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Kia Telluride Review

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Known for years as a low-cost carmaker, Kia recently rolled out the luxury K900 sedan and, now, the Kia Telluride, its largest SUV, built for the U.S. market. The 2020 Telluride is a mid-size SUV with third-row seating, competing against established three-row SUVs, but the Telluride has something most manufacturers don’t: a standard 5-year, 60,000 mile bumper-to-bumper warranty.

2020 Kia Telluride pricing

The lowest manufacturer’s recommended price (MSRP) for the 2020 Kia Telluride is $31,690, but that can go up, depending on the trim and whether you’d like all-wheel drive (AWD).

MSRP $31,690 $33,990 $37,090 $41,490


Of course, you may not have to pay MSRP. Depending on where and when you shop, you may be able to get a lower price. Check out an industry guide — Kelley Blue Book or NADAguides, for example — to find a fair market price for the Telluride, or any other vehicle you’re considering.

What’s next? Once you pick out the car you want, a car loan is usually next. Car dealers commonly raise customer APRs, so apply for a loan outside of a dealership. Potential lenders could include Kia financing, your bank, credit union or online lender. You could also fill out an online form at LendingTree where you may be matched with up to five different auto loan offers from lenders, based on your creditworthiness.

It doesn’t hurt your credit to apply to multiple lenders any more than it does to apply to one if you do all your applications within 14 days — and some credit scoring methods may even allow you up to 45 days.

2020 Kia Telluride safety

As the Kia Telluride is so new, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety have not yet published crash test safety ratings. It does, however, have plenty of safety tech.

Here are safety features that come standard in every trim level of the 2020 Kia Telluride.

  • Hill Start Assist Control. Helps prevent the vehicle from rolling backward on an incline when the vehicle starts.
  • Blind Spot Collision Warning and Avoidance Assist-Rear. The vehicle can alert the driver visually and audibly that there is another car in a blind spot behind it.
  • Driver Attention Warning. The car can give visual and audible driver alerts if it senses a low attention level.
  • Forward Collision Warning and Avoidance with Pedestrian Detection. Warns the driver of a potential collision and applies the brakes if the driver does not.
  • Parking Distance Warning-Reverse.  At low speeds, the car can alert you that it is getting too close to an object behind it.
  • Safe Exit Assist. The car can alert you that it is unsafe to open a car door due to potential hazards like oncoming traffic.
  • Smart Cruise Control with Stop and Go. With cruise control on, the car can adjust its speed to match and follow a car in front of it. The car can also automatically come to a complete stop and start again, up to the preset speed, if the stop time is less than three seconds.
  • Lane Keeping Assist. The car can make minor steering adjustments to help it stay in the lane.

Here are safety features that are standard only in the top trim of the Telluride.

  • Surround View Monitor. The car can give you a bird’s eye view of your car and the immediate surroundings.
  • Blind Spot View Monitor. The dashboard shows a live feed of your blind spots and if you try to change lanes while an object is in a blind spot, the car can help you maintain your course.
  • Highway Driving Assist. The car can adjust its speed to match the speed limits as they change and to match the vehicle ahead as necessary. This feature is available on the EX trim as well as the SX.
  • Parking Distance Warning-Forward. At low speeds, the car can alert you that it is getting too close to an object in front of it.

2020 Kia Telluride trim comparison

There are four trims on the Kia Telluride, which span a price difference of almost $10,000. So what upgrades do you get for the money? Kia’s trims build upon each other, so the S trim will have or improve upon everything the LX trim has, plus new features. An exception to this is in seating capacity: eight-passenger seating is standard on the base trim but seven-passenger is your only option on the SX trim thanks to second-row captain’s chairs. A bench seat is optional on the S trim. Here, we go over the features that are included in the MSRP of each trim for no extra cost.

MSRP $31,690 $33,990 $37,090 $41,490
Standard Features 18″ Alloy Wheels, Smart Cruise Control, V6 Engine, Smart Key 20″ Alloy Wheels, Power Sunroof, Roof Rails Highway Driving Assist, Leather Seat Trim, Navigation, Wireless Phone Charger, 10.25″ Touch Screen LED Headlights and Fog Lights, Premium Audio, Dual Sunroofs, Surround View Monitor


All-wheel drive (AWD). It is available on each trim level for an extra cost. It is not included in the base price of any of the trims. To add AWD tacks on $2,000 to the base price for each trim:

MSRP $33,690 $35,990 $39,090 $43,490


Driver Talk. A built-in microphone and speaker system, this allows the driver to talk to passengers in the third row without turning around and yelling. It is included on the EX and SX trims.

2020 Kia Telluride competitor comparison

If you are still on the fence about the Kia Telluride, here is how it stacks up against competitors. Here are highly-rated, mid-size SUVs around the same base MSRP. Note the Telluride is so new, it does not yet have expert scores. It’s also worth noting that not all of these have third-row seating.

Kia Telluride Honda Pilot Toyota Highlander Nissan Murano Jeep Grand Cherokee
Base MSRP $31,690 $31,450 $31,530 $31,270 $31,695
Expert Scores N/A 4.4 4.1 4.1 4.0
Standard Technology 8″ Touch Screen, Rear Parking Sensors, 5 USB Charge Ports, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, 3rd Row Seating 5″ Color Display, Honda Sensing, Push-Button Start, Bluetooth, V6 Engine, 3rd Row Seating 6.1″ Touch Screen, Toyota Safety Sense, Hill Start Assist Control, 5 USB Charging Ports, 18″ Wheels, 3rd Row Seating 8″ Touch Screen, Automatic Emergency Braking, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, Push-Button Start 7″ Touch Screen, Parking Sensors, Blind Spot Monitor, V6 Engine, Rear Cross Traffic Alert
Fuel Economy 23 MPG 22 MPG 22 MPG 34 MPG 21 MPG

*Chart data is for base 2019 models, except for the Kia Telluride, which is a 2020 base model. Expert score averages Kelley Blue Book (KBB) and Edmunds expert ratings as available. Standard technology refers to features included in the lowest trim level for each model at no extra cost (not an exhaustive list). Fuel economy is combined city/highway mileage as defined by the EPA.

The bottom line on the 2020 Kia Telluride

You might like it if you’re looking for a third-row SUV with a lot of standard safety technology. There’s also the “cool” factor of being one of the first in the neighborhood to drive a Telluride. If tried and true is more your style, you might want to consider one of the competitors above or one of these seven-seater SUVs.

MSRPs in the article are accurate as of the date of publishing.


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