2020 Kia Telluride Review

Telluride

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2020 Kia Telluride Overview

While Kia briefly had a larger three-row SUV in the Borrego, it was quickly nixed. The Telluride is a brand-new 3-row model that sits at the top of Kia's SUV lineup.

The name Telluride refers to a popular ski-resort town and says quite a bit about Kia’s aspirations for its new 3-row SUV. The Telluride is the brand’s biggest SUV to date, with a front fascia that features Kia’s Tiger Nose grille, thin rectangular stacked headlights flanking it, and "Telluride" spelled out above it. A muscular shoulder line runs down each side of the vehicle, framed by an upright windshield, premium-looking chrome accents, and rugged plastic lower cladding. At the rear, the Telluride echoes its front end with inverted-L taillights and "Telluride" spelled out across the liftgate.

Inside, Kia offsets the Telluride’s commanding ride height with a cabin that resembles a luxury living room more than the inside of a utility vehicle. The Telluride’s dashboard is truly a piece of art in its ability to be both simple and elegant. All buttons are grouped according to function and framed by an expanse of matte-finish wood veneer. Upscale materials, including optional Nappa leather upholstery, make up the rest of the interior. The grab handles beside the center console impart a sense of adventure. Even the third-row seats feature a recline function.

The Telluride gets its motivation from a 3.8-liter V6 that produces 291 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. That’s comparable to competitors like the Chevrolet Traverse, Dodge Durango, Honda Pilot, Nissan Pathfinder, Toyota Highlander, and Volkswagen Atlas. Driving the front wheels, or optionally all four, is an 8-speed automatic transmission. There are four drive modes – Smart, Eco, Sport, and Comfort – along with a Lock mode that sends power evenly to all four wheels. Other equipment includes downhill brake control, a 4-wheel independent suspension, and a self-leveling rear suspension on some trims. The Telluride is also set up to tow 5,000 pounds.

Kia offers the Telluride in LX, EX, S, and SX trims, each progressively nicer than the last. Available features include a heated steering wheel, heated and ventilated first- and second-row seats, a 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a 630-watt 10-speaker Harman Kardon audio system, wireless smartphone charging, and six USB charging ports.

The Telluride includes a list of standard and optional safety features that’s nearly as long as the vehicle itself. It incorporates forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, automatic high beams, lane-departure warning, lane-keeping assist, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic detection, driver-attention warning, adaptive cruise control with a traffic-crawl function, parking sensors, and a surround-view camera system. Using the standard telematics system, there’s even a function that can alert an owner via smartphone if an occupant, such as a child, is detected in the rear seat.

The new Kia Telluride is the brand’s largest SUV, sporting adventurous styling and plenty of features to enthrall customers shopping in the 3-row segment. Look for this distinctive model to hit the market later this year.

Updated

Kyree is new to the automotive journalism scene, but has voiced snarky public opinions about cars for quite some time. When he's not drooling over the latest European luxury sled, he's designing web experiences or writing backend code.

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