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2023 Kia Telluride Review - A Handsomely Styled SUV With A Bargain Price Point

The Kia Telluride, a cousin of the Hyundai Palisade, is getting a good update for 2023. This update includes mechanical and technological advancements that will enhance the driving experience and provide better performance.

The 2023 Kia Telluride has been a hugely popular SUV, due to its attractive styling and great value for money. No matter what trim level you go for, you're guaranteed to get plenty of features as standard. The top of the range model even offers a luxurious experience which is usually found in much more expensive vehicles. What's more, the V-6 engine, quiet cabin, and stable road handling all combine to give the Telluride an incredibly refined feel while driving.

Just like the Hyundai Palisade , which just got a good update for 2023, its mechanical twin, the Kia Telluride , is also subject to some notable new features. On the menu: a refreshed design, even more technologies and X-Line and X-Pro versions that focus more than ever on off-road and adventure.

What's New in 2023 Telluride

The 2023 Kia Telluride has been given a styling refresh to make it even more attractive, including a refreshed grille, redesigned headlamps, and a new front bumper. Inside, an all-digital instrument panel with dual 12.3-inch screens is now standard, adding a touch of luxury to the Telluride. You'll find similar layouts on luxurious vehicles such as the BMW iX, Cadillac Escalade, and Mercedes-Benz GLS-class. Navigation is also now standard, and an onboard Wi-Fi hotspot has been added for easy connection. Finally, two more rugged-looking trims, the X-Line and X-Pro, are now available, unlocking the Telluride's maximum 5500-pound towing capacity.

Lots of Trims and Pricing

The Kia Telluride is a full-size three-row SUV that offers plenty of passenger and cargo space. It is offered in eight trims, ranging from the LX base trim to the top-of-the-line SX Prestige X-Pro. Prices start at $37,025 for the LX, and go all the way up to $54,120 for the SX Prestige X-Pro.

So the The LX is the base trim and is equipped with a 3.8-liter V6 engine, an eight-speed automatic transmission, a 12.3-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth, a rearview camera, and more. The S adds additional convenience features like heated front seats, a power liftgate, and a wireless phone charger.

2023 Kia Telluride Review side

Overall the 2023 Kia Telluride is offered in LX, S, EX, EX X-Line, SX, SX X-Line, SX X-Pro, SX prestig, SX prestige X-Line and SX Prestige X-Pro trims. Torque news has been driving test-driving SX-Prestige X-Line. Some commentators recommend the SX trim, which offers a good balance of options and price.

Note that the new 2023 Kia Telluride offers two X trims: the X-Line and the X-Pro. However, the X-Pro finish is designed for adventure lovers, especially when it comes to snowy climates, since it includes Snow Mode that provides a better driving experience.

Exterior Design

It was during the New York Motor Show that Kia presented the Telluride improvements. The changes are immediately apparent at the front where new headlamp units replace the old ones. These drop the yellow outline and prioritize two vertical LED spotlights and bars.

A redesigned bumper gives this model a little more ruggedness, while the rear end is sleeker thanks to slightly redesigned LED lights and a new bumper.

Modern Interior

Most noticeable is the highly updated cabin which now features an all-digital display that matches the now 12.3-inch infotainment screen.

The compact Telluride SUV offers surprisingly roomy cabin that's an enjoyable place to travel in. From the driver’s seat you’ll find excellent visibility and great driving position, while the first two rows of seats offer both legroom and hiproom and plenty of headroom even with the optional panoramic moonroof. The third row is even more accommodating than many other SUVs - big enough for full-grown adults - making it a great choice for larger families. All in all, the Telluride's cabin remains a strong suit and offers great room, comfort, and visibility for passengers and driver alike.

2023 Kia Telluride Review front interior

Kia also takes the opportunity to review the head-up display. This one is larger and displays even more information. Despite these additions, Kia retains the physical buttons to operate the air conditioning and the audio system.

In addition, the Telluride inherits new adventurous X-Line and X-Pro versions. On the side of the Telluride X-Line, there is a raised ground clearance of 0.4 inches, a new towing mode, reinforced roof rails, as well as a grille and rims exclusive to the model. The X-Pro trim adds a 110-volt outlet in the trunk and 18-inch wheels. This version also benefits from an improved towing capacity, going from 2,267 kilos (5,000 pounds) for a regular Telluride to 2,495 kilos (5,500 pounds).

2023 Kia Telluride Review trunk

Nothing changes under the hood, however. The 2023 Telluride is still powered by a 3.8-liter V6 with 291 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque. This engine is mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox.

Finally, Kia has furnished its Telluride with the latest driver assistance technologies. As standard, all Tellurides will receive HDA technology. Consumers will however be able to opt for an improved version of this system called HDA 2 as an option. This system automatically changes cruising speed when the speed limit changes, while the emergency braking system monitors oncoming traffic when turning left at intersections.

The system can brake when it detects cross-traffic and even steer the vehicle back into its lane when it detects an oncoming vehicle while passing. I heard that eventually, the Telluride will be compatible with digital keys that can be installed on iPhone, Samsung Galaxy Android and Apple Watch.

Fuel Economy and Real World MPG

The 2023 Kia Telluride has become one of the top contenders in the world of three-row mid-size SUVs, thanks to its flash design and power. What's remarkable is that the Telluride is offered with only one powertrain option - a V-6 engine. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates, the Telluride in its front-wheel-drive system is the most fuel economical, with ratings of 20 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway. However, the all-wheel-drive models drop to 18 mpg city and 24 mpg highway, which is slightly higher compared to its competitors like the Volkswagen Atlas and slightly lower than the Honda Pilot. In a real-world test that was conducted by the EPA, the all-wheel-drive model returned 24 mpg on a 70-mph highway route, matching its EPA rating as I drove Columbia, SC from Charlotte and back, about 90 miles each way. Those who seek detailed information on the Telluride's fuel economy can visit the EPA's website.

These features are standard in 2023 Kia Telluride trims.

  • Forward-collision warning with pedestrian and cyclist detection
  • Automatic emergency braking
  • A new intersection turn assistance feature that attempts to prevent unsafe left turns across traffic
  • Lane-departure warning
  • Lane-keeping assistance
  • Lane-centering assistance
  • Blind-spot warning
  • Rear cross-traffic warning
  • Rear parking sensors
  • Safe-exit system
  • Adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go capability
  • Speed-limit assistance
  • Automatic high-beam headlights

As you can see lots of features are standard in the 2023 Kia Telluride model year.

The Drive

The Kia Telluride's 3.8 liter V6 engine is eager to deliver 291 horsepower, with 262 lb-ft of torque available starting at just 1500 RPM. The Telluride's 8-speed automatic transmission is seamless and smooth. It is also mated to Kia's Torque-Vectoring All-Wheel Drive system. This system helps split the torque to the front and rear wheels, with the torque being biased to the front and rear sides independently in order to improve cornering and maneuverability. As a result, the Telluride is capable of delivering power in challenging conditions, and also works well in rain and rough terrain. The standard suspension combines MacPherson struts in the front, and a multi-link setup in the rear, with lateral and diagonal stiffness tuned for sporty driving. The NerveFlex suspension in higher trims adds a more compliant and comfortable ride.
2023 Kia Telluride Review third row seating

The Telluride's satisfying and confident drive can be added to with safety addition like Adaptive Cruise Control. This cruise control system uses advanced sensors to maintain a safe distance from other vehicles on the road, as well as proactive breaking and lane departure systems to help keep you safe on the way to your destination. Overall, the Kia Telluride boasts amazing and safe driving dynamics, perfect for anyone looking for a comfortable, powerful, and luxurious ride.


The new Kia Telluride is an impressive midsize SUV that offers a variety of advantages. The 2023 Telluride has several modern tech features, such as an advanced infotainment system, and a host of safety systems. The Telluride is also equipped with a unique 8-Speed automatic transmission, giving it exceptional acceleration performance.

Kia's midsize SUV is also highly stylish, boasting an exterior that is both modern and distinguished. The interior is spacious, comfortable, and includes plenty of space for passengers and luggage. It has an impressive fuel economy rating, as well as an excellent predicted reliability rating. Furthermore, the Telluride is available in a variety of trim levels, providing drivers with the ability to customize their vehicle to best suit their own needs.

2023 Kia Telluride Review rear view exterior

I think the Telluride's performance capabilities, stylish design, and range of features make it an excellent choice for those searching for a reliable and modern midsize SUV. It packs a powerful punch, while also offering a comfortable and safe driving experience. Additionally, the vehicle's value proposition is strong, making it an affordable option that many drivers are sure to love.

Armen Hareyan is the founder and the Editor in Chief of Torque News. He founded in 2010, which since then has been publishing expert news and analysis about the automotive industry. He can be reached at Torque News Twitter, Facebok, Linkedin and Youtube.

Reference: RPM Web,