2021 Kia Telluride overview: Top-of-the-line SUVs you should purchase

The Telluride is our decide for one of the best three-row SUV in its class.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

In a world teeming with SUVs of all shapes, sizes and types, the 2021 Kia Telluride is an automotive all-star. With driving refinement and inside appointments that would not be misplaced in a luxurious automobile, good-looking styling and loads of versatility, this three-row hauler is well one of many section’s finest.

LikeLuxury automobile appointmentsGreat driving refinement refinementSpacious cabin

Do not LikeUseless lane-keeping assistObviously pretend wooden trim

With a welcoming entrance finish, curt bottom and chic flanks accentuated by curiously stepped brightwork surrounding the facet glass, Kia’s Telluride SUV is critically engaging. To my eyes, it is prettier than its sibling, the equally compelling if extra curiously styled Hyundai Palisade.

Growing its curb enchantment (should you embrace the darkness, that’s), my top-of-the-line SX-trim tester is fitted with the $1,295 Dusk Version look package deal, an choices group that is out there on a number of fashions. As its identify suggests, the Dusk will get a lot of blacked-out parts, together with 20-inch wheels, roof rails, skid plates, emblems and the grille, in addition to some barely darker greenhouse trim. General, the look is engaging if a bit too monochromatic for my style.

What is correct up my alley, nevertheless, is the Telluride’s attractive inside. From the supplies and textures to the structure and construct high quality, the whole lot’s top-notch — the phony wooden trim being the one exception. The premium graining on the mushy plastics is beautiful, the buttons and switches really feel stable and function with Mercedes-Benz-like slickness and all of the controls are straightforward to achieve and use, which means there is no fumbling round to determine the way you interact the auto brake-hold characteristic or decrease the fan pace. My tester can be fitted with the $2,300 SX Status package deal, which brings goodies like a head-up show, Nappa leather-based seating surfaces, heated and ventilated second-row seats, rain-sensing windshield wipers and extra to the desk, serving to make an already upscale automobile really feel much more premium.

The Telluride earns excessive marks for its total consolation, too. Whereas its entrance seats might use extra contouring to be actually coddling for long-haul drives, they’re nonetheless good. The second-row buckets in my tester are road-trip accredited, nevertheless, adjusting in a number of instructions, offering wonderful consolation for grownup passengers because of their elevated decrease cushions and being hospitable in all seasons, courtesy of the aforementioned heating and air flow capabilities. Making certain everybody’s cellular units stay totally juiced, this Telluride has two USB type-A retailers within the sides of the entrance seatbacks in addition to a 12-volt socket and a 110-volt family outlet on the backside of the middle console. There are even a pair USB ports servicing the third row. No, you’ll be able to’t get a correct rear-seat leisure system, however Kia tells me one is within the works.

The inside is properly designed and opulent.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

Offering easy accessibility to the Telluride’s again bench, these second-row buckets tilt and slide on the push of a button, leaving a pathway giant sufficient for limber adults to clamber by. Common-sized grownups also needs to be moderately snug on this Kia’s third-row seat, which is sort of hospitable and affords first rate quantities of room for each legs and heads.

If you have to haul cargo as an alternative of simply passengers, the Telluride has you lined. With 21 cubic ft of house behind the third row, it affords extra room than the Honda Pilot, Ford Explorer or Toyota Highlander. House behind the second- and first-row seats may be very related for all 4 of those automobiles, although the Explorer does have a miniscule benefit in whole cargo room. Fold all its seats down and the Telluride affords a powerful 87 cubic ft of junk-hauling house.

Subsequent up, let’s speak tech. Superior driving aids like rear parking sensors, adaptive cruise management with stop-and-go performance and rear cross-traffic alert are all customary throughout the Telluride vary. Lane-keeping help is included, too, but it surely’s just about ineffective, doing nearly nothing to maintain this Kia from wandering like a vagabond.

These 20-inch wheels are a part of a brand new Dusk look package deal.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

On the infotainment entrance, lesser fashions characteristic an 8-inch dashboard touchscreen, although my SX tester has a beneficiant 10.2-inch show that is each brilliant and simple to achieve. Kia’s newest infotainment system is not essentially my favourite providing, although it is nonetheless wonderful, easy to make use of and responsive. Zooming in or out on the navigation map and swiping by menus is speedy and easy. Irrespective of the variant, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are included with each Telluride.

Placing all of it in movement, only one drivetrain is obtainable on this three-row hauler. The Telluride makes use of a 3.8-liter gasoline-burning V6 that delivers 291 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. Easy and hushed, this engine is matched completely to an ivy-league clever eight-speed automated transmission. Significantly good, this gearbox is as near excellent as you may ever discover in a mass-market automobile, being quick-witted, silky easy and desperate to downshift at the same time as you gently squeeze the accelerator pedal to name up a bit extra pace.

This Kia isn’t any featherweight, clocking in at 4,482 kilos, however the efficiency it gives is sort of spectacular, no less than when empty and with out a trailer in tow. Pushed usually, the Telluride has no bother maintaining with site visitors or overtaking dawdling Sunday drivers. Nail the accelerator and it scoots, the engine ramping up shortly, aided by that ever-resourceful transmission. Hauling a full load up the facet of a desert mountain within the warmth of July is perhaps a problem, however pushed on flatlands with none passengers or baggage, the Telluride delivers wonderful efficiency.

Even totally loaded, the Telluride is a superb worth.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

Like every SUV price its salt, all-wheel drive is offered, a characteristic that is non-obligatory throughout all the Telluride vary. As you’d anticipate, it does degrade gas financial system, however solely by a pair miles per gallon. This instance is fitted with the traction-enhancing characteristic and it is rated at 19 mpg metropolis, 24 mpg on the freeway and 21 mpg mixed. In blended driving, I’ve averaged 21.1 mpg in keeping with the journey pc, a better-than-expected determine given how liberal I used to be with the accelerator pedal.

As for journey high quality, it is as supple and refined as this Kia’s upscale inside, which additionally stays unnervingly hushed, even at freeway speeds. The Telluride shrugs off giant bumps with ease whereas smaller imperfections are nearly utterly filtered out. This SUV’s dealing with is benign and predictable, however nothing to sing about.

The Telluride is nicer and higher designed than most likely any of its main rivals, and in sure methods, it appears like a step above some so-called luxurious automobiles. And what’s extra outstanding than all that’s the pricing. Together with $1,170 in vacation spot charges, a base LX mannequin begins at 33 grand and alter, although my properly geared up SX all-wheel-drive tester checks out for $50,180, although that also appears like a cut price. Briefly, Kia completely nailed it with the Telluride.

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