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2020 Kia Telluride Review

The all-new Kia Telluride ranks highly in the midsize SUV class. This three-row vehicle boasts a handsome cabin, a serene ride, an abundance of safety features, and an above-average predicted reliability rating.

Pros & Cons

  • Gentle ride
  • Large cargo hold
  • Lots of safety features
  • Handsome cabin
  • Less agile than rivals

Rankings & Research

The 2020 Kia Telluride's #1 ranking is based on its score within the Midsize SUVs category. Currently the Kia Telluride has a score of 8.6 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 20 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.

8.6

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 9.3
Performance: 7.3
Interior: 8.1
Safety: 9.9
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

Is the Kia Telluride a Good SUV?

Yes, the Kia Telluride is a good midsize SUV. This brand-new vehicle has seating for up to eight in a high-end cabin, and you’ll be treated to a gentle ride. The Telluride comes with a generous list of driver aids, a large cargo hold, a lengthy warranty, and a good predicted reliability rating.

The Telluride has decent off-road capability, but it doesn’t match the prowess of well-established trail runners like the Jeep Grand Cherokee or Toyota 4Runner.

Should I Buy the Kia Telluride?

This Kia SUV definitely deserves a spot on your short list, especially if you're seeking a family vehicle with some light adventuring prowess. For a family-friendly alternative without the off-roading abilities, you might consider the Chevrolet Traverse or a minivan like the Kia Sedona.

Compare the Telluride, Traverse, and Sedona »

Should I Buy a New or Used Kia Telluride?

Kia launched the Telluride as an all-new SUV for the 2020 model year. Because of that, the odds of finding a used model on the market are low.

We Did the Research for You: 20 Reviews Analyzed

Our goal is to provide you with the information you need to make car shopping a breeze. You'll find everything you need to know about the Kia Telluride in our comprehensive review. It combines concrete data (like fuel economy estimates, safety scores, and cargo space dimensions) with professional evaluations from 20 automotive sources.

Why You Can Trust Us

We’ve been reviewing cars since 2007, and our Best Cars team has more than 75 years of combined automotive experience. We also award the Best Cars for the Money, Best Cars for Families, and Best Vehicle Brands on an annual basis. To ensure our impartiality, a third party handles our advertising, and we don't accept expensive gifts from automakers.

How Much Does the Kia Telluride Cost?

The Telluride comes in four trims, with the base LX trim starting at $31,690. That's slightly above average for the midsize SUV class. The top-of-the-line SX trim, however, retails for less than the top-level trims of many rivals. The Telluride SX starts at $41,490.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Kia dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Kia deals page.

Kia Telluride Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: Kia Telluride or Ford Edge?

The Ford Edge has two capable engine options and relatively lithe handling that combine to give it solid overall performance for a midsize SUV. Pair that with a roomy cabin and an easy-to-use infotainment system, and the Edge looks pretty attractive. Both of these SUVs come with a lot of standard safety features. The three-row Telluride has superior off-road capabilities and seating for up to eight people (the Edge only seats five in two rows), and it has more cargo space and a more modern infotainment system than the Edge. The Ford isn’t a bad pick, but the Kia is a better one.

Which Is Better: Kia Telluride or Kia Sportage?

The Kia Sportage is a compact SUV. Kia refreshed the Sportage for the 2020 model year, updating its exterior and interior styling, adding a larger touch screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto to the standard features list, and making more safety features available. The Sportage lacks the cargo and passenger room of its larger sibling, but it’s more affordable and more agile too. Both vehicles are good choices, and picking between them is a matter of preference.

Compare the Telluride, Edge, and Sportage »

Kia Telluride Interior

How Many People Does the Telluride Seat?

The 2020 Telluride seats eight people on synthetic leather upholstery. The S and SX trims swap out the second-row bench seat for captain’s chairs, reducing occupancy to seven. Power-sliding-and-folding second-row seats come standard too. Other seating upgrades include genuine leather and premium leather upholstery, power-adjustable front seats, heated and ventilated first- and second-row seats, second-row sunshades, and a heated steering wheel.

Getting comfortable in the first two rows is easy, thanks in part to the roomy and well-padded seats. The third row is better left for smaller riders.

Telluride and Car Seats

There are two complete sets of LATCH car-seat connectors for the Telluride’s second-row outboard seats and an additional full set for the third-row seat on the driver’s side. The middle seats of both rear rows feature a top tether anchor.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the system the second-highest rating of Acceptable for ease of use. All of the tether anchors are easy to find and are distinct from other hardware. The IIHS notes that all the lower anchors are set deeply in the seats, and it’s difficult to maneuver your hands around the third-row lower attachments.

Telluride Interior Quality

The Telluride has a handsome cabin full of soft-touch surfaces and quality materials.

Kia Telluride Cargo Space

This Kia SUV has 21 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats. Folding down the third row opens up 46 cubic feet, and folding down the second row unveils a total of 87 cubic feet. Those are fantastic totals, eclipsing many three-row classmates, including the Kia Sorento.

Telluride Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

The Telluride features Kia's UVO infotainment system, which includes an 8-inch touch screen, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, a six-speaker sound system, Bluetooth, and six USB ports. A navigation system is available, as are a 10.25-inch touch screen, a head-up display, wireless phone charging, a 10-speaker Harman Kardon stereo, and another USB port.

The touch screen offers crisp graphics and quick response times. Standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are a nice touch, and some drivers may appreciate Quiet Mode, which restricts audio output to the front row, and Driver Talk, which projects the driver’s voice through the rear speakers.

For more information, read What Is Apple CarPlay? and What Is Android Auto?

Read more about interior »

Telluride Performance

Telluride Engine: One Powertrain to Rule Them All

All Tellurides come with a 3.8-liter V6 engine that produces 291 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. It's paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. This powertrain ably tackles most driving situations, from twisting hills to busy city streets, and provides plenty of highway passing power.

Telluride Mileage: Par for the Course

The Kia Telluride gets an EPA-estimated 20 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway. Models with all-wheel drive get 19 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway. Those are typical estimates among midsize SUVs with V6 engines, though some rivals offer more fuel-efficient four-cylinder engines.

Telluride Ride and Handling: Comfortable and Composed

The Telluride rides smoothly over most surfaces. It’s not as nimble as some competitors, but it keeps its composure around twisty roads. Front-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive is available.

Telluride Off-Roading: Light-Duty Adventurer

Standard skid plates, 8 inches of ground clearance, and the available all-wheel-drive Lock system (which enhances grip) help endow this Kia with some light off-roading capabilities.

Telluride Towing Capacity

A properly equipped Telluride can tow up to 5,000 pounds.

Telluride Dimensions and Weight

This Kia crossover is 16 feet, 5 inches long and has a curb weight of between 4,112 and 4,482 pounds.

Read more about performance »

Telluride Reliability

Is the Kia Telluride Reliable?

The 2020 Kia Telluride earns an above-average predicted reliability rating of four out of five from J.D. Power.

Telluride Warranty

Kia covers the 2020 Telluride with a five-year/60,000-mile basic warranty and a lengthy 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty.

Read more about reliability »

Telluride Safety

Telluride Crash Test Results

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the 2020 Telluride a Top Safety Pick. This SUV received the highest rating of Good in six crash tests, and the standard front crash prevention features earned the top rating of Superior for their effectiveness. Depending on trim, the Telluride’s headlights received the second-highest rating of Acceptable or the lowest rating of Poor for how well they illuminate the road ahead.

At the time of writing, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has not crash tested the 2020 Telluride.

Telluride Safety Features

This Kia comes with a lot of standard safety features, including a rearview camera, rear parking sensors, lane keep assist, lane departure warning, a blind spot collision avoidance system, forward collision warning, brake assist, pedestrian detection, rear cross traffic alert, a driver attention monitor, adaptive cruise control, and safe exit assist, which warns you if it's not safe to open your doors because of approaching cars or bikes.

Automatic high beams, rain-sensing windshield wipers, a surround-view parking camera, highway driving assist, and blind spot monitoring are available.

Read more about safety »

Which Kia Telluride Is Right for Me?

Kia offers the new Telluride in four trim levels: LX, S, EX, and SX. All models come with a V6 engine, an eight-speed automatic transmission, and front-wheel drive. All-wheel drive is a $2,000 option in every trim. LX and EX models seat eight people, while S and SX models come with second-row captain’s chairs that seat seven.

The base LX is a great choice for its abundance of tech and safety features. If you're looking for more comfort features, consider the EX.

Kia Telluride LX

The Kia Telluride LX has a starting MSRP of $31,690. It features the UVO infotainment system, an 8-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a six-speaker stereo, Bluetooth, six USB ports, push-button start, proximity keyless entry, remote start, synthetic leather seats, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.

It also comes with a ton of driver aids, including forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, a driver attention monitor, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control, a rearview camera, rear parking sensors, rear cross traffic alert, a blind spot collision avoidance system, and safe exit assist, which warns exiting passengers of vehicles approaching from behind.

No major packages are available with this trim.

Kia Telluride S

With a base MSRP of $33,990, the Telluride S builds off the LX trim, adding a sunroof, a 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, and heated front seats.

Eight-passenger seating is available for $100.

Kia Telluride EX

The Kia Telluride EX retails for $37,090. It gains a power liftgate, Driver Talk (which amplifies the driver’s voice through the rear speakers), a 10.25-inch touch screen, a navigation system, wireless phone charging, an additional USB port, an eight-way power-adjustable front passenger seat, ventilated front seats, leather seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, rear passenger automatic temperature control, and highway driving assist, which adjusts the Telluride's cruising speed to match the vehicle ahead and can even steer the vehicle into another lane.

For $795, you can get the Towing package, which adds a self-leveling rear suspension. A heated steering wheel is also available.

Kia Telluride SX

The Kia Telluride SX starts at $41,490. SX models have dual sunroofs, a 10-speaker Harman Kardon surround-sound stereo, a 12-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, automatic high beams, blind spot monitoring, a surround-view parking camera, and front parking sensors.

The Prestige package costs $4,000 and features premium Nappa leather upholstery, heated and ventilated second-row seats, a heated steering wheel, a head-up display, and rain-sensing windshield wipers.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Kia dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Kia deals page.

See 2020 Kia Telluride specs and trims »

The Final Call

The all-new Kia Telluride is a breath of fresh air in the sometimes stale midsize SUV class. Kia’s largest vehicle seats up to eight people in a well-designed cabin, and it offers plenty of high-tech safety features and some light off-roading capability as well. To top it off, the Telluride has a good predicted reliability rating that makes it a solid choice in this segment.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • "It’s a competitive market, but the 2020 Telluride is one of the best-looking models among its peers, and it offers up tons of interior comfort, amenities, and space. This particular three-row Kia is assuredly going to stick around for a lot longer than one model year." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "… Kia has a hit on its hands with the new 2020 Telluride. … the Telluride seats seven or eight and is set to top the South Korean brand's range of SUVs despite the company insisting that this is a mid-size model, one that goes up against things like the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Honda Passport. But it's not mid-size – the Telluride is on the big end of the mid-size group, much closer in size to the Volkswagen Atlas or Chevrolet Traverse. It has more passenger room than a Chevrolet Tahoe SUV. … the new Telluride is an exceptionally well-done new family hauler. On the smooth, fast switchbacks of the high plateaus of western Colorado, it was a stellar companion with its well-damped ride, strong acceleration, precise and communicative steering, and beautifully appointed interior." -- Cars.com
  • "Nonetheless, the Telluride woos me -- the driving experience may not improve upon rivals, but it's also no worse. It is, however, more attractive, with a longer warranty and some cool new features -- and it very much deserves a spot on your midsize SUV shopping list." -- Autotrader
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