The 2020 Kia Telluride is one of the newest entries to the three-row SUV segment and, frankly speaking, Kia knocked it out of the park with this SUV. However, there are a couple areas where Kia could have made some improvements.
The long list of positives start the moment you lay your eyes on the 2020 Kia Telluride. Kia managed to design a rather handsome looking vehicle. Start at the front, you notice the LED headlights with LED daytime running lights. Kia, chose to have the DRLs show up orange, rather than white like most manufacturers. The grille features Kia’s range-sweeping ‘Tiger Nose” shape. So, the 2020 Kia Telluride fits into the brand’s lineup well, but also has its own distinct shape. Though, there is a striking resemblance to the GMC Yukon Denali.
Styling is always a personal choice, so please drop us a comment down below and tell us what you think of the Telluride’s looks.
Unfortunately, it is what’s under the hood that comes up short in the Telluride’s case. All 2020 Kia Telluride models come powered by a 3.8-liter naturally aspirated V6. Power is sent to your choice of the front wheels or (in our case) all four wheels through an 8-speed automatic transmission. This is an Atkinson-Cycle V6 which is typically designed to favor fuel economy over power. As such, the 3.8-liter V6 only makes 291 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque. This would be fine if the Telluride got exceptional MPG. However, the EPA rates our tester at 19 MPG city, 24 MPG highway and 21 MPG combined. Granted, this is a 3-row SUV that weighs 4,300 lbs. However, the Nissan Pathfinder, Toyota Highlander and Honda Pilot all get better MPG.
Ride & Handling
Thankfully, Kia’s work on the Telluride’s chassis and suspension tuning more than make up for the lack of engine performance. The Telluride irons out the road unlike most other SUVs in this class. The ride is smooth, comfortable and quiet, but still very controlled. Body roll is kept to a shockingly low amount despite how heavy the Telluride is.
Once again, the 2020 Kia Telluride impresses with its cavernous interior. Firstly, there is tons of room for passengers. The front seats are extremely spacious, as are the second row captain’s chairs in this Prestige Package model. Even the third row can hold an adult of my size (6’2″) with relative comfort. Though, you are better off leaving the third row for smaller children if you can help it.
Folding both the second and third rows of seats reveals a minivan-rivaling 87 cu-ft of storage space. Furthermore, the rear opening is 49-inches wide, which means you could easily fit some 4×8 sheets of plywood in the back if you had to.
In terms of towing, the Telluride is rated to pull 5,000 lbs. This is far from class leading, but should still be enough to take a decent size boat or some jetskis along for the ride.
The 2020 Kia Telluride is packed with tech features, to boot. The infotainment screen is a massive 10.3-inch touchscreen that features Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity. This screen shows off the rear-view camera, as well as the 360-degree birds-eye view. There is also a 7-inch center screen that shows your trip information. Kia cleverly uses the same cameras from the 360 view to show your blind spot on this 7-inch display when your blinker is on.
Above the gauge cluster is a relatively small, but easy-to-read heads-up display. The size of the font, as well as the color of the font can be customized. Plus, this display will show navigation information as well as street sign information.
That’s not all though, there is also a wireless charging pad for your phone. Plus, tons of fast-charging USB ports. There are two USBs in the center console area, one in the side of each of the front seats. Plus one on each side of the third row seats. You could hypothetically have six people charging their devices via USB, plus a seventh charging with the wireless pad.
Of course, there is also a suite of driver safety and enhancement features. This includes blind spot monitors, lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control, park distance control, front and rear collision avoidance, and safe exit assist. Plus, Kia makes use of a very clever sensor that will detect if you left a child or pet in the rear seats. Should it detect a moving object in the vehicle, it will flash its lights and honk the alarm to alert the driver.
Kia made use of some very fancy materials inside the Telluride. The seats come with Napa leather trim and some very fancy stitching. Plus, the dash is nicely covered in soft-touch materials. The headliner is made of an alcantara-like material. Every surface you touch is pleasant. Plus, there is a notable lack of piano-black finish, which is prone to fingerprints.
Take a moment to think about all the things I just told you about this car and the price becomes a strong point for the 2020 Kia Telluride. The base model starts at around $32,000. However, we have the fully loaded SX AWD trim, which starts at $43,490. Plus, we have the aforementioned SX Prestige Package, which adds $2,000 to the price. Once you factor in the destination fee of $1,045 our as-tested price comes out to $47,255. Kia has packed a lot of goodness into this SUV for it to cost less than $50,000 fully loaded.
The 3-row SUV segment is impossibly competitive. To stand out, a vehicle in this category must be spacious, tech-filled, comfortable, capable and affordable for people to buy. The Telluride seems to tick almost all of these boxes, often going above and beyond what we have seen from other manufacturers in this segment. Despite the lackluster engine performance, this SUV sets a new standard for luxury feel and value, further emphasizing Kia as a brand on the rise.
Stay tuned to TFLcar.com for the latest news, views & real-world reviews. To learn more about the 2020 Kia Telluride, be sure to watch the whole video where you can see many of these awesome features in action: