It has been just a little over a decade since Kia doubled-down on design, hiring TT-designer Peter Schreyer away from Audi and making him the corporate’s chief design officer. Whereas Kia has produced loads of engaging machines since then, it is solely prior to now few years that the model’s true ambitions have surfaced. With Stinger, Kia launched a world-class sports activities sedan that wanted few caveats when in comparison with far pricier steel from Germany.Â
Now, the model is seeking to deliver that very same kind of reinvention to the three-row SUV recreation. It is the $31,690 2020 Kia Telluride, the corporate’s largest automobile ever. With no template to construct from or prior automobile to evolve, the Telluride is completely contemporary and remarkably good.
Design and inside
There are such a lot of bland SUVs on the street immediately that I are likely to have fun something completely different, and whereas completely different is not all the time good, the Telluride is. It brings a number of freshness to a sometimes boring phase with out flaunting any dangerous, overly unconventional styling cues. At first look, it simply seems to be like a clear, trendy SUV with robust, purposeful strains. A pal referred to as it “trucky,” which I might take as a complement. From sure angles it has a little bit of a Vary Rover vibe going, however its design is rarely spinoff.
The sweeping taillights on the rear are giant however well-proportioned, and whereas there’s loads of chrome to be discovered from entrance to again, the factor by no means seems to be gaudy. OK, the huge “TELLURIDE” badging on each the nostril and the tailgate is probably a bit a lot, and the inset, vertically stacked headlights show to not everybody’s liking amongst these I’ve casually polled, however total it is a machine that appears prefer it should price excess of that $31,690 beginning worth.Â
That continues on the inside, the place the clear, brilliant mixture of visible supplies creates an area with the air of one thing much more premium — particularly given the seven separate inside coloration schemes to select from. That is helped by the panoramic glass roof and the Nappa leather-based trim on the SX Status Telluride I examined, a part of a $2,000 bundle over the $41,490 SX. That additionally features a premium headliner that is fairly nice-feeling, however I have to say it did not take lengthy for my arms to seek out some decidedly cheaper supplies. The “wooden” trim on the sprint seems to be good till you contact it, whereas the exhausting plastics on the door playing cards introduced some sharp, ugly gaps between panels.Â
So the main points are missing, however the performance is there on the SX Status, together with heated and cooled seats up entrance and even within the center row. These center seats even have distant, energy folding controls within the rear hatch. The third row makes do with a set of straightforward straps to drop them into the ground or elevate them again up. Adults will certainly really feel cramped in the best way again, although truthfully there is a serviceable quantity of room for brief journeys, and the break up center seats make entry straightforward. (Patrons needing seating for eight can go for a center bench as an alternative.) Center row consolation is superb, whereas your common NBA famous person won’t be missing for head nor shoulder room in both of the entrance seats.Â
Infotainment duties are dealt with by Kia’s considerably dated Uvo system that, whereas primary, a minimum of presents Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Decrease trims supply an 8-inch show, whereas my tester had the upgraded, extra-wide 10.25-inch unit. Regardless of that dimension, Kia did not attempt to jam all of the rig’s performance on the touchscreen. The Telluride nonetheless presents a set of bodily controls for every little thing from temperature to drive modes. There’s even an old-school PRNDL shifter flanked by a pair of beefy seize rails.Â
Hitting the street
Inside and outside the Telluride seems to be good, excellent. It is at this level you is likely to be apprehensive that the entire thing would fall to items as soon as put into movement. I am very comfortable to report that is not the case. The Telluride’s drive lives as much as its design. All flavors get the identical 3.8-liter V6, free-breathing with out turbos to ship 291 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. That places it nicely forward of the 260 horsepower our long-term Subaru Ascent places down, additionally topping the 280-horsepower Honda Pilot.Â
Acceleration is sort of good and the eight-speed computerized is fast to interact the appropriate cog on the proper time. In change for that efficiency, my all-wheel-drive SX is EPA-rated rated for 19 miles per gallon within the metropolis, 24 on the freeway and 21 mixed. In my testing, a mix of freeway and again roads, I scored 22. The front-wheel-drive Telluride bumps every of these figures by one or two, providing 20 within the metropolis, 26 on the freeway and 23 mixed.Â
So gasoline financial system is not the Telluride’s robust go well with, however then few are shopping for three-row SUVs for frugality on the pump. Far more necessary is experience high quality, and whereas the Telluride would not supply the cosseting compliance of Honda’s Pilot, it does a commendable job of controlling its 4,354-pound curb weight. The Telluride proved mushy sufficient to lull my passengers asleep on an prolonged freeway stretch, but nonetheless participating sufficient to be pleasing on some twistier roads.
Configuration and competitors
By way of sheer functionality and efficiency, you are truthfully not giving up quite a bit for those who go together with the bottom Telluride LX, which begins at $31,690. For that you just get the identical 3.8-liter V6 and 5,000-pound towing capability as the remainder, plus the family-friendly, eight-seat format. Nevertheless, given the worth right here, I might reside it up and step as much as the top-shelf SX trim, just like the mannequin I examined.
$41,490 will get you within the door, plus one other $2,000 for AWD. I might add $795 for the towing bundle with self-leveling rear suspension, essential to get the boat to the lake, however in all probability skip the $2,000 SX Status bundle until my second-row passengers actually wanted heated and cooled seats. And that is it. The SX contains entry to Kia’s Uvo telematics, which implies distant preconditioning, plus the complete suite of adaptive security programs, together with computerized emergency braking, blind-spot detection and a complicated adaptive cruise system that may not solely deal with stop-and-go visitors, however routinely regulate velocity based mostly on the present posted restrict.
That is a number of automotive for the $45,330 whole worth, which incorporates the $1,045 vacation spot price.Â
So far as competitors goes, as talked about above the Telluride presents extra energy than both the Subaru Ascent or Honda pilot, although in AWD trim its mixed EPA determine is falls wanting the 23 mpg Ascent and the 22 mpg Pilot. Its towing is larger than the Pilot, nonetheless and, for those who’re not too choosy about supplies, its inside is miles forward of both.Â
Lastly, there’s the upcoming, which beneath the pores and skin is far the identical because the Telluride. Selecting between these two will possible come right down to whichever strikes your visible fancy.
Kia’s first three-row SUV is a knockout. Although actually just a little tough across the edges on among the inside bits, its look, its efficiency and its worth are actually top-notch. The rise of Kia continues, and with automobiles like this it is exhausting to know the place it’d cease.Â