The Telluride is Kia’s largest SUV. The three-row vehicle is capable of seating up to eight people and gives Kia stores an answer for customers looking for a larger SUV than the Sorento.
The Telluride will keep them in the Kia family.
Designed in and for North America, the Telluride is produced at the company’s massive new plant in the Georgia. Longer and wider than the Sorento, it comes with a V6 engine, eight-speed automatic transmission, and a sophisticated all-wheel-drive system.
As you’d expect from Kia, standard equipment on even the least expensive trim level is extensive. In addition to power everything, heated seats and steering wheel, it has adaptive cruise control, a 25-cm colour infotainment screen with rear-view monitor, park assist and reclining rear seats.
From a hot-stamped grill and LED headlights to the skid plate and dual exhaust outlets, it has a distinct appearance. The big-box shape covers a spacious interior with a lot more space for people and their “stuff” than the Sorento.
Kia’s new flagship is a showcase for a suite of safety features unequalled anywhere near the $45,000-$55,000 price point.
Standard or available safety features include: blind-spot collision-avoidance assist, forward collision avoidance, rear cross-traffic collision-avoidance assist, lane following assist, 360-degree camera and blind-spot view monitor, safe exit assist, rear occupant alert, surround view, and a heads-up display.
Customers seeking a three-row vehicle are obviously family-oriented and the product planners for the Telluride went out of their way to ensure the big new crossover fit those needs.
The Telluride provides connectivity for two smart phones and there are six fast-charge USB outlets and separate climate controls for the rear seats.
These folks obviously have families themselves, as there are a number of thoughtful and useful touches like hooks on the back of the front seats, mesh pockets for cell phones, wireless phone charging, privacy/sun curtains, heated and ventilated second-row seats and a hands-free power lift gate.
Children factored into the design brief. In addition to anchors for three child seats, there is a system whereby the driver can address rear-seat occupants through the audio system and rear speakers.
A “quiet mode” allows front-row occupants to turn off all speakers to the rear and access to the third row is accessed by pressing a button to tilt and slide the second-row seat out of the way.
The big vehicle is supremely quiet on the road with a smooth and supple ride without being too yacht-like in the corners. The self-levelling rear suspension keeps the Telluride level when the massive load area and/or third-row seats are used.
A switch on the centre console allows the driver to select various modes — four for normal operation — comfort, eco, sport and smart — and three for inclement conditions — snow, mud and sand.
The V6 is silky smooth and quiet under all conditions, providing more than ample power for this 4,500-lb. crossover. The transmission has been programmed to provide the right gear for every condition with no hunting or hesitation.
Kia’s relentless improvements have brought it to the top of customer satisfaction and reliability ratings. The new range-topping Telluride brings all that and a raft of safety and technology features for large families.
- Model: 2020 Kia Telluride AWD
- Engine: 3.8-litre, V6, 291 horsepower, 262 lb.-ft. of torque, regular fuel
- Transmission: eight-speed automatic, all-wheel-drive
- NRCan rating (litres/100km city/highway): 12.9 / 9.6
- Length: 5,000 mm
- Width: 1,990 mm
- Wheelbase: 2,900 mm
- Price: $49,995 as tested, plus freight
- Competition: Ford Explorer, Honda Pilot, Nissan Pathfinder, Toyota Highlander
- Options on test vehicle: none