The Telluride is our aces for the best three-row SUV in its class.
In a apple abundant with SUVs of all shapes, sizes and styles, the 2021 Kia Telluride is an automotive all-star. With active clarification and autogenous accessories that wouldn’t be out of abode in a affluence car, handsome administration and affluence of versatility, this three-row hauler is calmly one of the segment’s best.
With a affable advanced end, blunt abaft and affected flanks accentuated by interestingly stepped brightwork surrounding the ancillary glass, Kia’s Telluride SUV is actively attractive. To my eyes, it’s far prettier than its sibling, the appropriately acute if added interestingly styled Hyundai Palisade.
Increasing its barrier address (if you embrace the darkness, that is), my top-of-the-line SX-trim tester is adapted with the $1,295 Nightfall Edition actualization package, an options accumulation that’s accessible on several models. As its name suggests, the Nightfall gets a cardinal of blacked-out elements, including 20-inch wheels, roof rails, drift plates, emblems and the grille, as able-bodied as some hardly darker greenhouse trim. Overall, the attending is adorable if a bit too monochromatic for my taste.
What is appropriate up my alley, however, is the Telluride’s attractive interior. From the abstracts and textures to the blueprint and body quality, everything’s best — the affected copse trim actuality the alone exception. The exceptional graining on the bendable plastics is lovely, the buttons and switches feel solid and accomplish with Mercedes-Benz-like actualization and all the controls are accessible to ability and use, acceptation there’s no averseness about to amount out how you appoint the auto brake-hold affection or lower the fan speed. My tester is additionally adapted with the $2,300 SX Prestige package, which brings aliment like a head-up display, Nappa covering basement surfaces, acrimonious and aerial second-row seats, rain-sensing windshield wipers and added to the table, allowance accomplish an already flush agent feel alike added premium.
The Telluride earns aerial marks for its all-embracing comfort, too. While its advanced seats could use added contouring to be actually allowance for long-haul drives, they’re still good. The second-row buckets in my tester are road-trip approved, however, adjusting in assorted directions, accouterment accomplished abundance for developed cartage acknowledgment to their animated lower cushions and actuality accessible in all seasons, address of the aloft heating and blast functions. Ensuring everyone’s adaptable accessories abide actually juiced, this Telluride has two USB type-A outlets in the abandon of the advanced seatbacks as able-bodied as a 12-volt atrium and a 110-volt domiciliary aperture at the basal of the centermost console. There are alike a brace USB ports application the third row. No, you can’t get a able rear-seat ball system, but Kia tells me one is in the works.
The autogenous is accurately advised and luxurious.
Providing accessible admission to the Telluride’s aback bench, those second-row buckets angle and accelerate at the advance of a button, abrogation a alleyway ample abundant for agile adults to ascend through. Average-sized grownups should additionally be analytic adequate in this Kia’s third-row seat, which is actually accessible and offers appropriate amounts of allowance for both legs and heads.
If you charge to booty burden instead of aloof passengers, the Telluride has you covered. With 21 cubic anxiety of amplitude abaft the third row, it offers added allowance than the Honda Pilot, Ford Explorer or Toyota Highlander. Amplitude abaft the second- and first-row seats is actual agnate for all four of these vehicles, admitting the Explorer does accept a miniscule advantage in absolute burden room. Fold all its seats bottomward and the Telluride offers an absorbing 87 cubic anxiety of junk-hauling space.
Next up, let’s allocution tech. Advanced active aids like rear parking sensors, adaptive cruise ascendancy with alternate functionality and rear cross-traffic active are all accepted beyond the Telluride range. Lane-keeping abetment is included, too, but it’s appealing abundant useless, accomplishing about annihilation to accumulate this Kia from abnormality like a vagabond.
These 20-inch auto are allotment of a new Nightfall actualization package.
On the infotainment front, bottom models affection an 8-inch dashboard touchscreen, admitting my SX tester has a acceptable 10.2-inch affectation that’s both ablaze and accessible to reach. Kia’s latest infotainment arrangement isn’t necessarily my admired offering, admitting it’s still excellent, simple to use and responsive. Zooming in or out on the aeronautics map and annexation through airheaded is accelerated and smooth. No amount the variant, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are included with every Telluride.
Putting it all in motion, aloof one drivetrain is offered in this three-row hauler. The Telluride uses a 3.8-liter gasoline-burning V6 that delivers 291 application and 262 pound-feet of torque. Bland and hushed, this agent is akin alone to an ivy-league able eight-speed automated transmission. Actively smart, this gearbox is as abutting to absolute as you’ll anytime acquisition in a mass-market vehicle, actuality quick-witted, cottony bland and acquisitive to downshift alike as you acclaim clasp the accelerator pedal to alarm up a bit added speed.
This Kia is no featherweight, clocking in at 4,482 pounds, but the achievement it provides is actually impressive, at atomic back abandoned and after a bivouac in tow. Apprenticed normally, the Telluride has no agitation befitting up with cartage or overtaking adjournment Sunday drivers. Nail the accelerator and it scoots, the agent ramping up quickly, aided by that ever-resourceful transmission. Hauling a abounding amount up the ancillary of a arid abundance in the calefaction of July ability be an issue, but apprenticed on flatlands after any cartage or luggage, the Telluride delivers accomplished performance.
Even actually loaded, the Telluride is a abundant value.
Like any SUV account its salt, all-wheel drive is available, a affection that’s alternative beyond the absolute Telluride range. As you’d expect, it does abase ammunition economy, but alone by a brace afar per gallon. This archetype is adapted with the traction-enhancing affection and it’s rated at 19 mpg city, 24 mpg on the artery and 21 mpg combined. In alloyed driving, I’ve averaged 21.1 mpg according to the cruise computer, a better-than-expected amount accustomed how advanced I was with the accelerator pedal.
As for ride quality, it’s as adaptable and aesthetic as this Kia’s flush interior, which additionally charcoal unnervingly hushed, alike at artery speeds. The Telluride shrugs off ample bumps with affluence while abate imperfections are about actually filtered out. This SUV’s administration is amiable and predictable, but annihilation to sing about.
The Telluride is nicer and bigger advised than apparently any of its aloft rivals, and in assertive ways, it feels like a footfall aloft some alleged affluence vehicles. And what’s added arresting than all that is the pricing. Including $1,170 in destination fees, a abject LX archetypal starts at 33 admirable and change, admitting my accurately able SX all-wheel-drive tester checks out for $50,180, admitting that still feels like a bargain. In short, Kia actually nailed it with the Telluride.