2020 Kia Telluride: when the market needs another painkiller
“Wow, that’s cool!” That’s exactly what you experience when you open the door for the first time. Very similar to what we saw with Kia Stinger where no one could expect so much for such a low price tag. Spoiler alert to other manufactures: Kia just nailed the mid-size SUV and you better get ready since they coming hot.
Looks & power delivery
The all-new Telluride looks like nothing else on the road when you see the wide front grill and unique headlights. Overall, it’s a very clean and straightforward design language. It’s hard not to mention that this is a “mid-size SUV” that fits 7-8 passengers comfortably and packed with high-end features that could make manufactures like Volvo nervous. Plus, there’s beautiful Nappa Leather throughout, an ultimate luxury experience that Kia provides.
The lineup starts from the base LX model and there are four trim levels to choose from: LX, S, EX and SX. Each trim comfortably fits seven or eight passengers, and you can pick either FWD or AWD version. Base MSRP starts from $31,690 and you can option it to almost $50,000, and it might become the best $50K you ever spent.
Under the hood you’ve got 3.8L V6 that produces 291hp and 262 lb.-ft. Towing capacity is also pretty impressive, the all-new Telluride can tow up to 5,000 pounds. Smooth and powerful engine, considering that this is almost a 4,500-pound vehicle. Fuel economy is not the strongest side of the Telluride but 20/26/23 for FWD and 19/24/21 for AWD is still a decent gas mileage with a proper luxury feel.
Features & tech
The all-new Telluride is absolutely packed with technology. Driver’s dash (7-inch screen) looks familiar and has loots of adjustable information. What’s new is that it also shows your blind spots when you turn your signal left or right. It’s not only a simple and very convenient feature – think about it from another prospective – Kia might actually have found the way to finally teach people to use their turn signals. Additionally, to keep your eyes on the road they’ve managed to build bright and informative heads-up display that has things like your speedo and turn-by-turn navigation guidelines.
Another screen is Kia’s UVO (10.25-inch), very wide and low, which allows you to have different layouts without abstracting your view. Looks modern and fits the overall style. Sure thing you have Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and it’s paired with BEST EVER Harman Kardon® 10-Speaker Premium Audio that I think just got even better than more expensive systems like B&O. You have Wireless Phone charger, six USBs and three 12v outlets along with a 110v power inverter so there is no shortage when you think about charging or keeping your passengers happy.
Kia managed to do a very well-designed controls system. While having many control buttons and knobs, it still doesn’t look or feel crowded. Very “Porsche-style” center console handles are paired with simplicity that works. With the drive modes selector you can pick and choose between Snow, Comfort, Eco, Sport, and Smart, or lock your center diff when going through a trail.
Despite the fact it doesn’t look as something that can do serious off-roading it’s got a 17-degree approach angle and you won’t need to worry about any parking curbs. Plus, you’ve got a 360-degree Bird’s Eye View Camera to make your life even easier. Highway Driving Assist brings Adaptive Cruise Control to the next level. It’s not only keeping the distance between you and vehicles upfront, adjusting your speed, but it also monitors speed limits, making cruise control adjustments to make your trip as smooth as it gets. The all-new Telluride can basically steer itself most of the time using Lane Assist, and on top of that you have Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Safe Exit Assist that can warn you if you’re opening the door when a car is approaching from behind. Plus, you’ve got Auto High Beams, dual sunroof and 64 colors of interior lighting. Kia’s tech list goes on and on and on.
Spaciousness & comfort
There’s a lot of space on the inside, especially considering that it’s still a mid-size SUV. Additionally, both second and third row seats are incredibly comfortable. You are a push of a button away to slide the second row and jump on the third. Seats on every single row recline, there are seat-mounted USB’s, and first two rows are also heated and ventilated. Plus, when you need more cargo space, you have an opportunity to slide the second row of seats and fold the third one to have up to 87 cu.ft having both rows down.
On top of that, you have to add a bumper-to-bumper warranty of 5 years and 60k miles, or 10 years and 100k miles for powertrain, and you will see not just a great vehicle – you’ll also see an industry-leading value, where Kia has managed to fit into a very niche market space of “below 35k vehicle.” 2020 Kia Telluride is absolutely killing everyone with luxury, features, and value. Well done. Our SUV of the Year nominee for sure.