2020 Kia Telluride

#14
in Suvs
2020 MODEL
$31,690 - $43,490
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Overall Rating

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2020 Kia Telluride Complete In-depth Review & Buying Guide


Amratya Nigam's image

Amratya Nigam Automotive Journalist Updated on: November 29, 2019


With manufacturers stuffing the large crossover segment with numerous options, Kia Sorento’s sales graph started declining at a faster rate than ever. Though the Sorento was a perfect SUV, its third-row space and cargo capacity are a couple of factors that dragged its sales down. Now when Hyundai saw this happening with their sister, they loaned one of its recently developed SUVs - The Hyundai Palisade, to Kia so that they can rectify their mistakes. And Kia did their part very well. They learned, corrected their mistakes, and even bested the Hyundai’s Palisade with the all-new 2020 Kia Telluride.

See detailed review »

Pros

V6 unit standard across the lineup

Impressive towing capability

Lots of standard equipment

Comfortable Ride quality

Cons

Less in-cabin storage options

Sluggish acceleration

What's New?

Completely new model introduced for 2020


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$31690

bodystyle

4dr SUV

passenger capacity

8

drivetrain

FWD

engine type

displacement

231 cu.in.

horsepower

291 hp @ 6000 rpm

torque

262 lbs.-ft. @ 5200 rpm

transmission

8 speed automatic

chassis

suspension front

Independent front strut suspension w/anti-roll bar

suspension rear

Independent rear multi-link suspension w/anti-roll bar

brake rotors (f/r)

67.2/67.6

dimensions

wheelbase

114.2 in.

length

196.9 in.

width

78.3 in.

height

68.9 in.

curb weight

4211 lbs.

ground clearance

8 in.

capacity

cargo volume

87 cu ft.

towing capacity

5000 lbs.

payload capacity

1565 lbs.

fuel economy

city/combined/highway

20/23/26 mpg

ev range

376 mi.

highway range

488.8 mi.

warranty

basic warranty

5 yr./ 60000 mi.

drivetrain warranty

10 yr./ 100000 mi.

powertrain warranty

12 yr. / 100000 mi.

corrosion warranty

5 yr. / 100000

roadside assistance

5 yr./ 60000 mi.


Pictures

Exterior
 2020 Kia Telluride Right Side View  2020 Kia Telluride Front View  2020 Kia Telluride 3 Quarter View  2020 Kia Telluride 3 Quarter View  2020 Kia Telluride 3 Quarter View
Interior
 2020 Kia Telluride Seating Layout  2020 Kia Telluride Cargo Area  2020 Kia Telluride interior  2020 Kia Telluride Rear Seats  2020 Kia Telluride Cockpit Area

Styles

 2020 Kia Telluride in Ebony Black color  2020 Kia Telluride in Atomic Silver color  2020 Kia Telluride in Gravity Grey color  2020 Kia Telluride in Sangria color
Ebony Black

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Ratings

Features

9.0

Engine

6.0

Fuel Economy

4.0

Exterior

7.0

Safety

7.0

7.0

OVERALL RATING

Trims and Configurations

MSRP


 2020 Kia Telluride LX

LX

power
291hp @ 6000 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
23 combined

$31,690 - $33,690


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
LX 4dr SUV (3.8L 6cyl 8A) Starting at $31,690 MSRP (20/23/26) 291hp @ 6000 rpm, 3.8 L, V-6, regular unleaded
8-speed automatic TBD 8
LX 4dr SUV AWD (3.8L 6cyl 8A) Starting at $33,690 MSRP (19/21/24) 291hp @ 6000 rpm, 3.8 L, V-6, regular unleaded
8-speed automatic all wheel drive 8

 2020 Kia Telluride S

S

power
291hp @ 6000 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
23 combined

$33,990 - $35,990


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
S 4dr SUV (3.8L 6cyl 8A) Starting at $33,990 MSRP (20/23/26) 291hp @ 6000 rpm, 3.8 L, V-6, regular unleaded
8-speed automatic front wheel drive 7
S 4dr SUV AWD (3.8L 6cyl 8A) Starting at $35,990 MSRP (19/21/24) 291hp @ 6000 rpm, 3.8 L, V-6, regular unleaded
8-speed automatic all wheel drive 7

 2020 Kia Telluride EX

EX

power
291hp @ 6000 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
23 combined

$37,090 - $39,090


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
EX 4dr SUV (3.8L 6cyl 8A) Starting at $37,090 MSRP (20/23/26) 291hp @ 6000 rpm, 3.8 L, V-6, regular unleaded
8-speed automatic TBD 8
EX 4dr SUV AWD (3.8L 6cyl 8A) Starting at $39,090 MSRP (19/21/24) 291hp @ 6000 rpm, 3.8 L, V-6, regular unleaded
8-speed automatic all wheel drive 8

 2020 Kia Telluride SX

SX

power
291hp @ 6000 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
23 combined

$41,490 - $43,490


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
SX 4dr SUV (3.8L 6cyl 8A) Starting at $41,490 MSRP (20/23/26) 291hp @ 6000 rpm, 3.8 L, V-6, regular unleaded
8-speed automatic TBD 7
SX 4dr SUV AWD (3.8L 6cyl 8A) Starting at $43,490 MSRP (19/21/24) 291hp @ 6000 rpm, 3.8 L, V-6, regular unleaded
8-speed automatic all wheel drive 7

Expert Review

7.0

Overall Rating


Based on Palisade, the Telluride is the largest vehicle to walk out of Kia’s chambers. It has a massive road presence and sports a typical SUV silhouette. At first sight, you might not even believe that it is a Kia. But believe it, because Kia has put in a lot of effort specifically for the American market. 

With the Telluride, Kia takes the battle directly to Honda Pilot, Chevrolet Traverse and its own sibling - The Hyundai Palisade. Under the hood, a 3.8L, V6 unit discharges the duties, again, borrowed from the Palisade. With prices starting at $31,460, is Kia back in the game? Let’s move ahead and find out.

2020 Kia Telluride SUV Front View
2020 Kia Telluride SUV Front View
2020 Kia Telluride SUV Rear View
2020 Kia Telluride SUV Rear View

9.0/10
Features

 

6.0/10
Engine

 

4.0/10
Fuel Economy

 
 

7.0/10
Exterior

 

7.0/10
Safety

 
 
 

2020 Kia Telluride Features

9.0/10

Treading on the same lines as the Palisade, Telluride is offered in four trims, namely, LX, S, EX and the top-trim SX. Each of these trims can be either mated to front-wheel drive system or the All-wheel-drive system.One thing special about Kia is that it offers a host of features as standard across the lineup. Telluride is no different either. 

The base trim “LX” flaunts various standard features like Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, Rear Blind-Spot Collision system, Auto-dimming rear view mirror and a lot more. Some premium features such as the more premium 20-inch alloy wheels with black finish and Voice Control system have been reserved for the top-end trim only. While you might be hesitant to consider the base variant, let us remind you that the Koreans are quite generous in offering standard features in their vehicles. Hence, the base trim “LX” has been well-loaded with everything, starting from entertainment and comfort needs all the way to some best-in-class safety tech.

Trim

LX

S

EX

SX

MSRP (FWD)

$31,690

$33.990

$37,090

$41,490

MSRP (AWD)

$33,690

$35,990

$39,090

$43,490

Key Features

18-inch Alloy Wheels

20-inch Alloy wheels

18-inch Alloy Wheels machine finished

20-inch alloy wheels finished in black sport

 

Automatic Projector-Beam Headlamps

LED positioning lights

Ventilated front seats

64-color mood lighting

 

Adaptive Cruise Control

Reverse Parking distance warning

Leather seats

Blind Spot view monitor

 

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto

Leather-wrapped steering wheel

Enhanced navigation system

High beam assist

 

Sound-absorbing windshield glass

Dual chrome exhaust tips

Smart powered liftgate

Harman Kardon 10-speaker audio system

 

8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment

Second-row Captain Chairs

10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment

7.0-inch infotainment in the meter console

We Recommend

We believe that the second-to-top trim, “EX” makes the best value for money. You get everything with the car, and then more. However, depending on your priorities, if you are going to spend most of your time with the Telluride in the urban jungle, we’d suggest you go with the optional 20-inch wheels which certainly do justice to the massive road presence of the car. Furthermore, the optional Harman Kardon 10-speaker set will just add more sweetness to your Telluride’s personality.

2020 Kia Telluride Engine

6.0/10

The Telluride’s propelling duties have been undertaken by a 3.8L, Naturally Aspirated V6 powerhouse that pumps out 291HP of power at 6,000 RPM and extracts 262lbs-ft of torque at 5200 RPM. It is the same unit that can also be spotted in the Hyundai Palisade.

2020 Kia Telluride SUV Engine Bay

While the numbers sound intriguing, we hate to break it to you that this engine doesn’t behave like it. It is inclined more towards a calm composure which isn’t eager to rev out. But it gets the job done.

Models

Kia Telluride

Honda Pilot 

Chevrolet Traverse

Hyundai Palisade

MSRP 

$32,785

$31,550

$29,800

$31,550

Engine

3.8L, Naturally Aspirated V6

3.5L Naturally Aspirated V6

3.6L Naturally Aspirated V6

3.8L, Naturally Aspirated V6

Transmission

8-Speed Automatic

6-Speed Automatic

9-Speed Shiftable Automatic

8-Speed Automatic

Power (hp)

291 @6,000 RPM

280 @ 6,000 RPM

310 @ 6,800 RPM

291 @6,000 RPM

Torque (lbs.-ft.)

262 @ 5200 RPM

262 @ 4,700 RPM

266 @ 2,800 RPM

262 @ 5200 RPM

Since Hyundai and Kia share the same powertrain, we really cannot pitch anyone of them ahead. The Traverse, however, trumps them and the Pilot with the maximum power and torque figures. That said, the story might change once the weight factor is considered.

Acceleration

The 3.8L, V6 unit propels the Telluride across the 60 MPH barrier in a nominal 7.2 seconds. And if you aim for the quarter-mile mark, this figure escalates to 15.4 seconds.

2020 Kia Telluride SUV Rear View

Though, the Telluride isn’t meant to rip off the Tarmac on the drag-strip, it still manages to uplift the brand’s reputation by stacking ahead of most of the rivals in the competition, and that is commendable.

Models

Kia Telluride FWD

Honda Pilot 

Chevrolet Traverse

Hyundai Palisade

0-60 MPH (Sec)

7.2

5.9

7.1

6.9

Quarter mile (Sec)

15.4

14.4

15.5

15.1

Engine

3.8L, Naturally Aspirated V6

3.5L Naturally Aspirated V6

3.6L Naturally Aspirated V6

3.8L, Naturally Aspirated V6

Despite the Koreans share their powertrain, the Palisade comes ahead of the Telluride in terms of acceleration figures. The Telluride’s extra weight is the reason why. That said, the Honda Pilot emerges as the crown bearer here, as it is the lightest contender of the lot. Talking about weight, the Chevrolet Traverse stays at last in a quarter-mile drag. 

Braking

For a vehicle tipping the scales over 4,000 pounds, braking is a necessary concern for the Telluride. Impressively enough, it takes 120 ft to come to a halt from 60 MPH which is better than most of the rivals in the segment.

2020 Kia Telluride SUV Brakes

The bite is healthy and gradual too. The brake pedal is also wide and flat that practically feels like a foot-board. However, during a panic stop, this behemoth dives like a dolphin at the front. Its soft suspension setup is primarily focused on a calm ride quality. 

Model

Kia Telluride FWD

Honda Pilot 

Chevrolet Traverse

Hyundai Palisade

Brake Front(in)

13.4

12.6

12.6

13.4

Brake Rear(in)

12.0

13.0

12.4

12.0

Curb Weight(lbs)

4,354

4,036

4,362

4,231

60-0 MPH (ft.)

120

158

197

129

Though we do not have the braking details for Traverse and Palisade, but judging by their curb weights, we believe that the Traverse should be the most difficult to stop. Surprisingly, the Telluride outshines the much lighter - Honda Pilot in this comparison.

Ride and Handling

In terms of handling, what can you expect out of a 4,000 pound, 8-seater SUV? Well, lets just say that it is better suited to those who have barely measured the depth of their accelerator pedal to the floor. Yes, throw the Telluride in a twisty and you’ll understand what we are talking about. You’ll be juggled around the seats and if you still continue with it, you might even get motion-sickness!

2020 kia telluride steering wheel leather wheel

However, Kia has nailed the comfort counterpart of the ride quality in Telluride. It feels planted on a straight line and the steering feedback is fairly balanced too. It is inclined towards a softer side, though. As big as the Telluride might be on the outside, this feeling completely changes if you get behind the steering wheel. It feels easy to navigate and the visibility outside is just phenomenal. Utility coupled with luxury and tech is what sums up the Kia Telluride.

2020 Kia Telluride Fuel Economy

4.0/10

The FWD (Front-wheel-drive) Telluride returns a nominal fuel economy of 20 MPG in the city and this number escalates to a respectable figure of 26 miles to a gallon once you take it on a highway. Lesser gear shifts and clutch applications enable this elevation in the figure. The overall mileage for the FWD variant comes out to be 23 MPG. 

AWD (All-wheel-drive) variant consumes more fuel than the former for very obvious reasons that this one drives all four wheels. The numbers decrease to 19 MPG in the city and 26 MPG on the highway. The overall mileage for the AWD variant is 21 MPG. 

Model

Kia Telluride 

Honda Pilot 

Chevrolet Traverse

Hyundai Palisade

MPG (City) FWD

20

20

18

19

MPG (City) AWD

19

18

17

19

MPG (Highway) FWD

26

27

27

26

MPG (Highway) AWD

24

26

25

24

MPG (Combined) FWD

23

23

21

22

MPG (Combined) AWD

21

21

20

21

The Telluride, in spite of a V6 engine, manages to surpass most of the rivals here. It gulps the least fuel of the lot. Infact, its Korean twin is also pushed back to the second position. The Honda comes in at third and the massive Traverse is the biggest fuel guzzler here.

2020 Kia Telluride Interior

The massive dimensions of the Telluride translate to an equally spacious environment inside. Kia has outfitted it with plush seats surrounded with large bolsters. The ones on the top-trims are even wrapped in leather. The large bolsters effectively contain the body roll, but that’s only limited to a certain extent. They won’t be of much use under harsh treatment with the steering wheel. That said, the front seats are spacious and encourage to spend hours on them. The heating and ventilation just adds to the comfort forte of the cabin.

2020 Kia Telluride SUV Seats

The other two rows are equally matched. They are easy to access and surprisingly, there is enough room for the third row passengers as well - a rare phenomena with the third row of seats. Furthermore, the large doors and the low slung height of the footstep enable an easy ingress/egress for the passenger.

Model

Kia Telluride

Honda Pilot

Chevrolet Traverse

Hyundai Palisade

Passenger capacity

7/8

8

7

7

Front (Head/Shoulder/Leg)

(In.)

40.9/61.6/41.4

40.1/62.0/40.9

41.3/62.1/41.0

40.7/61.2/44.1

Second (Head/Shoulder/Leg)

(In.)

40.2/61.2/42.4

40.2/68.0/38.4

40.0/62.2/38.4

40.1/60.8/42.4

Third (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.)

38.1/55.3/31.4

38.9/44.6/31.9

38.2/48.5/33.5

37.8/55.2/31.4

There’s not a lot of difference between the rivals too. They are all equally matched but for the Chevrolet Traverse which trumps everyone else in the lot. The Telluride is just a tad more spacious than its twin sibling and the Honda is left for the last.

Infotainment System

Kia has incorporated two different systems in the Telluride lineup. The base trims feature an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system which is just at par with the rivals. It comes mated to an 8-speaker setup which is again just mediocre. The real deal is the bigger 10.25-inch unit that features high-definition colors and is more intuitive than the former. This one has been limited to the top-trim only and is mated to a 10-speaker unit from Harman Kardon.

Some outstanding features of the infotainment system are :

  • Android Auto
  • Apple CarPlay
  • Display for the rear-view camera
  • Bluetooth music streaming
  • Voice-recognition system

Cargo Capacity

The Telluride is amongst the toppers in this segment. It sports a massive cargo carrying capacity with a total volume of 87 cu.ft, that is, when the second and third rows are folded down.

Even if you want to utilise all of the seats, you can still use a volume of 21 cu.ft in the cargo area even with the third row up.

Model

Kia Telluride

Honda Pilot

Chevrolet Traverse

Hyundai Palisade

Volume (with all rows upright) (ft cube)

21.0

16.5

23.0

18.0

Volume (with third row folded) (ft cube)

46.0

46.8

57.8

45.8

Volume (with second row folded) (ft cube)

87.0

83.9

98.2

86.4

The Traverse emerges as the champion here in this comparison. A total space of 98.2 cu.ft is just outstanding for the segment. No one comes close to it. The second position is taken by the Kia which just inches ahead of its twin sister. The Pilot concludes this comparison with the least space of the lot.

Interior Features

Some of the key highlights of Kia Telluride’s interior are:

  • Mood Lighting
  • Head-up Display
  • Heated Steering Wheel
  • Wireless smartphone charger
  • Rear side-window sunshades
  • 5 USB charging ports
2020 Kia Telluride SUV Interior
2020 Kia Telluride SUV Interior
2020 Kia Telluride SUV Seats
2020 Kia Telluride SUV Seats
2020 Kia Telluride SUV Central Console
2020 Kia Telluride SUV Central Console
2020 Kia Telluride SUV Head Up Display
2020 Kia Telluride SUV Head Up Display
2020 Kia Telluride SUV Sun Roof
2020 Kia Telluride SUV Sun Roof

2020 Kia Telluride Exterior

7.0/10

The Telluride is Kia’s first attempt in making a large SUV which is blown up to such big dimensions. Though, they had the Palisade’s help in their homework, some of the design cues have been very well introduced. Infact, this time the Palisade can learn a few things about exterior design from Telluride.

The Telluride follows a typical SUV-like silhouette with the upright C-Pillars and a big,big hood at the front. Clearly, Kia seems to have studied the American priorities very well. The LED DRLs and the bi-xenon projector lamps look handsome. The upright front grille also adds to it.

2020 Kia Telluride SUV Side View

Come to the side and it is just the way Americans like it. It is long, has big wheels arcs, and stands upright. The chrome outline around the glass-panes really escalate the lux-appeal of the car. All in all, we do not have any complaints with the exterior design of the Kia.

Model

Kia Telluride

Honda Pilot

Chevrolet Traverse

Hyundai Palisade

Curb weight(lbs)

4,354

4,036

4,362

4,231

Length(in)

196.9

196.5

204.3

196.1

Width(in)

78.3

78.6

78.6

77.8

Height(in)

68.9

70.6

70.7

68.9

Ground clearance(in)

8.0

7.3

7.2

7.9

Wheelbase(in)

114.2

111.0

120.9

114.2

The Traverse is a massive SUV and it outshines every other rival here in terms of each and every dimension. The Telluride and the Palisade stack up head-to-head with each other thus, leaving the Honda Pilot at the last.

Exterior Features

The Telluride is a handsome SUV that flaunts a lot of special touches to its exterior. Some of them that really set it a class apart are:

  • LED projector beam headlights
  • Dual Sunroofs
  • 20-inch Alloy wheels
  • Dual chrome exhaust tips
  • Shark-fin antenna
  • Sound-absorbing front windshield
  • Satin chrome surround around windows
2020 Kia Telluride SUV Front View
2020 Kia Telluride SUV Front View
2020 Kia Telluride SUV Badge
2020 Kia Telluride SUV Badge
2020 Kia Telluride SUV 3rd Rear View
2020 Kia Telluride SUV 3rd Rear View
2020 Kia Telluride SUV Rear View
2020 Kia Telluride SUV Rear View
2020 Kia Telluride SUV 3rd Quarter View
2020 Kia Telluride SUV 3rd Quarter View

2020 Kia Telluride Safety

7.0/10

The Telluride is the latest addition to the Kia family and is yet to be tested by NHTSA for its build quality. IIHS, on the other hand, has tested it and as expected from any Kia, Telluride has performed well. It has obtained “Good” ratings in most of the parameters. And it is because of the long list of safety features that are offered as standard across all trims. Some of them, however, which are exclusive to the top trim are more than what you could ask for. Some of these features are:

  • Electronic Stability Control (ESC)
  • Vehicle Stability Management (VSM)
  • Hill-start assist control
  • Downhill brake control
  • Forward Collision Warning
  • Blind Spot View Monitor
  • Lane Departure Warning
  • Lane Keep Assist
  • Rear cross-traffic alert

2020 Kia Telluride Competition

2020 Kia Telluride vs Honda Pilot:

Hondas have garnered immense love for their products over a wide array of time. The Pilot is among the most favorites and why not? It brought a perfect 7-seater utilitarian to a friendly price bracket which was further backed by Honda’s unmatched reliability. While the Sorento struggled to catch Pilot’s attention, we believe that the Telluride is here to change things. It is larger, spacious and a better utilitarian of the two now. And further sweetening the deal is the price. While the base trim prices are quite similar, the Pilot tops out at around $50,000 and the Telluride offers the same features and then more in less than $45k. We believe that the Kia is the better option between the two.

2020 Honda Pilot SUV
2020 Honda Pilot SUV

2020 Kia Telluride vs Chevrolet Traverse:

The Traverse is a pretty capable SUV that offers more space than any of the rivals in the segment. Yes, not even the Telluride is as big as the humongous Chevy. It is miles longer and wider than the Kia and also packs quite a good punch under the hood. The gearbox on the Kia is slightly better though. That said, the Traverse’s interiors depict American ruggedness while the Telluride’s follow a more subtle design language. If you just need to spend most of the hours cruising at same speeds and you do not care about the punch under the hood, we believe that the Telluride is your pick over the Traverse.

2020 Chevrolet Traverse SUV
2020 Chevrolet Traverse SUV

2020 Kia Telluride vs Hyundai Palisade:

The Korean twins have been brought up together with the Palisade just inching ahead by a year for the “elder” tag. Telluride has been completely based on the Palisade with some mistakes that the Palisade made, corrected. The Kia offers better fuel economy, more features, better fit and finish inside and a lot more tech too. However, the Palisade has the advantage of a more friendly price tag. If you don't mind the extra premium over the Palisade’s MSRP, we think that the Kia is a better pick out of the two.

2020 Hyundai Palisade SUV
2020 Hyundai Palisade SUV

 

2020 Kia Telluride Final Verdict

Kia has spent quite some time in understanding the SUV preferences of the American market. While they thought the Sorento could give its rivals a run for their money, the plan went otherwise. Now with Hyundai’s help and after some more R&D, we believe that the Telluride is bang on point. It offers more than what you could ask for in a nominal price bracket. As much as we think it is a perfect value for money, the petrolheads might think otherwise. And that’s true, it isn’t meant to go bonkers on a drag strip. If performance is what sways you then the Telluride is not what you are looking for. For everything else, the Telluride is the answer.