2020 Kia Telluride Pros
- Upscale design inside and out
- Impressive comfort
- Plenty spacious
2020 Kia Telluride Cons
- More expensive than the competition
- Interior materials not always aligned with price
- May be too soft for some
I had lofty expectations ahead of my week in the 2020 Kia Telluride, but getting a thumbs up from a Bentley Continental driver wasn’t one of them. Maybe he thought the Telluride was a Range Rover. Maybe he owns a Kia dealership in his vast empire of business holdings. Either way, I wasn’t expecting it, but I wasn’t entirely surprised.
Kia’s flagship SUV has a presence on the road that few competitors can match. It’s bold, it’s clean, and it looks expensive. It feels big and bold inside as well, and unless you really pay close attention to the quality of the plastics, it looks expensive inside the cockpit too. Now, it actually is expensive compared to its rivals, but for the most part it has the goods to back it up.
The Telluride comes in four trims in Canada, the EX, the SX, the SX Limited, and the SX Limited with Nappa leather. The US is a bit different with LX, S, EX and SX trims. The LX puts the Telluride in more advantageous pricing territory compared to its rivals with a starting price of $31,890. In Canada, however, the Telluride starts at $44,995 while the SX Limited starts at $52,995.
That pits the Telluride squarely against the new Ford Explorer, new Toyota Highlander, Honda Pilot, and Volkswagen Atlas. It’s definitely more expensive than the Nissan Pathfinder, Mazda CX-9 and Chevrolet Traverse.
Powering the 2020 Kia Telluride is a 3.8-litre V6 that delivers 291 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. Paired with an 8-speed automatic, it can haul 5,000 lb (2,268 kg). AWD is standard in Canada, available in the US.
So, should you buy it?
Why You Should Buy a 2020 Kia Telluride
- It looks like a luxury SUV inside and out. It’s probably the most distinctive mid-size SUV you can buy from a design standpoint so buyers looking to stand out a bit on the road will be happy with their purchase.
- It drives big which is a plus for many. You feel high off the ground and in command of the road.
- It’s also big inside where there’s plenty of storage space around the passengers, and plenty of space for elbows and legs. It feels almost full-size in the way it drives, but also with the amount of space inside. There’s room for 8 passengers and 601 litres (22 cu.ft) of cargo space with the third row folded down.
- The V6 is smooth and linear, and it never seems to run out of breath. The Telluride isn’t light, but the V6 doesn’t make it feel heavy. It’s also fairly quiet.
- Speaking of quiet, the 2020 Telluride really isolates you from the road, even with those massive 20-inch wheels. It’s definitely one of the quietest mid-size SUVs you can buy.
- Comfort is the name of the game with the new Telluride. The seats are plush and it swallows bumps and grooves in the road with easy. It really makes you feel confident behind the wheel.
- The infotainment system is great. Everything is easy to find and the most important functions such as climate and audio are easy to get to.
Why You Shouldn’t Buy a 2020 Kia Telluride
- I’ve mentioned price already. In Canada, the Telluride is one of the most expensive mid-size SUVs you can buy. It’s also a terrible vehicle to lease with uncompetitive interest rates and terms. Pricing is a bit more competitive in the US, but a well-equipped version is still up there in price.
- For the most part the Telluride justifies the price and will give you value, but there are some materials inside the cockpit that don’t work. The Ford Explorer and Toyota Highlander are more refined inside.
- The Telluride is plush, maybe to a fault. It feels really heavy in the corners whereas models like the Mazda CX-9, Volkswagen Atlas, Chevrolet Traverse, and Ford Explorer do a better job hiding their weight.
Final Word on the 2020 Kia Telluride
The new 2020 Kia Telluride is a fine mid-size SUV if you have the budget for it. It’s spacious, the infotainment system is among the best, and the comfort is among the best in the segment. The Toyota Highlander is still our favorite, but the Telluride isn’t far behind.