When Kia debuts the next-generation mid-sized Sorento SUV in a couple of years, the South Korean brand is expected to migrate to a front-wheel-drive unibody platform. That would make the Sorento like many of its competitors in this size class such as the Honda Pilot, Toyota Highlander and Ford Edge. It now appears that, like Honda did with the Pilot and Ridgeline, Kia is planning to spawn a unibody pickup truck off the new Sorento platform, as well. The Kia pickup could debut around 2011 and be built alongside the new Sorento at Kia's new assembly plant in West Point, GA.

So far the Ridgeline hasn't exactly been a roaring success, but with gas prices climbing and stricter fuel economy standards coming, smaller and lighter pickup trucks of this type may finally start to gain some traction. Ford seems content allowing the Ranger to whither away, but a new truck derived from a next-generation Edge could provide a viable alternative.

[Source: PickupTruck.com]