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  • Drew Dowdell
    Drew Dowdell

    Quick Drive: 2020 Kia Telluride SX AWD

      Kia brings a credible challenger to the large SUV field...

    2020 Kia Telluride-4.jpgAt an event in May, I got to spend some time with the 2020 Kia Telluride. The Telluride is an all-new model for Kia, though it is based on the Kia Sorento’s platform.  Being a good bit longer than the 7-passenger Sorento, it is substantially roomier inside, allowing for 7 or 8 passenger configurations depending on trim level.  The version I tested was the top of the line SX package with all-wheel drive and an additional Prestige Package.  Kia makes standard a whole host of active safety equipment.  Thankfully, I didn’t get to test any of the more important ones. One important safety feature on my shopping list is Smart Cruise Control with Stop and Go, and the Kia has it standard.

    On appearance alone, Kia is going to have a hit on their hands.  Though on the same platform as the Kia Sorento, the Telluride strikes a handsome square and almost truck-like silhouette. The overall look is of a vehicle even bigger than it is. Up front are an attractive set of headlight clusters with yellow surround daytime running lamps. As this is a new entry to the segment, Kia spells out the model name across the front of the hood making sure you know what model vehicle it is.  It still manages to look classy. My tester had the black 20-inch wheels, LED headlamps, and rear fix-glass sunroof that comes with the SX trim level.  

    2020 Kia Telluride-6.jpgBecause this was the top of the line SX with Prestige Package, it came with beautiful Napa leather chairs, second-row captain chairs, heads up display, and premium cloth headliner and sun visors.  The overall fit and finish of my tester was excellent. Switchgear is nicely weighted and has a premium, if not luxury, feel to it. The styling inside is handsome if conservative, and passengers could be fooled into thinking they were in a vehicle of higher pedigree.  While it is roomier than the Sorento, is it still smaller than some of its primary competition. The Honda Pilot, Chevrolet Traverse, and Buick Enclave all boast roomier interiors.  Still, second-row comfort was good and third-row accessibility is acceptable, though best left to the kids.

    My experience with the Telluride’s 10-inch infotainment system was limited, however, it is based on the same UVO system found in their other vehicles.  Even in its native modes, I find Kia UVO to be one of the easier systems to use, but if you use the included Android Auto and Apple Car Play most often, you won’t be in the native system much anyway.

    2020 Kia Telluride-1.jpgThe only engine option on the Kia Telluride is a 291 horsepower 3.8 liter direct-injected V6.  Torque comes in at 261 lb-ft, about average for this segment.  Coupled to the engine is an 8-speed automatic, and if you check the box for an additional $2,000, you get an active AWD system.  The system constantly monitors traction and via a controller in the cabin, the driver can select between 80/20 (Comfort and Snow), 65/35 (Sport), and 50/50 (Lock, best used for off-roading).  If you do care to do off-roading, you have 8-inches of ground clearance to play with. Towing capacity is 5,000 pounds which again is pretty much the expected capacity for the segment. EPA fuel economy is rated at 19 city / 24 highway / 21 combined.  The 2020 Telluride has not yet received a crash test rating.

    Though the engine only puts out 261 lb-ft of torque, the 8-speed automatic makes quick work of it and acceleration is sufficient at a reported 7.1 seconds.  Engine noise is hushed and refined.

    2020 Kia Telluride-5.jpgOne of my favorite things about the Kia Telluride is its ride. The suspension is soft and comfortable.  The big 20-inch wheels can slam hard if one hits some more serious potholes, but overall this is one of the nicest riding big SUVs.  That soft suspension does have a downside; body roll and handling are not what you would call sporting. Though the steering is precise and well weighted, the big Kia hefts and leans through corners. Take it slow with grandma in the back and all will be well.  The towing package adds a hitch receiver and a load leveling suspension.

    Kia is not a brand known for luxury vehicles, but in SX Prestige trim, this Telluride can certainly count as one.  That leads us to the price. At $46,860 after destination charges, the Telluride handily undercuts the competition, some of which don’t even offer the level of active safety technology the Kia offers as standard.  If you’re shopping in the large SUV segment, the Kia Telluride is definitely one to add to your test drive list.

    Year: 2020
    Make: Kia 
    Model: Telluride
    Trim: SX
    Engine: 3.8L Gasoline Direct Injected V6
    Driveline: All-Wheel Drive
    Horsepower @ RPM: 291 hp @ 6,000 rpm
    Torque @ RPM: 262 lb.-ft. @ 5,200 rpm 
    Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 19/24/21
    Curb Weight: 4482 lb.
    Location of Manufacture: West Point, GA
    Base Price: $31,690
    As Tested Price: $45,815
    Destination Charge: $1,045

    Options:
    SX Prestige Package - $2,000
    Carpeted Floor Mats - $210
    Carpeted Cargo Mat w/ Seat Back Protection - $115

    Kia provided the 2020 Telluride during an event for the International Motor Press Association.
    Click any of the pictures to enlarge

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    Kia definitely checked off the popularity box because I am seeing more and more of them around here (not sure what that means nationally though). 

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    I have to say, I tested out 9 vehicles that day and the Telluride is the one that made the biggest impression on me. 

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    Just saw a new one this morning running errands, first I have seen in the wild. Sharp looking and green is very popular here in the greater Seattle Area.

    Agree, I think they checked all the right popular boxes of what this auto needed and while the engine is no rock star for power, it is enough to motivate the SUV to move.

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    Love this in the green color.  I would have one if I could look past some things.  Third row seat would be permanently folded down.  Also, I understand it has pretty decent off-road ability, TFL tested it on their hill climb course and came away with a positive review as well.

    I believe that every AWD CUV needs a system that is fully effective in any on-road weather condition (some are clearly better than others), but when one also can handle moderate off-roading, it earns extra points in my book.

    I read where Kia may put together an upgraded off-road package for the Telluride.  Will be interesting to see it go against the 2020 Acadia AT4.

    Edited by ocnblu

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    Too bad a similarly equipped Acadia Denali or a Traverse Premier would cost at least $5000 more.  I wonder what is missing from this top-level Telluride.

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    Still shocks me a bit that Kia and GMC are being seriously compared.  Makes me sad for GMC.

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    1 hour ago, ocnblu said:

    Love this in the green color.  I would have one if I could look past some things.  Third row seat would be permanently folded down.  Also, I understand it has pretty decent off-road ability, TFL tested it on their hill climb course and came away with a positive review as well.

    I believe that every AWD CUV needs a system that is fully effective in any on-road weather condition (some are clearly better than others), but when one also can handle moderate off-roading, it earns extra points in my book.

    I read where Kia may put together an upgraded off-road package for the Telluride.  Will be interesting to see it go against the 2020 Acadia AT4.

    All they need to do is have a Trail Rated Test Package version like Jeep and this would truly Rock! :metal:

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    Bummer that the SX Prestige Package is only available in black on this SUV.

    image.png

    This just makes no sense to me to limit these features to just lousy black. :( 

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    I think they will sell a lot of these.  I suspect the Hyundai Palisade will sell well also.  They both look good, they both are packed with content and both cost less than most of the rivals.   The Atlas and Ascent I think are mostly just to appeal to existing VW and Subaru owners that need a 3rd row, they don't really make any breakthroughs.  The  Hyundai/Kia cousins I think came to conquest sales.

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    20 minutes ago, dfelt said:

    Bummer that the SX Prestige Package is only available in black on this SUV.

    image.png

    This just makes no sense to me to limit these features to just lousy black. :( 

    The Nappa leather is just not available in certain colors. 

    1 hour ago, riviera74 said:

    Too bad a similarly equipped Acadia Denali or a Traverse Premier would cost at least $5000 more.  I wonder what is missing from this top-level Telluride.

    Not much, if anything. 

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    Since this is my first review in a while, would those of you with twitter or Facebook mind sharing this or sharing the tweets and FB posts I already made?  Trying to get into this more full time, but I need page views to do that. 

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    Look how much nicer finished the Kia Sorento load area is, compared to the Acadia.  GM, WTH has happened to you?

     

    8-2017-kia-sorento-213-ms-1535564116.jpg

    9-2017-gmc-acadia-151-cdams-1535564115.jpg

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    5 minutes ago, ocnblu said:

    Look how much nicer finished the Kia Sorento load area is, compared to the Acadia.  GM, WTH has happened to you?

     

    8-2017-kia-sorento-213-ms-1535564116.jpg

    9-2017-gmc-acadia-151-cdams-1535564115.jpg

    I think the word you are looking for is DGAF.  As in GM DGAF about certain details while other automakers do.

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    Love the Telluride. Not a single person we're referred to it is anything less than thrilled.

    Money spent on design, refinement, quality of materials, and keeping features standard, not optional, with a great 3.8L V6 & 8-speed underhood, plus a real AWD system that can handle more than...say a Highlander, etc. that'll just spin.

    Biggest market challenge, to others: the Telluride is far NICER, yet at a "normal" far lower price point.

    Look at a Telluride S AWD, with the bigger great looking wheels, and leatherette. It looks nearly identical to the high end SX, yet can be found for a $36-38k sticker...

    Kia got the message, antithesis of GM and others, that keep the prices in line, and spend effort maximizing the vehicle, and you'll get it.

    The only other vehicle in this class priced similarly, and even not as low in ways vs. trim level, is the Subaru Ascent. Both max out around $46-47k with EVERYTHING.

    Yet...these drive nicer, are far more refined, are better built, have more features, are higher quality than...a $45-59k Traverse, a $45-60k+ Enclave, an all over the place Explorer price. You can say "but incentives..." all you want, but that's such a head in the clouds, and they're still thousands more, for less.

    And like Drew said after real experience...this vs. an Acadia? 😂 No comparison. Cargo area trimming above is only a small item.

    We drove a Sorento last year, when testing Traverse replacements, and out of 8 crossovers..."GM only mom", put it in 2nd place next to the Jeep Grand Cherokee she ended up buying. "It drove the best, the power was great, the features and interior seemed the best design...I really liked it, but the Jeep is just more overall what I want."

    Go...Telluride👌

     

    Edited by caddycruiser
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    2 minutes ago, ykX said:

    @Drew Dowdell Out of curiosity, have you driven the new Explorer?

    If you did, how it compares to Telluride?

    I have not yet.  I had a conflict and couldn't make it to the test drive event.   What I can say is that the interior of the Telluride is still nicer than the Explorer.  Explorer, for it's good looks, still had some cheapness built into the interior. 

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    @Drew Dowdell thanks!

    How about Hyundai twin?  Or is it going to be a separate review?

    Personally, I like externally Hyundai a little more than Kia.

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    Just now, ykX said:

    @Drew Dowdell thanks!

    How about Hyundai twin?  Or is it going to be a separate review?

    Personally, I like externally Hyundai a little more than Kia.

    No, they haven't been at an event that I've been at yet.   They are mechanically identical, so I would expect the performance to be the same. Maybe some slight differences in suspension tuning, but I don't know that for a fact.   It may just come down to taste, I like the interior and exterior of the Telluride better than the Palisade.   My only experience with the Palisade was on the show floor in LA in November... so my recollection of the interior is a bit foggy. 

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    I got to play with one as one was one of my bosses rental. It is nice, and I see more of them every day.

    Kia rolls out a few more of theses, and and pretty much makes GMC irrrelivent .....

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    On 6/25/2019 at 12:21 AM, daves87rs said:

    I got to play with one as one was one of my bosses rental. It is nice, and I see more of them every day.

    Kia rolls out a few more of theses, and and pretty much makes GMC irrrelivent .....

    Agreed. Normal customer goes to see the Telluride then "let's check out an Acadia too..."

    Jogs back to Kia. No contest.

    Having seen the Hyundai Palisade now, meh. Same guts & size, semi weird bubble styling, no shifter, etc. The Kia still wins for me overall, in size, shape, fit, and such. But glad to see both give 2 different flavors, with far more quality, refinement, etc. for thousands less than the competition. Tellurides are all over NY.

    Dealer I visited in Buffalo area last week..."it's great. We only have 2 left right now, and good example, last night a customer with a newer Q7 came in and said "I'm over the Audi. Tried it. I need a Telluride. Can you get me one?" Taking orders and doing swaps as much as they can to keep up.

    Edited by caddycruiser
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    1 hour ago, caddycruiser said:

    Agreed. Normal customer goes to see the Telluride then "let's check out an Acadia too..."

    Jogs back to Kia. No contest.

    Having seen the Hyundai Palisade now, meh. Same guts & size, semi weird bubble styling, no shifter, etc. The Kia still wins for me overall, in size, shape, fit, and such. But glad to see both give 2 different flavors, with far more quality, refinement, etc. for thousands less than the competition. Tellurides are all over NY.

    Dealer I visited in Buffalo area last week..."it's great. We only have 2 left right now, and good example, last night a customer with a newer Q7 came in and said "I'm over the Audi. Tried it. I need a Telluride. Can you get me one?" Taking orders and doing swaps as much as they can to keep up.

    Yep, and my favorite part being cheaper as well! I think they could throw on some light rebates and really move these well!

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    I’ve seen a couple on the road by me, they look presentable. But the standard driver safety features would make it a hard ‘no’ for me.

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      Probably the biggest news for the K5 is that it will gain an all-wheel drive system that can shift power to the rear axle based on road conditions and driver input. It should be noted that the Sonata doesn't get an all-wheel drive option, so this gives the Kia a point of distinction over its cousin.
      The K5 has a sporty exterior with a wide tiger nose grille running the entire width of the vehicle. New headlights with a 'heart beat' daytime running light feature flank both sides. The stance of the K5 is said to lean forward with a rakish windshield and sloping roof.  In the rear is a dual exhaust system and integrated spoiler along with a LED light bar.  Wheels start at 16-inches and range up to 19-inches on the GT.
      The K5 is 193.1 inches long, longer than its predecessor, it's also lower and wider.  Wheelbase grows by 1.8-inches. 
      The cabin is all new with fancy new seats and a flat bottom steering wheel. There is an availabe infotainment system that sports a 10.25-inch screen while an available gauge cluster is fully digital and 12.3 inches complimented by an 8.0-inch heads up display. Some models of K5 will get a rotary gear selector while others get a more traditional T-Shifter.
      The K5 will have a bunch of driver assistance technologies including forward collision avoidance assist, blind-spot monitoring and assist, smart cruise control, driver attention warning, and highway driving assist.  Also available is a Level 2 semi-autonomous driving system and a remote park assist that will allow users to move their vehicle forwards or backwards with a key fob in order to get into or out of a tight parking spot.
      The 2021 Kia K5 goes on sale in the first half of 2020.
       
       
  • Posts

    • I don't see Ford offering free gas, so I don't know why people expect Tesla to offer free electricity.
    • Quebec lost ground in EV infrastructure to British Columbia, California and Washington. Due to the PQ (Parti Quebecois) Government  that was elected as a minority government in 2012.   The PQ cut all subsidies and EV investments in infrastructure  and distanced themselves with the idea of a better economy with EVs. But in 2014...there was another election and the Liberals won and the government invested its energy (*pun intended) back  in informing the citizens that EVs might be good for the Quebec people.  But...not enough monies were invested for the infrastructure.  Subsidies for EV purchases only.   A new government was elected in 2018 (the CAQ...50% separatist values  (kinda like the PQ party, but less radical),  25 % liberal values and 25%conservative values... but these guys actually do listen to the voice of the people...the pur sang Quebec people...the true blue Frenchies...and maybe not the English voices LOL) but where the Liberals left off with EVs, the CAQ goes even further.  They actually inform the people of Quebec on how EVs benefit our economy. Monies are given to local businesses, homes, to establish an infrastructure.   The CAQ government is working with Hydro-Quebec to not raise its prices, to give discounts to those who actually charge their EVs at home...to also encourage people to not be wasteful of electricity and so forth.  Subsidies for the purchase of EVs has also been prolonged, and the rebates increased all for the purpose to get more EVs on Quebec roads.  For green purposes but for Quebec's economy also.  The people of Quebec are starting to see the benefits of EV ownership versus ICE on multiple levels....  We have discussed these benefits ad nauseam @ Cheersandgears...no need for me to revisit this. The Model 3 is everywhere in Montreal.  The Model S too.  The Model X not so much... But...the Kia Kona EV is also a very popular EV in Montreal.   Tons of hybrids. From the Fusion Hybrid to the Chevy Volt to the different Toyotas that have the Toyota Hybrid Drive.  The Nissan Leaf and the Chevy Bolt were once dominant in Montreal, but since the Model 3 has arrived and now wait times are no longer an issue for the Model 3, the Leaf and Bolt are not as popular. The Model 3 is just steamrolling along.  The Federal government is offering up to 5000 and the Quebec government is offering another 8000.   That figure was for EVs costing less than 75 000. But now, as of April 1st 2020,  that 8000 max is for EVs costing less than 60 000 MSRP.   A Model 3, with an MSRP of less than 60 000 (which was the standard price) could be potentially had for 47 000...   And now...I think the standard price for the Model 3 in Canada IS 47 000... Well...we know that Elon likes to overcharge for some stuff...OK...but with rebates like in Quebec and in Canada...the Quebec rebate pays for the AWD and the Canada rebate pays for the mundane shyte that Elon charges for but other OEMs gives us for free...(yeah...its not as if GM or Ford or Honda dont force you into higher trim packages for the mundane shyte you want but are stuck in upgrading trim packages just to get that mundae shyte but now are forced to have other mundane shyte you really dont care for...)  https://vehiculeselectriques.gouv.qc.ca/english/rabais/ve-neuf/programme-rabais-vehicule-neuf.asp      
    • I totally agree with you and the west coast is very much the same as your area of Canada with state, county, city govs in sync with residents on EV's / Hybrids. Most want full size truck/SUV BEVs. As such, I think once these come to market we will see a dramatic move to EV's at least here on the west coast. I still think the Governments drive to have a cleaner climate is what will drive the change from ICE to EV. China especially will drive this.
    • LOL thanks Autoblog, aka Captain Obvious... https://www.autoblog.com/2020/01/22/deloitte-survey-consumer-attitudes-vehicle-technology-cost/
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