2022 Kia Telluride
Three years ago, Kia rolled out a Super Bowl ad for its new mid-size SUV to be produced at the West Point, Georgia assembly plant. Little did we know that the Telluride would be awarded practically every award available to an automobile.
Even an international panel named the Kia telluride the World Car of The Year in 2020.
While the trophy case at Kia America was filled to the brim, the Telluride became the most desirable vehicle on the planet – except it was only available in North America.
In its third model year, the Kia Telluride remains a very desirable vehicle. Given today’s marketplace, is it still worth waiting for?
The short answer is yes.
There are many reasons for that answer. One, the exterior is aggressive and quite masculine. Kia continues to make this 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: Shouting the word “Telluride.”
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, which is part of the Nightfall package. The grille was given a specific treatment with a more aggressive texture. Of course, the new Kia logo is found at all the right places.
Stepping inside the Telluride 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.
A tactile gear lever is surrounded by plenty of controls located around it. The controls in other places work logically and offer great 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 291-horsepower 3.8-liter V6 engine is remarkable. This engine 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. We averaged 19.4 MPG for fuel economy, although we observed much higher averages in past Tellurides.
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 2022 Telluride starts at $33,090 for a LX with front-wheel-drive. Our SX all-wheel-drive tester with the Prestige and Nightfall packages came with a sticker price of $51,010. There are four trim levels to choose from with an excellent level of standard and available equipment for each one.
While the Telluride earned a lion’s share of awards these past few years, it is still up against some formidable competition. Its rivals include the Ford Explorer, Chevrolet Traverse, GMC Acadia, Dodge Durango, Jeep Grand Cherokee L, Toyota Highlander, Honda Pilot, Subaru Ascent, Volkswagen Atlas, Nissan Pathfinder, Mazda CX-9, and Hyundai Palisade.
The Kia Telluride remains the one to get, if you’re looking for a comfortable three-row mid-size SUV. There’s no need to list all of the awards it has won – and continue to earn. Believe us when we say that it has earned each and e very one of them.
Story Credits: CarSoup Editors