The Kia Telluride Luxury SUV

The range-topping Telluride elevates the Kia brand considerably.

Kia Telluride front
The Telluride is handsome and affordable. Demand is also out-stripping supply.

Three-row crossover utility vehicles are the family vehicle of choice today. The Kia Telluride is the newest model in this class. Specifically, the Telluride is an SUV that brings an upscale design and generous amenities to the mainstream segment. Furthermore, it does all this with a competitive price, one that may have you rethinking your Lexus or Mercedes-Benz purchase consideration.

The New Kia Telluride

The Kia Telluride is an all-new model and is available in four trims. It’s derived from the same platform underpinning the slightly smaller and still available Kia Sorento. Prices range from $35,085 for the front-wheel-drive S to $44,585 for the all-wheel-drive SX, including destination.

The Telluride’s competitors include the Buick Enclave, Ford Explorer, Nissan Pathfinder, and the Volkswagen Atlas.

Exterior & Interior Highlights

The Kia Telluride has a boxy layout, with sharp edges, strong shoulders, and a muscular appearance. It has its own take on the brand’s tiger-nose grille, along with stacked headlamps surrounded by golden LED accent lights. Alloy wheels, attractively arched LED taillights, and an available dual-pane sunroof supply elegance. The available hands-free power liftgate is a must.

Inside, the Telluride seats seven or eight, with the available second-row captain’s chairs offering excellent comfort and support. The dashboard is beautifully layered with upper trim models offering contrasting wood trim. Moreover, you will also find brushed metal accents, Nappa leather-trimmed seats with double-stitched quilting, and mood lighting on some models.

Kia Telluride profile

The top-trim SX, which was our test model, has a 12-way power driver’s seat with lumbar support; the front passenger enjoys an 8-way seat. The front seats offer all-day comfort and are ideal for your cross-country drive.

Most models have heated front seats; ventilated front seats are optional. Further, a heated steering wheel, heated and ventilated captain’s chairs, and a premium cloth headliner and pillars are available.

Cargo volume measures 21 cubic feet behind the third-row seats. It expands to 46 cubic feet behind the second-row seats, and 87 cubic feet behind the first-row seats.

Technology & Safety

Kia equips most Tellurides with 8- or 10-inch color touchscreen displays. Satellite radio, five or six USB ports, and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone compatibility are standard. The list of upgrades includes navigation, a 10-speaker Harman Kardon audio system, Bluetooth, wireless charging, and a 110-volt inverter.

On the safety front, all trims have blind-spot collision avoidance assist, forward collision warning, and lane departure warning. Also, lane-keeping assist, adaptive cruise control with full stop and go, and rear parking assist.

The SX trim has a nifty blind-spot monitor system, which uses side mirror-mounted cameras to expand your side vision. This system works when either turn signal is on, displaying blind-spot views on the monitor. In addition, a surround-view monitor and head-up display are options. Thus, the Kia Telluride supplies features rivaling the Subaru Ascent and Toyota Highlander, this segment’s safety leaders.

Kia Telluride front seats
Kia Telluride dashboard

On the Road

Powering every 2020 Telluride is a 3.8-liter V6 engine good for 291 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. This engine works with an 8-speed automatic transmission. Most competing models have slightly smaller and in some cases more powerful engines. But the Telluride supplies ample step-off acceleration, generous passing power, and a smooth ride.

Steering is also a strong suit, delivering precision and substance while turning the wheel. Notably, the all-wheel-drive models send up to 35 percent of its power to the rear wheels while operating in sport mode. Notably, the optional self-leveling suspension is ideal for managing heavier payload and also comes in handy when towing.

Also, this model has a robust 5,000-pound trailering capacity when properly equipped. Your fuel economy should average in the low 20s mpg.

Parting Thoughts

In conclusion, Kia continues to push beyond its mainstream boundaries with additional premium models. The Telluride’s style and trim options place it among this segment’s elite. But don’t overlook the slightly smaller seven-passenger Sorento, which offers value and ample performance.

Kia Telluride rear

2020 Kia Telluride Specifications

Kia 2020 Telluride
Segment Midsize, Three-Row CUV
Price Range $31,890 to $39,290
Destination Charge $1,170
Engine No. 1 3.8-liter, V6
Horsepower 291 @ 6,000 rpm
Torque (lb.-ft.) 262 @ 5,200 rpm
Transmission 8-speed automatic
Seating 7/8
Curb Weight (pounds) 4,112 to 4,482
Wheelbase (inches) 114.2
Length (inches) 196.9
Width (inches) 78.3
Height (inches) 68.9
Headroom (f,r…inches) 40.9, 40.2, 38.1
Legroom (f,r…inches) 44.1, 42.4, 31.4
Shoulder room (f,r…inches) 61.6, 61.2, 55.3
Hip room (f,r…inches) 58.9, 58.0, 43.7
Storage (bed length) 21.0/46.0/87.0
Gross vehicle weight (pounds) 5,576 to 5,917
Towing (pounds) 5,000
Payload (pounds) 1,367 to 1,664
Fuel regular
Fuel Tank (gallons) 18.8
EPA Fuel MPG (city/highway/combined) 20/26/23 (FWD); 18/24/21 (AWD)
Manufacturing Plant West Point, Georgia

Specifications supplied by the manufacturer. Statistics compiled by Tom Keegan.

See AlsoGood-Bye, Kia Optima; Hello K5!

Photos copyright Stumpwater Media Group, LLC. All rights reserved.

Matt Keegan
Author: Matthew Keegan
Matt Keegan is a journalist, media professional, and owner of this website. He has an extensive writing background and has covered the automotive sector continuously since 2004. When not driving and evaluating new vehicles, Matt enjoys spending his time outdoors.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *