • Kia Alpine – Kia would have to negotiate the naming rights with a small French sports car manufacturer that goes by the same name, but this one would be a solid name that evokes feelings of a wild outdoors.
  • Kia Slalom – Another word closely tied to skiing and snowboarding, a market Kia seems intent on targeting, slalom is a word for a downhill ski race with a winding course marked by flags.
  • Kia Switchback – A term for a mountain road that zig-zags to avoid too steep a grade, the Kia Switchback is our favorite on this shortlist.

Number Name (Likelihood – Low)

Truck manufacturers often use numbers to denote the weight class of their trucks. For instance, in the United States, you can get a Chevrolet Silverado 1500, 2500 or 3500. Ford offers the F-150, F-250 or F-350, etc.

Overseas, the current Kia truck, a body-on-frame, cab-over-engine commercial truck called the Kia K2500 is so-called for its classification.

We think the likelihood of Kia just releasing a Kia 1500 or Kia 15 is low. After all, Kia’s truck is unlikely to be a body-on-frame vehicle as opposed to a unibody, FWD-biased model that shares the Telluride’s platform and competes with segment models like the Honda Ridgeline and upcoming Volkswagen Tanoak.

Other Ideas

Kia’s been pretty dynamite at naming their vehicles. We love the attitude of the Kia Stinger, the luxurious outdoorsy feel of the Kia Telluride and the stylish use of Italian for the Kia Forte. They all match the vehicles’ personalities to a T.

We know that if and when Kia produces a pickup truck. It’s going to have a great name.

What are some of your ideas for what Kia should call this possibility? Let us know in the comments below!

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