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First Look At New Kia Telluride, A Good Choice In The Mid-Size SUV Wars

Take a look at Kia's largest vehicle ever, the 2020 Telluride mid-size SUV.


Kia brings out their largest vehicle ever and it’s a good one. It’s an all-new 3-Row SUV called the Telluride. Growing families needing extra room will have another choice in the popular mid-size SUV segment. This is Kia’s next big launch after the performance Stinger hit the market last year.

This week we drive the 2020 Kia Telluride SX V6 AWD trim.

What’s new for 2020?

The Kia Telluride is an all-new model, about the same size as a Honda Pilot, Toyota Highlander, and new Subaru Ascent. It can seat up to eight passengers and offers a maximum of 87 cubic feet of cargo capacity.

Speaking of Ascent and comparing to it, watch Subaru Ascent named as one of American's most family friendly SUVs and subscribe to Torque News Youtube channel for daily news automotive industry.

Features & Options

The 2020 Kia Telluride SX V6 AWD ($43,490) comes standard with LED taillights, power-folding mirrors, acoustic glass for front doors, a hands-free liftgate, keyless entry and ignition, three-zone automatic climate control, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, leather upholstery, a power-adjustable front passenger seat, ventilated front seats, an extra USB charge port, a 10.3-inch touchscreen, a driver voice amplifier for the rear seats, a Quiet Mode (which silences the rear speakers), and a wireless charging pad.

This Telluride SX also features LED headlights and foglights, dual sunroofs, front parking sensors, an upgraded driver information display, interior ambient lighting, driver-seat memory functions, second-row captain's chairs, a surround-view parking camera system, and a 10-speaker Harman Kardon surround-sound system. It also receives a blind-spot camera system, automatic high beams and a low-level automated highway driving system.
The SX Prestige package ($2,000) brings premium leather, a head-up display, heated and ventilated second-row seats, automatic wipers, a household power outlet and a heated steering wheel. Total MSRP including destination: $47,255.

Interior Highlights of 2020 Kia Telluride

Stepping inside the all-new Telluride cabin reveals a very comfortable place to spend time. The top trim SX models is loaded with extras to make life easier for growing families. We switched on the cooled seats and sat back in comfort on a hot day in Denver this week. We also liked the head-up display that allowed us keep our eyes fixed on the road in busy traffic. The front seats are supportive and the cabin is quiet keeping out the noisy world on our commute into Denver.

2020 Kia Telluride

This SX interior has a premium feel to it with lots of soft-touch materials, and the quality is what you would expect form a higher-priced vehicle. The climate control system, and audio functions are easy to use and didn’t require us to pullover to change the channel on the radio.

The cabin is roomy and we found it easy to find the perfect driving position with plenty of driver seats adjustment. Passenger space is excellent in the second row with the optional captains chairs. Our passengers this week slid in, got comfortable by lowering the window shades to keep the hot Denver sun out.

It’s easy to access the third row with the captain’s chairs and it is comfortable enough for adults to take a longer trip than just around the block. Average size adults will fit just fine in the third row.
Cargo space is generous, with 21 cubic feet behind the third row and 87 cubic feet with both rows folded down.

Engine & Fuel Mileage Specs

The new Telluride is powered by a 3.8-liter V6 producing 291 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. It comes paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive is standard, and this tester came with all-wheel drive. 

EPA fuel mileage estimates come in at 19/24 city/highway mpg and 21 combined mpg with all-wheel-drive.

Driving Dynamics

The 3.8-liter V6 is a competent engine for a vehicle this size. We pushed it hard up I-70 at altitude and were able to pass slower traffic with ease. Families who need to carry a full load of people and cargo will find it plenty capable and you will be comfortable on longer trips. Visibility is excellent for an SUV this size thanks to plenty of large greenhouse windows.

2020 Kia Telluride

Ride quality is quite good, even with the optional 20-inch wheels running on the dirt roads leading to our house. The 6-speed automatic transmission has smooth, intelligent, quick shifts going uphill in to the mountains west of Denver.
The SUV hugs the sweeping corners and overall the big SUV feels stable on the highway. We took its around some tight mountain curves and the Telluride did have significant body roll, but you won’t notice it in normal commuting or highway driving.

We cranked up the Harmon/Kardon premium sound system and forgot about the noisy world outside. We liked the upgraded surround view and blind spot monitor as we navigated busy streets and it kept us from hitting a parking barrier this week.

The Telluride offers 8 inches of ground clearance and a capable AWD system for all-weather capability. The big family SUV comes with AWD lock and a snow mode but no specialized off-road modes, so it will get you to the trailhead but not much farther. It can do more than most buyers will ask it to, but it's not an extreme off-pavement vehicle. Overall, the new Telluride XS is a premium ride with lots of extra creature comforts for families.


We are impressed with Kia’s largest SUV they’ve ever built. It has mild-mannered driving dynamics, plenty of utility, and offers up just about all the features we expect from this class of vehicle. If you're shopping for a three-row SUV for your family, Kia's new Telluride is one of the top models to check out.


Ollie (not verified)    June 18, 2019 - 7:55PM

The Kia Telluride only comes with an 8-speed auto transmission and not a 6-speed ... I’m sure that was a typo. Keen to know how Torquenews would rank this vehicle against the Subaru Ascent.

CygnusX1 (not verified)    December 5, 2019 - 12:01PM

If you take any clout in accolades, Kia hit a huge home-run with the Telluride. It got MotorTrend's 2020 SUV of the Year award. The Subaru Ascent was not even a finalist for the award.