2021 Kia Telluride Review Exterior And Interior

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The large sedan class is not what it was once. Fewer automakers offer them because consumers are more and more gravitating to SUVs and highly succesful midsize sedans. This Automobiles, however, is one brand that's nonetheless carrying the torch. In truth, it's doubled down. Redesigned simply last yr, the automobile concurrently exemplifies and upends the conventions of the class.

Like past automobile (and most giant sedans), this latest mannequin has a V6 engine that delivers easy acceleration. It also has a roomy interior. Although solely slightly larger than the Camry, the Avalon has acres of legroom for all occupants and the next share of premium supplies. The Avalon lends itself well to lengthy highway journeys due to the supportive outboard seats and minimal wind noise.

2020 kia telluride review
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This Cars also performs in opposition to sort by bringing efficiency into the image. The automobile, with nimble handling and quick steering, is surprisingly up to the problem of zipping along a curvy highway. There's even a new TRD mannequin this 12 months with a sport-tuned suspension. If you need an uncompromising blend of performance and comfort, take into account the top Touring trim. It's outfitted with adaptive dampers that soften the trip or sharpen dealing with on the press of a button — a rare feature for such a automobile.

Downsides? Effectively, there's not an enormous amount of headroom, which is odd for this class of car, and Android Auto smartphone integration is conspicuously missing from the features record. However overall, we predict highly of the automobile. It's a particular step up when it comes to high quality and comfort in comparison with the Camry, and it's essentially the most well-rounded pick compared to rivals such as the Chrysler 300 and the Kia Cadenza.

Back in the year 2000–remember aback we acclimated to say the year 2000?–my ancestor purchased a aboriginal Kia Sephia. 

2020 kia telluride review
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2021 kia telluride review
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I still bethink amusement over the actuality that he had purchased a alive four-door bunched auto for abundant beneath money than annihilation Japanese or American at the time. The Sephia would serve as his circadian disciplinarian while his 1993 Dodge Stealth R/T Turbo adequate acquiescently in the barn and his Chrysler LeBaron Turbo auto sat on blocks in the driveway as he badly approved to apple-pie the latter’s God-awful three-speed automated chiral for the additional time.

Yes, my dad was activity through his midlife crisis.

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Yet his Sephia concluded up actuality the complete affliction auto he anytime purchased, worse alike than his K-car-derived sports coupe. Starter issues, alternator problems, chiral windows aback bottomward at artery speeds, abnormal rear defroster, abnormal radio, cuff box aperture aback absolute in your easily as you opened it; his Kia had all the issues you can imagine.  

He hated his car so abundant that two years afterwards he attempted to barter it for a buzz Isuzu Rodeo at a acclimated car dealer, area he got $2,000 for his Certified Piece of S*** Sephia. 

“Korean brands. Never again!”,  he still tells me today.

My dad’s acquaintance with Kia backward with me throughout my adolescent developed activity and into my career as an automotive journalist. But as the aggregation evolved, dishing out better, added capable, added reliable and added high-tech cars and SUVs over time, I eventually had to acquire the algid adamantine facts: Kia is no best the abominable another to a buzz car that busted my dad of his hard-earned money. 

For the account of this review, I promised myself (and my editors) I wouldn’t go bottomward the “Kia is no best an abominable brand” narrative. It’s too played out; that’s been the case for a decade now. But reminiscing about my dad’s acquaintance absolutely does prove the Telluride is as adequate as anybody says. 

In case you haven’t been following, three-row crossovers and SUVs (Those agreement are now changeable to all but the purists) are what medium- to advantageous families are now affairs instead of midsize sedans and minivans. 

Every boilerplate carmaker accomplishing austere business in North America currently has one of these accessories in its lineup. Some of the added accepted ones, like the Honda Pilot and Toyota Highlander, are sales juggernauts. The closing awash about 240,000 units in the U.S. abandoned aftermost year. The Telluride, and its accumulated accessory the Hyundai Palisade (which I’ll get aback to in a bit), is how the Hyundai Motor Group amassed affairs on biting this awful advantageous segment.

Mind you, it’s not the aboriginal time Kia takes a ache at this affectionate of vehicle. It approved with the three-row Borrego aback in 2009, which bootless miserably at authoritative an absolute ripple in the segment. The Borrego was a big and asperous body-on-frame SUV that was appear during an bread-and-butter recession. It additionally wore a cast that consumers still didn’t assurance at the time, let abandoned a name that meant “sheep” in Spanish.

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The Telluride, therefore, represents a additional booty for Kia, one that arrives during an era aback consumers can’t get abundant SUVs, but additionally a time aback Korean brands are assuredly trusted due to their accretion believability ratings and about aloft tech to Japanese competitors. The addition of adorable cartage like the Stinger and the absolute Genesis cast additionally helped a lot.

Standing tall, long, advanced and appropriately boxy, the Telluride looks the part, actualization like a Korean estimation of a Chevy Tahoe. I alone adulation its adventure-ready chicken aurora active lights. Yellow!

While the advanced fascia is all Kia, the rear area alluringly tapers bottomward to vertical LED taillights that borrow cues from added big-ticket vehicles, acceptance this ancestors hauler to appear through as a different and adorable product. In a apple area all three-row “mallfinders” attending the same, the Telluride is the one you appetite your kids to blow about afterwards bottomward them off at school. 

Perhaps added important is how the Telluride doesn’t borrow any administration cues from the mechanically identical Palisade. And it concluded up attractive abundant better, too. 

As a bulk of fact, the differences with its Hyundai affinity go added than styling. While benumbed on the aforementioned wheelbase, the Telluride is a tad best by about one inch overall, bisected an inch added and hardly taller. The aftereffect is not alone an SUV that has a about added assertive attendance on the alley but additionally a block that’s beyond by 18 cubic feet. All-embracing burden amplitude aback all seats are bargain to the attic is additionally a tad college at 87 cubic anxiety vs 86 cubic feet.

Available with advanced or all-wheel-drive (Canada alone gets AWD), the Telluride is powered by a artlessly aspirated 3.8-liter V6 adequate for a claimed 291 application and 262 lb-ft of torque. All of it is beatific to the arena via an eight-speed automated gearbox, which allows this behemoth to dart to 60 mph from a standstill in about seven abnormal flat. 

Furthermore, the Telluride will tow up to 5,000 pounds, which puts it appropriate accurately at the bulk of aggressive cartage like the Honda Pilot, Volkswagen Atlas, Chevrolet Traverse and Subaru Ascent, aloof to name a few.

Its starting bulk is a actual reasonable $31,890 and it acme out at $41,790 afore options for an all-wheel-drive Telluride SX like the one you see here.

I had the adventitious to drive the Palisade over in South Korea during its all-around barrage aftermost year. Aback then, I was absolutely afflicted by the bulk of clarification and technology the abuse affair offered for the price. I additionally bethink actuality about annoyed by how it did aggregate well–something my aide Jonathon Klein highlights rather able-bodied here.

So, aback the Telluride arrived, I abounding it would be a archetype and adhesive act. Turns out it’s not. 

The aboriginal consequence aback beefcake yourself central a Telluride is that it feels beneath exceptional than a Palisade, but aloof as able-bodied put together. For instance, it doesn’t get the Palisade’s costly berth materials, nor an expensive-looking headliner, but actual affection is still aloft boilerplate for this segment. The affected copse trim that spans the dashboard does a bang-up job of actualization real. 

The Telluride has basically has a added boilerplate and above vibe than a Palisade, and that’s accomplished if you ask me. It hosts accepted analog gauges and a adequate old ancient accessory batten instead of Hyundai’s annoying push-button accessory selector. 

Even the infotainment arrangement is the aforementioned straightforward, simple interface as in a bunched Forte. But it gets credibility for artlessly working. Its presentation may be a tad abecedarian compared to some added exceptional offerings, but the abounding bright icons, quick-reacting awning and bombastic concrete buttons are absolutely fine.

It additionally feels slower off the band than a Palisade, which apparently has article to do with the transmission’s programming. As a bulk of fact, the association over at Car and Disciplinarian clocked hardly quicker dispatch and quarter-mile times in instrumented testing with the Palisade. 

And while the Telluride’s anatomy is bedrock solid, its abeyance charcoal bendable and spongy, alike in its best activating Sport mode. In that account I begin the Palisade to feel livelier and added athletic, both in the way it accelerated and took on a corner.

Then again, the ambition audience best apparently won’t accompany their ancestors shuttle to the Nürburgring, so it’s altogether adequate for the Telluride to be on the apathetic and bendable side. It doesn’t apologize for what it is. 

While demonstrating beneath ability than a Pilot, a Highlander or alike a Chevrolet Traverse aback applying abounding throttle, the Telluride’s artlessly aspirated V-6 is badly smooth, quiet and abundantly acquainted for its advised purpose. There’s abundant ability for the assignment here. It’s the aforementioned adventure for the eight-speed automated gearbox. It’s no Porsche PDK, but it does what it was advised to do added than well.  I’ve apparent abundant worse from Honda, Volkswagen, Nissan and alike Ford.

The aboriginal affair an automotive announcer does aback they admission a new car is dig for flaws. Who cares if the agent sounds like a Messerschmitt at abounding burke if the cup holder won’t authority my coffee properly, right?

Yet, in the Telluride, no bulk how adamantine I tried, I had a actual adamantine time award issues. Its seats are abundantly adequate advanced and rear, the basement position is blast on, and the absolute affair rides so bland on baffled bounce anchorage you bound admiration why some German cartage costing alert the bulk don’t action this affectionate of ride quality. 

Rear arch and legroom are ample, and the USB ports that are calmly nestled into the advanced seatbacks are accurate and handy. That said, while admission to the third row is almost easy, sitting aback there feels awe-inspiring aback you’re an adult. The affair is with the attic actuality positioned too high, arch to your knees abrading your forehead. I advance befitting that bank for the kids.

Finally, the Telluride hosts an absorbing arrangement of semi-autonomous technology. These appear accepted with blind-spot blow avoidance, rear parking sensors and rear-cross cartage blow abstention assist, added animating their bulk proposition. But I begin some of it to be far too advancing at times. It’s an affair aback your SUV beeps berserk at you aback you drive abutting to a timberline annex in your driveway. 

You can about-face best of these toys off, thankfully, but the adjacency sensors will about-face themselves aback on their own the moment you drive too abutting to the abutting tree. Annoying.

That said, it’s adamantine to altercate adjoin the bulk of SUV you’ll be accepting for your money here. And any abiding believability fears from the old canicule can acceptable be put to blow for now. We additionally apperceive Kia’s been sitting at the top of J.D. Power’s Initial Affection Study for a while. I additionally appear to apperceive affluence of Kia owners–partly due to a acquaintance who owns a Kia dealership, but additionally from bodies who animadversion on my own website–who accept had no notable issues with their cars and SUVs.

So I’d say that yes, a Kia Telluride is account a shot, alike if it still hasn’t fostered the abiding acceptability of a Toyota Highlander. It’s a tad added “truckish” than a Palisade, a bit roomier and looks acknowledgment too. Aloof don’t acquaint my dad I said that. He’s still not a believer, but I anticipate I’m authoritative him appear around.

I went over to pay him a appointment while I had the Telluride. (This was all afore the COVID-19 blend happened, of course.)

As I pulled up in his driveway, all I could atom was his white army of beard afraid out from beneath the awning of his consistently burst 2002 Land Rover Discovery, his poor old aback angled over as he bravely attempted to accept how to alter the arch gasket on his ridiculously capricious British SUV. 

I pulled my arch out the window of the big Telluride: “Hey dad, how about a Kia now?”

(Kia Canada loaned me a 2021 Telluride for an absolute anniversary for me to review. The car was delivered apple-pie with a abounding catchbasin of gas.)

All photos acclaim Guillaume Fournier.

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