2020 Kia Telluride
There has been a lot of buzz for the new 2020 Kia Telluride. This mid-sized, three-row SUV got the automotive media’s attention with its superb execution and solid design. Customers have been flocking to Kia dealers to get their hands on one.
Why is this Kia SUV so buzzworthy? We had to find out. Once we received our Telluride SX tester at our office, we went to work to answer that question for you.
It starts from a look that is aggressive and quite masculine. Kia’s approach was to make a brawny SUV that has an air of masculinity and toughness. The front end is bold with vertical headlamps units surrounded by amber driving lights that flank a bold grille and a reminder on the hood what this vehicle is all about – the model name. The side profile is upright with some special trim at the glass line with a crease line below running from end to end.
The rear end is dictated by a set of vertical taillights flanking a very large liftgate. The taillights are integral to the crease line making the Telluride one of the boldest statements in its segment. Our SX tester had 20-inch black gloss wheels giving our gray tester a performance look to go along with its aggressive nature.
Stepping inside the Kia and you get a lot of the good qualities found across its SUV lineup. The tablet-like infotainment screen is 10.25 inches wide with a three-pane home page. The instrumentation had two analog dials framing a TFT screen for information and a feature that would blow my mind. When you turn on your turn signals, the TFT screen will show you a view from a camera behind the corresponding mirror. Unlike Honda’s system, Kia’s monitor works on both sides, rather than the passenger side.
In typical Kia fashion, there is a T-bar gear lever with plenty of controls located around it. The controls in other places work logically and offer great tactile control. In all, the Telluride offers the driver a great cockpit to drive from.
Front seating in the Kia is big, supportive, and quite comfortable. They also offer plenty of bolstering and support without fatigue. Second row seats are as comfortable as the front row ones. They offer plenty of adjustments for rake and recline. The biggest surprise was the third-row access and space, for which the one-touch access made life easier for adults to get into the third row and have plenty of space back there.
The 3.8-liter V6 engine is remarkable. With 291 horsepower on tap, it does a great job hauling the Telluride with absolute ease. It is connected to a smooth-shifting 8-speed automatic transmission with all-wheel drive connected to a drive mode system. While it was a powerful SUV, it did return some family friendly fuel economy. We averaged 25.4 MPG in our care.
What really won us over was the driving dynamics. The ride quality is absolutely superb with its suspension system absorbing everything in its way. Handling and cornering also produced great results. Here is an interesting piece of feedback: normally big wheels and tires usually lower the quality of the ride. Not on the Telluride. You never felt any loss of road worthiness with these 20-inch wheels and tires.
We also love how the steering system created tight turns while providing good feedback from the road for a vehicle in its class. The brakes were superb, with solid pedal feel and great response at the wheels. We like how the anti-lock braking system responded to panic situations without any hesitation.
Pricing for the 2020 Telluride starts at $31,690 for a LX with front-wheel-drive. Our SX all-wheel-drive tester came with a sticker price of $46,860. There are four trim levels to choose from with an excellent level of standard and available equipment for each one.
The Telluride is up against some formidable competition. Its rivals include the Ford Explorer, Chevrolet Traverse, GMC Acadia, Dodge Durango, Toyota Highlander, Honda Pilot, Subaru Ascent, Volkswagen Atlas, Nissan Pathfinder, Mazda CX-9, and Hyundai Palisade.
In the end, there is only one mid-sized three-row SUV that is truly buzzworthy. In fact, it stands out at the top of the class at this moment. That SUV is the 2020 Kia Telluride. You will definitely believe the buzz once you drive one.
Story Credits: CarSoup Editors