The Telluride is an all-new model for Kia. While it’s not the brand’s first three-row SUV, it’s the largest one the Korean company has ever offered. Sharing underpinnings with the equally new Hyundai Palisade, the Telluride edges Kia into the upscale utility class.
Certainly, Kia’s timing is better than it was for its last attempt at a big SUV. The Borrego of 2009 came along with optional V8 power just in time for the recession. In any event, the Telluride looks like a more comprehensive effort than the ill-fated Borrego. Ironically, though, the Telluride doesn’t offer a V8 option.
Kia is looking to steal attention away from any number of mid- and full-size SUVs with the Telluride. The mechanically similar Hyundai Palisade is a competitor, as are more established models like the Ford Explorer, Honda Pilot, Toyota Highlander and Chevrolet Traverse.
Kia also has premium models in its sights, like the Volvo XC90, Audi Q7 and BMW X7. And don’t forget full-size models: the Chevrolet Tahoe, GMC Yukon and Ford Expedition are all larger and more powerful than the Telluride, but there is some overlap.
Telluride trims include EX, SX and SX Limited. All use a 3.8L V6 engine making 291 hp and 262 lb-ft of torque. An eight-speed automatic transmission and AWD are standard in all trims.
EX trim includes 18-inch wheels and tires, LED headlights with automatic high beams, a sunroof, heated and power-folding side mirrors, eight-passenger seating, heated front seats with power driver adjustments and two-way lumbar, a heated steering wheel, leather-trimmed wheel and shifter, wood grain trim, three-zone automatic climate control, 10.25-inch infotainment touchscreen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, wireless smartphone charging, electric parking brake, passive keyless entry and hands-free tailgate, LED interior lighting, blind spot monitoring, lane follow assist, forward collision avoidance assist, rear parking sensors and rear cross-traffic assist.
SX trim adds 20-inch wheels, a dual-panel sunroof, satin chrome grille and window trim, leather seating, driver’s seat cushion extension, power front passenger seat, manual rear door sunshades, a Harmon Kardon stereo, 7.0-inch digital gauge cluster display, Kia’s blind view monitor and front parking sensors.
Finally, SX Limited brings a self-levelling rear suspension, LED taillights, rain-sensing wipers, seven-passenger seating, Nappa leather upholstery, heated second-row seats, ventilated front seats, a deluxe headliner and a driver’s head-up display.
Kia offers no options in the Telluride. All of its available features are grouped into the trims detailed above.
Kia’s fuel consumption estimates for the Telluride are 12.5/9.6 L/100 km (city/highway).