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We drive the Kia Telluride SX

by Ali Arsham
Saturday, February 15, 2020

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Kia Telluride SX
Kia Telluride SX
Kia introduced a new large SUV called the Telluride last year. A new SUV on the market is not that big of a deal but the Telluride is the best in the segment. If you want to buy a three-row SUV, this is the one to get. Most manufacturers don’t get it right on the first try but Kia has nailed this one.

At first glance, the Telluride is just another SUV. It is not a 600 hp fire breathing monster and it will not hit 200 mph.  It is just a plain family SUV that is made to get the kids to school and you to work. It is when you dig deeper and look at the small details that the Telluride becomes special and at that moment everything else becomes obsolete.

Imagined in America, designed at Kia’s design studio in California, and assembled in Georgia, the Telluride is the largest Kia ever. It can seat up to eight people very comfortably.  The front seats of our top of the line SX model were trimmed in beautifully stitched and soft leather.

The double-stitched, quilted and extra-padded Nappa leather trim is fantastic. The dash design is superb with a clean design that does not look cluttered. There are buttons for the most common items so that you don’t have to search around the large 10-inch LCD screen.

Everything that you touch feels rich and expensive and your passengers will think they are in an expensive European SUV. Touch the headliner and the suede feels so nice that you want to keep rubbing it.

The SX model is full of luxury features that will spoil you. Heated and cooled front and second row seats, ceiling vents for the rear passengers, reclining second row and third row seats, leather wrapped and heated steering wheel, 630 watt 10 speaker Harmon Kardon audio system with Surround Sound, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, wireless phone charging, six USB ports, active radar cruise control, surround view rear camera, rear sun shades, the list goes on and on.

The details are what sets the Telluride apart from the competition. These are the small touches that make life easier. For example, to fold the third row flat, there is a strap. Pull it with one hand and the seat folds down. Just that simple.

Beautiful cockpit
Beautiful cockpit
If you want to get into the third row, there is a button on the second row seat. Push it and the seat folds down and moves forward to give you access. Simple and easy.

There are USB ports on the side of the front seats and there is a small holder on the back of the front seat to hold your mobile phone. These small touches are everywhere.

Under the hood of all Telllurides is a 3.8 liter direct injected V6. This is the latest version of the Lambda engine that has been used in Hyundais and Kias for many years.

No fancy turbos or hybrids here mean that the Telluride will be reliable for years to come and maintenance costs are going to be very low. The engine provides 291 hp and is mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission. 

With 4300 pounds to move around, the Telluride is not a sports car but it moves around pretty good. Using the rotary knob in the center console you can switch between many preset functions. We usually kept it in the Comfort mode but Sport mode makes downshifts happen quicker and gives you more immediate response.

Center console
Center console
The Telluride is also capable with lots of room. Even with all the seats up, there is 21 cubic feet of space. Compare the Telluride with a Chevrolet Tahoe which is 6 inches longer. Despite the extra length, the Tahoe only has 15.3 cubic feet of space behind the third row.

The Telluride can also tow, although not a lot. It is rated to tow 5000 pounds which is what most people need. Unfortunately, Kia does not offer a factory tow receiver.

Price is always a concern to everyone and you will be very happy to see the Telluride prices. The base version starts out at only $31,890 which is a steal and the base model is not a stripped-out model either.

The base model has everything you need as standard equipment. Even if you were to get the top of the line SX, you are still only paying $41,700. That is such a better deal than anyone else that you need to hurry before prices go up.

2020 Kia Telluride Specs

  • All Wheel Drive
  • Automatic Transmission
  • MPG: 19 City / 24 Hwy
  • Body Style: Sport Utility
  • Trim: SX AWD

Exterior

  • Body
  • Body Style: Sport Utility
  • Dimensions
  • Wheelbase (in.): 114.2
  • Length, Overall (in.): 196.9
  • Width, Max w/o mirrors (in.): 78.3
  • Height, Overall (in.): 69.3
  • Doors & Windows
  • Rear Defrost
  • Privacy Glass
  • Power Windows
  • Exterior Features
  • Sun/Moon Roof
  • Panoramic Roof
  • Sun/Moonroof
  • Running Boards (Optional)
  • Rear Spoiler
  • Measurements
  • Base Curb Weight (lbs.): 4354
  • Tires & Wheels
  • Tires - Front Performance
  • Tires - Rear Performance
  • Compact Spare Tire
  • Tire Pressure Monitoring System
  • Aluminum Wheels
  • Wheel Locks (Optional)
  • Towing
  • Trailer Hitch Receiver (Optional)
  • Maximum Trailering Capacity (lbs.): 5000

Interior

  • Convenience & Comfort
  • Alarm
  • Back-Up Camera
  • Cruise Control
  • Adaptive Cruise Control
  • Heads-Up Display (Optional)
  • Vehicle Anti-Theft System
  • Fog Lamps
  • Auto-Off Headlights
  • Interior Cargo Shade (Optional)
  • Keyless Start
  • Luggage Rack (Optional)
  • Rear Parking Aid
  • Power Liftgate
  • Hands-Free Liftgate
  • Remote Engine Start
  • Adjustable Steering Wheel
  • Steering Wheel Controls
  • Leather Wrapped Steering Wheel
  • Heated Steering Wheel
  • Trip Computer
  • Remote Trunk Release
  • Universal Garage Door Opener
  • Intermittent Wipers
  • Rain Sensing Wipers (Optional)
  • Variable Speed Intermittent Wipers
  • Keyless Entry
  • Power Door Locks
  • Electrochromic rearview mirror
  • Heated Mirrors
  • Mirror Memory
  • Power Mirrors
  • Power Folding Mirrors
  • Driver Vanity Mirror
  • Driver Illuminated Vanity Mirror
  • Passenger Vanity Mirror
  • Passenger Illuminated Visor Mirror
  • Power Steering
  • Dimensions
  • Passenger Capacity: 7
  • Front Head Room (in.): 39.5
  • Front Leg Room (in.): 41.4
  • Front Shoulder Room (in.): 61.6
  • Front Hip Room (in.): 58.9
  • Second Head Room (in.): 38.8
  • Second Leg Room (in.): 42.4
  • Second Shoulder Room (in.): 59.9
  • Second Hip Room (in.): 58
  • Third Leg Room (in.): 31.4
  • Cargo Volume to Seat 1 (cu. ft.): 87
  • Cargo Volume to Seat 2 (cu. ft.): 46
  • Cargo Volume to Seat 3 (cu. ft.): 21
  • Entertainment
  • AM/FM Stereo
  • Auxiliary Audio Input
  • MP3 Player
  • Rear Seat Audio Controls
  • Satellite Radio
  • Premium Sound System
  • Smart Device Integration
  • Heating & Cooling
  • Climate Control
  • Dual Zone A/C
  • A/C
  • Rear A/C
  • Navigation & Communication
  • Navigation System
  • Onboard Hands-Free Communications System
  • Wireless Cell Phone Hookup
  • Seats
  • Leather Seats
  • Additional Rear Seat
  • Cooled Driver Seat
  • Cooled Rear Seat (Optional)
  • Heated Front Seats
  • Heated Rear Seat (Optional)
  • Driver Lumbar
  • Seat Memory
  • Power Driver Seat
  • Power Passenger Seat
  • Bucket Seats
  • Quad Bucket Seats

Mechanical

  • Engine & Performance
  • All Wheel Drive
  • V6 Cylinder Engine
  • Engine Type: Regular Unleaded V-6
  • Displacement: 3.8 L/231
  • Horsepower (Net @ RPM): 291 @ 6000
  • Torque (Net @ RPM): 262 @ 5200
  • Transmission: Automatic w/OD
  • Turning diameter: 38.8
  • Fuel
  • Gasoline Fuel
  • EPA Fuel Economy Est - City (MPG): 19
  • EPA Fuel Economy Est - Hwy (MPG): 24
  • Fuel Tank Capacity, Approx (gal.): 18.8
  • Suspension
  • Suspension Type - Front: Strut
  • Suspension Type - Rear: Multi-Link
  • Suspension Type - Front (Cont.): Strut
  • Suspension Type - Rear (Cont.): Multi-Link
  • Transmission
  • Automatic
  • Automatic Transmission w/Manual Mode
  • 8-Speed Automatic

Safety

  • Airbags
  • Driver Air Bag
  • Passenger Air Bag
  • Front Head Air Bag
  • Rear Head Air Bag
  • Front Side Air Bag
  • Brakes
  • 4-Wheel ABS
  • 4-Wheel Disc Brakes
  • Safety Features
  • Brake Assist
  • Electronic Stability Control
  • Daytime Running Lights
  • Child Safety Locks
  • Integrated Turn Signal Mirrors
  • Traction Control
  • Blind Spot Monitor
  • Lane Departure Warning
  • Lane Keeping Assist

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