2021 Kia Telluride review: One of the best SUVs you can buy

The Telluride is our pick for the very best a few-row SUV in its class. Craig Cole/Roadshow In a world teeming with SUVs of all styles, measurements and types, the 2021 Kia Telluride is an automotive all-star. With driving refinement and inside appointments that would not be out of location […]

2021 Kia Telluride

The Telluride is our pick for the very best a few-row SUV in its class.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

In a world teeming with SUVs of all styles, measurements and types, the 2021 Kia Telluride is an automotive all-star. With driving refinement and inside appointments that would not be out of location in a luxury auto, handsome styling and a lot of versatility, this a few-row hauler is very easily 1 of the segment’s very best.


  • Luxury auto appointments
  • Terrific driving refinement refinement
  • Roomy cabin

Never Like

  • Ineffective lane-retaining help
  • Naturally phony wooden trim

With a welcoming entrance stop, curt bottom and stylish flanks accentuated by curiously stepped brightwork encompassing the aspect glass, Kia’s Telluride SUV is seriously beautiful. To my eyes, it’s considerably prettier than its sibling, the equally persuasive if much more curiously styled Hyundai Palisade.

Rising its curb appeal (if you embrace the darkness, that is), my top-of-the-line SX-trim tester is fitted with the $one,295 Dusk Edition visual appearance package, an possibilities team that’s accessible on a number of designs. As its identify suggests, the Dusk gets a amount of blacked-out factors, like twenty-inch wheels, roof rails, skid plates, emblems and the grille, as effectively as some slightly darker greenhouse trim. All round, the glance is beautiful if a bit too monochromatic for my flavor.

What is correct up my alley, nonetheless, is the Telluride’s attractive inside. From the materials and textures to the format and construct high quality, everything’s top-notch — the phony wooden trim being the only exception. The high quality graining on the delicate plastics is wonderful, the buttons and switches feel reliable and work with Mercedes-Benz-like slickness and all the controls are simple to access and use, that means you will find no fumbling all over to figure out how you have interaction the car brake-hold element or lessen the lover velocity. My tester is also fitted with the $two,three hundred SX Status package, which brings goodies like a head-up display screen, Nappa leather-based seating surfaces, heated and ventilated second-row seats, rain-sensing windshield wipers and much more to the desk, supporting make an previously upscale car or truck feel even much more high quality.

The Telluride earns high marks for its total comfort, too. Even though its entrance seats could use much more contouring to be truly coddling for prolonged-haul drives, they’re nevertheless great. The second-row buckets in my tester are highway-journey authorized, nonetheless, adjusting in various instructions, furnishing outstanding comfort for grownup passengers many thanks to their elevated lessen cushions and being hospitable in all seasons, courtesy of the aforementioned heating and air flow functions. Guaranteeing everyone’s cellular gadgets continue to be entirely juiced, this Telluride has two USB variety-A outlets in the sides of the entrance seatbacks as effectively as a 12-volt socket and a a hundred and ten-volt home outlet at the base of the center console. There are even a few USB ports servicing the 3rd row. No, you can not get a appropriate rear-seat entertainment procedure, but Kia tells me 1 is in the performs.

The inside is nicely developed and high-class.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

Offering simple access to the Telluride’s again bench, people second-row buckets tilt and slide at the thrust of a button, leaving a pathway massive sufficient for limber adults to clamber by means of. Ordinary-sized grownups should also be reasonably comfortable in this Kia’s 3rd-row seat, which is very hospitable and features decent amounts of area for each legs and heads.

If you have to have to haul cargo as a substitute of just passengers, the Telluride has you included. With 21 cubic toes of space powering the 3rd row, it features much more area than the Honda Pilot, Ford Explorer or Toyota Highlander. Area powering the second- and to start with-row seats is quite related for all 4 of these vehicles, even though the Explorer does have a miniscule advantage in overall cargo area. Fold all its seats down and the Telluride features an remarkable 87 cubic toes of junk-hauling space.

Future up, let’s talk tech. State-of-the-art driving aids like rear parking sensors, adaptive cruise manage with halt-and-go performance and rear cross-traffic notify are all typical throughout the Telluride selection. Lane-retaining help is involved, too, but it’s quite much worthless, accomplishing virtually nothing to retain this Kia from wandering like a vagabond.

These twenty-inch wheels are part of a new Dusk visual appearance package.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

On the infotainment entrance, lesser designs element an 8-inch dashboard touchscreen, even though my SX tester has a generous ten.two-inch display screen that’s each vibrant and simple to access. Kia’s most up-to-date infotainment procedure just isn’t automatically my most loved giving, even though it’s nevertheless outstanding, basic to use and responsive. Zooming in or out on the navigation map and swiping by means of menus is speedy and easy. No make any difference the variant, Apple CarPlay and Android Vehicle are involved with each and every Telluride.

Placing it all in motion, just 1 drivetrain is offered in this a few-row hauler. The Telluride employs a three.8-liter gasoline-burning V6 that provides 291 horsepower and 262 pound-toes of torque. Clean and hushed, this engine is matched solely to an ivy-league clever eight-velocity automatic transmission. Critically sensible, this gearbox is as close to fantastic as you may at any time obtain in a mass-sector car or truck, being fast-witted, silky easy and keen to downshift even as you carefully squeeze the accelerator pedal to phone up a bit much more velocity.

This Kia is no featherweight, clocking in at 4,482 lbs, but the efficiency it supplies is very remarkable, at minimum when vacant and without a trailer in tow. Driven usually, the Telluride has no difficulties retaining up with traffic or overtaking dawdling Sunday drivers. Nail the accelerator and it scoots, the engine ramping up speedily, aided by that at any time-resourceful transmission. Hauling a full load up the aspect of a desert mountain in the heat of July may well be an difficulty, but driven on flatlands without any passengers or baggage, the Telluride provides outstanding efficiency.

Even entirely loaded, the Telluride is a excellent value.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

Like any SUV really worth its salt, all-wheel push is accessible, a element that’s optional throughout the overall Telluride selection. As you would hope, it does degrade fuel economy, but only by a few miles per gallon. This instance is fitted with the traction-maximizing element and it’s rated at 19 mpg city, 24 mpg on the highway and 21 mpg merged. In mixed driving, I have averaged 21.one mpg in accordance to the journey pc, a greater-than-predicted figure offered how liberal I was with the accelerator pedal.

As for trip high quality, it’s as supple and refined as this Kia’s upscale inside, which also stays unnervingly hushed, even at highway speeds. The Telluride shrugs off massive bumps with simplicity when lesser imperfections are virtually entirely filtered out. This SUV’s managing is benign and predictable, but nothing to sing about.

The Telluride is nicer and greater developed than most likely any of its significant rivals, and in particular means, it feels like a action over some so-named luxury vehicles. And what is actually much more outstanding than all that is the pricing. Including $one,a hundred and seventy in vacation spot service fees, a foundation LX model starts off at 33 grand and change, even though my nicely geared up SX all-wheel-push tester checks out for $fifty,180, even though that nevertheless feels like a discount. In small, Kia unquestionably nailed it with the Telluride.

Rosa G. Rose

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