Home Build & Price Reviews 2020 Kia Telluride In-Depth Review

2020 Kia Telluride In-Depth Review

by Frank

There aren’t many three-row crossovers like the 2020 Kia Telluride left on the market. So, the Telluride’s upscale cabin stands out in the field. The exterior of the Telluride evokes Range Rover styling without appearing to be a copycat. The Telluride also has all-wheel drive available, making it a direct competitor to the big name, pricey luxury vehicles.

Related: Real Review of the 2019 Jaguar I-Pace

2020 Kia Telluride Configurations

There are four model trims available for the Telluride. There’s the base model LX which comes with 18-inch wheels, 6 speaker sound system and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. The S model has a couple more exterior paint choices, roof rails, and heated front seats. The EX Telluride is a considerable jump up the price tree, but it comes with some impressive add-ons. You get power-folding exterior mirrors, a power liftgate, and a 10.25-inch touchscreen display. The SX is the top tier 2020 Telluride. It has the most choices for interior colors and fabrics. The SX also gets a two-pane sunroof, a blind view monitor, and fog lights. There’s so much value to go around, but the best choices seem to be the base model LX and the top-level SX.

Interior Amenities

There are three rows of seating in the 2020 Telluride. Thankfully, the second-row seats fold and slide with just a single touch. A large sunroof opens the interior, so it seems less confined. When outfitted with Nappa leather seating it’s hard not to confuse the Telluride’s interior with an Audi, Lexus, or Infiniti.

Rear passengers won’t feel lost in the 178.1 cubic feet of interior space. USB outlets come standard. The second-row captain chairs can fold down so you can see everybody. There’s even a feature that can amplify the driver’s voice to the rear of the vehicle. There are 3 power outlets in the vehicle and extra USB linkups, so everyone stays entertained on the long haul. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay come standard on all 2020 Telluride models. You also get hands-free Bluetooth capabilities without any extra add-on charges.

When you have a mid-sized crossover, you’re probably going to be interested in stowing lots of items. The Telluride has a two-level cargo storage bay and 87 cubic feet of total cargo room. Add to that a smart power liftgate and you’ve got an interior design that considers the needs of a growing family.

Telluride Style

The 2020 Telluride has a chunky, boxlike frame but it comes off well. The wide front grille and the sharp angular profile are quite nice. Yet, there’s no hiding the fact that this is a big vehicle. It measures 78.3 inches in width and sits 196.9 inches long.

The most attractive exterior features are found on the EX and SX models. That’s when you get to outfit the Telluride with 20-inch alloy wheels, fog lights, low profile roof rails and premium exterior paint coats like black copper. With all these boxes ticked, the Telluride is a serious contender for the beauty crown in the crossover segment.

Performance Capabilities

The 2020 Kia Telluride has an amazing variety of features in other categories. However, when you look at the performance capabilities of the Telluride, it’s pretty much ‘what you see is what you get’. There’s a 3.8-liter V8 engine in every vehicle that’s mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission. An all-wheel-drive setup and a self-leveling rear suspension are available as add-ons.

Fuel economy is one of the Telluride’s strong points, but it’s not much better than other large SUVs. It gets 20 MPG in the city with a front-wheel-drive setup, but those numbers drop down only to 19 MPG with all-wheel drive. For a vehicle with a curb weight of 4255 lbs. that’s acceptable. Yet, it’s not blowing away the competition. For example, the 2020 Dodge Durango GT with all-wheel drive has way more power, but still manages 18 MPG in the city with its all-wheel-drive system.

The 2020 Telluride has a maximum towing capacity of 5,000 lbs. but a towing hitch is only available on the EX and SX models. The same goes for the advanced suspension system. All models have 262-pound feet of torque but only the top two models seem to have the additional equipment to make the best use of it.

Safety Equipment

The 2020 Kia Telluride comes standard with automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, and blind-spot collision technology. That’s not all though. Each one has driver attention warnings so if the onboard sensors detect that the driver is losing focus, alert and haptic feedback through the steering wheel will wake you up. Additionally, the available head-up display and the large touchscreen that sits high in the center console echo an emphasis on keeping the driver’s eyes on the road.

The SX model doesn’t have much that the other models lack in terms of safety. The top tier model gets forward parking sensors and a better exterior monitoring system, but budget-conscious consumers could do without them. The SX model was awarded a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

Final Verdict

The Telluride only disappoints in its performance capabilities. The V6 powertrain has middling horsepower, torque, and fuel economy. Yet, an available all-wheel drive is a saving grace. If you want to do some serious off-roading, then you’d better have the EX or SX models even though all models boast a 5,000 lb. towing capacity.

The exterior is reminiscent of Land Rover with its upright, boxy frame. The interior is upscale, and any cheap materials are expertly hidden from view. The base model doesn’t disappoint inside. That’s because it has plenty of leg and headroom. When it comes to safety features, it’s like Christmas from Kia. Most automakers have fallen into the nasty habit of creating a tiered system of safety features where the base model gets barely any advanced safety equipment. The 2020 Kia Telluride does away with that line of thought and offers just about everything you need right upfront.

When considering the value of the 2020 Kia Telluride, the MSRP must come front and center. There’s simply a wealth of features for just $31,690. Even the top of the line Telluride barely tips $41,000. It’s a budget-friendly vehicle that doesn’t seem to know that it’s budget-friendly.

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