We had a chance to drive the new 2020 Kia Telluride at the 2019 Texas Auto Round-Up – hosted by the Texas Auto Writers – earlier this month. And getting down to brass tacks, the Kia Telluride makes a great first impression. Kia has mastered the art of designing vehicles that look familiar and, at the same time, completely unique. Seeing the new Telluride on the road, it sort of looks like a Ford Expedition, while from certain angles the rear reminds you of Bentley’s Bentayga. Then you take a walk around it, and the Telluride looks like something else you would find in a shopping mall parking lot. The Telluride’s design is a good blend of exclusivity and familiarity.
The Telluride tag comes from a city in Colorado with a commute through mountains to get to what is now a ski destination. Once we figured out how to say it (tell-u-ride!) you quickly find yourself saying it for fun. I imagine owners will say it with pride when people ask what it is in parking lots and school dropoff zones.
The 2020 Kia Telluride is a V6-powered, 8-passenger midsize SUV with all-wheel drive. It drives very well with effortless steering, more than enough power to merge and overtake, and comes with loads of options. And it enjoys an MSRP that comes in well under $50k for its top tier trim level.
The model used for this article was equipped with white leather interior that looked modern and smart. The roof was lined with suede, and while it felt nice to the touch and added luxury I wouldn’t recommend it for consumers with small children – for obvious reasons. One safety feature I liked was that the center instrument cluster also works as a blind spot camera whenever the driver uses the blinker. Flick the lever and a camera will appear in the middle showing you the side of the Telluride you are going to turn into. The camera allows the driver to view the full side of the vehicle to ensure there is no vehicle or object in their way. This can also come in handy in parking lots and avoiding high curbs. Not that those would stop the Telluride, with its all-wheel drive and elevated ride height.
The Telluride’s 3.8-liter V6 produces 291 horsepower to move the Telluride around town. This engine is both quiet on the road and smooth as silk in any phase of its operation. I again look forward to driving the Telluride off-road at the 2019 Texas Truck Rodeo, held later this year. Finally, this: Kia’s Telluride was voted the 2019 Midsize SUV of Texas by the Texas Auto Writer’s Association.