Quick Take: 2020 Kia Telluride


Kia’s Telluride is designed to shake up the large family crossover market and after Cartrast spent some time with the Telluride, we believe Kia accomplished its goal. The Telluride we drove was the top-end SX version with the $2,000 SX Prestige Package, which brought Nappa leather seats, a head-up display, and heated/ventilated second-row seats. Other features standard on the Telluride SX V6 that we liked were the 20-inch black-finished alloy wheels, a 10-speaker Harman/Kardon sound system, a rear (fixed-glass) sunroof, 12-way power driver’s seat, and a surround-view monitor that was very helpful when parking.

The handling of the Telluride is very good, being able to tackle the winding nature of the Laureles Grade in Carmel, California. Power comes from a 3.8-liter V-6 making 291 horsepower, adequate for most situations. We also got to sample the Telluride’s off-road capability on the Land Rover Experience course at the Quail Lodge in Carmel too. The Telluride handled light off-roading very well (though drivers should take note of the low front air dam, which affects ascent angles), and tackling uneven surfaces with ease. In addition, the Telluride’s all-wheel-drive system has a locking center differential that can evenly split power between the front and rear axles in muddy or snowy conditions.

The Telluride is a good alternative to the Honda Pilot, Toyota Highlander, Nissan Pathfinder, Chevrolet Traverse, Ford Explorer, Volkswagen Atlas, and all the other large three-row crossovers on the market. At $47,255, the as-tested price of the Telluride may seem high. But as it offers features that some of its competitors don’t even have at the same price point, the Telluride is definitely a family vehicle to contemplate owning.