First Drive: 2020 Kia Telluride

Kia grabbed our attention with the Stinger, and now it has us fully focused with its new 2020 Telluride.

The three-row SUV manages to bake in a healthy dose of premium features while providing a top-tier cabin experience. Especially in the fully loaded version.

Under the hood is a 3.8-liter V6 and it produces 291 horsepower. That doesn’t sound like much, but the Telluride makes do with all that mill can offer.

With its sub-$50,000 sticker price all in, the Kia Telluride is one compelling option for those needing a tall ride with lots of room.

On the outside, Kia nailed the styling. Imagine if Chevrolet/GMC were staring down its Yukon or Tahoe and needed to update it a bit. This could’ve been one of the paths the designers went down. But Kia went this way, and included items that Chevy wouldn’t dare try. Those orange daytime running lights? Love them. The shape of the taillights? Fantastic.

Move to the inside, and you’ll find a comfortable, upscale, and well-appointed cabin. Spring for the top-flight interior gear, and be rewarded with Nappa leather seats and suede-like finishing on the a-pillars. Having a quartet of captain’s chairs makes for easy entry into that usable third row.

Do I wish it had more power? Yes, of course I do. Take a peek at that rear lower trim though, and imagine what could be used to fill out that spot. It appears Kia could be cooking up an even more enjoyable Telluride down the road. For now though, this one hits the mark perfectly.

[Disclaimer: Kia tossed us the keys to its Telluride and included a tank of fuel.]

5 Comments

    1. I see some superficial similarities, but the cabin on the Volvo sits further back (the base of the windshield is fully behind the front wheel), giving it a longer nose and a more sweptback profile. The KIA looks comparatively chunky. Overall, I think the XC90 looks more like a raised station wagon, while the Telluride looks more trucklike.
      I scaled the images as accurately as I could (wheelbase of the KIA 114.2″ vs Volvo’s 117.5″), but it surprised me that the Telluride is actually smaller. It gives a larger impression than does the XC90, at least to my eyes.
      https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/47655898532_7649535f06_b.jpg

      1. That green color really does look great on this.

        It’s incredible how ugly the Hyundai Palisade is considering it’s the same car.

      2. That green color really does look great on this.

        It’s incredible how ugly the Hyundai Palisade is considering it’s the same car.

  1. I generally dislike crossovers and SUVs, but I’ve been following the Telluride since first seeing its concept version, and I like it even better in production form. My experience with KIAs has been very positive– we’re on our second Sedona, and while I can’t say I could ever love a minivan or a FWD, I genuinely like the car and have zero regrets buying it over its competition.
    The new Telluride looks both stylish and substantial, the interior is fantastic, and that moss green color is awesome.

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