pixelated kia truck on stylized background

Let’s Catch Up with Those Kia Pickup Truck Rumors

Will Kia Release a Kia Truck in 2020?

Value leader, industry champion and even automotive outlaw: Kia is known as many things in the market. One thing they’ve been especially good at, however, is tailoring a lineup that meets the needs of the markets they serve.

For instance, in Europe where the streets are narrower and parking is limited, Kia sells a vehicle even smaller than the Kia Rio called the Kia Picanto.

One of the vehicles which would do extremely well in the United States and round out Kia’s North American lineup would be a small truck. We’ve talked at length on our blog about why Kia should release a pickup truck, but there are some notable updates to observe.

>>> READ MORE: What Should Kia Call the Potentially Upcoming Kia Truck? <<<

Kia, after all, is still the brand who made the most out of their old slogan – the Power to Surprise.

Will Kia Make a Truck?

As it stands now, the Kia truck is the Schrodinger’s Cat of the automotive world. With Hyundai attaching a model year of 2021 to the Santa Cruz concept they showed off years ago (shown below), however, the Kia truck seems all but inevitable.

[Placeholder for Hyundai Santa Cruz Concept]

When Will the Kia Truck Be Released?

We think the Kia truck will be announced late this year, released next year and have a 2022 model year attached to it. There are a few reasons for this thought.

Kia and Hyundai stagger releases on shared platforms

Although we don’t know a lot about the inner workings and cooperative efforts between the two closely-related brands, it seems like once a platform is developed by one, it is used by the other after a short while. Whether intentional or not, this has followed a staggered approach, seeing Kia release a model that is followed by a Hyundai platform-mate with Hyundai then releasing a model shared by a Kia platform-mate.

Here’s what we mean:

  1. Kia K9 (2013) preceded the Genesis G90 (2015)
  2. Hyundai Ioniq (2016) preceded the Kia Niro (2017)
  3. Kia Stinger (2018) preceded the Genesis G70 (2019)
  4. Hyundai Kona (2018) preceded the Kia Seltos (2021)
  5. Kia Telluride (2020) preceded the Hyundai Palisade (2020)
  6. Hyundai Santa Cruz (2021) precedes the yet-unannounced Kia truck (2022?)

Every big release (save the new Hyundai Venue, which seems superfluous on Kia’s lineup) has a corollary with the other brand following its release. We can’t imagine Kia passing up the opportunity to also release a competitive, small truck.

The truck market is the biggest segment of the automotive market in the United States

With the 2020 Kia Telluride and 2021 Kia Seltos, Kia has strategically expanded its range to offer its unique brand positioning in two extremely popular and competitive segments. With pickup trucks being the final piece of Kia’s market-share puzzle, a pickup truck is all-but-guaranteed.

The lack of high-value truck options has caused many North Americans to overextend or settle

Chevrolet, Toyota, Nissan, Jeep and Ford all have midsize pickup truck options that slot beneath the half-ton range. These models, however, are all body-on-frame that vary greatly between the inexpensive base models (often designated as work trucks) and the decked-out premium range-toppers.

Introducing a unibody pickup truck that brings standard features like Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, Kia Drive Wise active safety features and comfortable second-row seating while falling in the price of base models from competitors (many of which include plastic seats), is all but guaranteed to succeed.

Basically, replicate the Telluride’s formula in the pickup truck segment.

2020 kia telluride suv driving on road near tampa florida
interior dashboard of 2020 kia telluride suv

A Kia Truck is Almost Certainly Coming and Will Definitely Change the Game

While Kia is always able to drop some surprising releases and specifications on us, we definitely think we’ll see a sportier, more stylish and more well-outfitted version of the Hyundai Santa Cruz wearing the Kia badge.

For more information on Kia models, absolute and possible, contact us today!

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