Kia Telluride Pickup Truck: Renderings + Rumors

It sounds (and looks) like a great idea to us.

Kia's new Telluride three-row crossover has enjoyed just about the best debut a new model could, garnering sales success and critical acclaim in equal measure. The square-jawed Telluride also looks the part of a large SUV, all hard edges and blocky shapes. And that got us thinking that the Kia sure would look good as a pickup truck.

And wouldn't you know it, the Telluride does look sharp as a truck. At least, when it's the truck in these exclusive renderings. The Telluride looks downright natural with the bodywork around its cargo area and third-row seat stripped away to create a pickup bed. To complete the transformation, we gave the pickup a more rugged overall appearance than the Telluride SUV.

Size-wise, a would-be Kia Telluride pickup truck would likely fall into the same midsize segment as the Honda Ridgeline, Chevrolet Colorado, and Ford Ranger. The Kia SUV is a substantial 196.9 inches long, a few inches shy of those trucks' lengths, but we figure Kia would add some rear overhang to the Telluride pickup to give it a useful-sized bed that's at least five feet long.

If you're still wrapping your mind around the notion of a Kia-branded pickup, wrap faster. The midsize truck segment is exploding, which is why it should come as no surprise that automakers that traditionally haven't offered pickups in the U.S. are taking a look at doing so. Kia has never offered a pickup stateside, and a company executive was coy about the topic in an interview with our friends at MotorTrend earlier this year, neither confirming nor denying a future Kia pickup.

The only problem we see is that an Australian Kia executive has, in fact, confirmed that the company is working on a truck (at least for that market), but says it'll be based on the upcoming compact Hyundai Santa Cruz. Perhaps Hyundai/Kia's size calculus has changed since then—a compact truck, while novel, might significantly narrow its appeal relative to today's midsizers and would need to be much, much cheaper to attract buyers. Either way, if Kia does get a truck, it wouldn't be beyond the pale, especially if it looks at least something like a Telluride.

This story originally appeared on MotorTrend.

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