2020 Kia Telluride first drive: Crossover SUV squares off
It doesn’t matter if we’re speaking about three-row crossover SUVs or Colorado cities: Telluride is just not a great distance from Palisade. At the very least on paper.
About 130 miles separate Telluride, Colorado, from Palisade, Colorado. In the case of the 2020 Kia Telluride and the upcoming Hyundai Palisade that shares its underpinnings, powertrain, and mission in life, the hole could not even be that massive.
MORE: Learn our 2020 Kia Telluride evaluation
That issues as a result of each crossover SUVs are late to the sport in relation to hauling as much as eight passengers and their gear in consolation. Up till now, Kia sellers have peddled Sorentos with non-obligatory third-row seats, which ship acceptable house in row three for these shorter than 5-feet and are worse than Spirit Airways’ economic system class for anybody taller.
With the 2020 Telluride, Kia fixes that shortcoming. The Telluride is massive, even for a three-row crossover SUV. It stretches 197 inches from bumper to bumper and is about 78 inches broad, which leaves it with a much bigger footprint than rivals such because the Subaru Ascent, Honda Pilot, and Toyota Highlander. Accordingly, the Telluride is extra spacious inside, however not by a lot. Its cargo space provides extra room on paper, however a lot of that’s above the window line. Stacking baggage the place it obscures outward imaginative and prescient is rarely a good suggestion.
The place the Telluride breaks floor—by no means a simple job amongst three-row crossover SUVs—is in its styling. It’s styled to look boxy and hard, with out exhausting edges. It seems nearly as good in Telluride because it does in Tribeca. From a distance, its boxy form suggests Tahoe-like proportions, however the smaller Telluride wears its strains higher than the Chevy and element prospers equivalent to a chrome belt line that tempts the roof pillars and attention-grabbing orange LED halo operating lights that make it a standout in a sea of anony-utes.
It’s not as daring inside, however the Telluride has the form of low dashboard and outward vision-enhancing slim roof pillars that had been as soon as the realm of Honda and Subaru. Kia has been listening.
Relying on the trim stage—LX, S, EX, SX—the Telluride could be had with a three-piece middle-row bench or particular person captain’s chairs with a thin pass-through. Most will in all probability go away seller tons with the captain’s chairs, since a slim chasm is outwardly sufficient to pacify warring kiddos. Somebody ought to inform D.C. about this secret.
The third row is third class, however no extra so than most rivals. The Telluride doesn’t prime the VW Atlas in relation to row-three house, however its massive home windows make the house really feel extra, effectively, spacious than it’s.
Cargo doesn’t endure. Behind the third row, the Telluride can lug 21 cubic toes of cargo. Fold row three and that grows to 46 cubes. With all three rows tucked away, most cargo capability is about 87 cubes.
Up entrance, the usual 8.0-inch touchscreen for infotainment is good however not as spectacular because the 10.3-inch widescreen that takes its place on EX and SX trims. All Tellurides include Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, at the least 5 USB ports, and Bluetooth, whereas a PA system that initiatives the driving force’s voice to miscreants in row three on the faucet of a button is on the choices record.
Talking of requirements, each Telluride from the $32,700 LX as much as the $47,000 SX with all-wheel drive comes customary with a lot of security tech. Kia doesn’t cost further for automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise management, blind-spot displays, or lively lane management. Some rivals—we’re taking a look at you, Chevy Traverse—demand beaucoup moolah for these options we take into account important.
Driving the 2020 Kia Telluride
The 291-horsepower 3.8-liter V-6 underneath the Telluride’s tall hood groups to an 8-speed automated and is tasked with placing energy to both the entrance or all 4 wheels. With as a lot as 4,500 kilos of crossover SUV to lug round, the Telluride gained’t win any drag races. Its 8-speed automated shifts well in most conditions, however our drive at excessive elevation revealed an overeagerness to slide into a better cog for gas financial savings.
Driving a Telluride at sea stage as an alternative of the 8,750-foot elevation of its namesake ski city will doubtless lead to extra sprightly acceleration. Nonetheless, we have now our doubts that it’ll outscoot the comparatively brisk Honda Pilot or really feel as sprightly because the turbo-4s within the Subaru Ascent and Mazda CX-9.
Gas economic system is merely so-so at 23 mpg mixed with front-wheel drive and 21 mpg mixed with the $2,000 all-wheel-drive system.
The Telluride’s ace is its commendably supple experience, which bests some luxurious SUVs. Even the 20-inch rubber on our $47,000 Telluride SX tester shrugged off end-of-winter potholes. The Telluride’s steering doesn’t say a phrase to the driving force, nevertheless it’s well-weighted and had no hassle maintaining the ‘ute in a straight line when the winds picked up round Palisade.
If there’s any turbulence within the Telluride’s future, it could come from the Hyundai Palisade. Hyundai’s model of this crossover SUV delivers equally daring seems and a smattering of tech not discovered within the Telluride equivalent to a digital instrument cluster