Kia has a brand-new midsize crossover for 2020, its biggest and boldest ever with an exciting view of the world and remarkable capacity for exploration and adventure.
The Telluride goes against the current trend for sleek, curvy SUV styling with a boxy hood, sheer sides, and right-angled patterns reminiscent of older SUV design.
The first Kia specifically designed for the U.S., the Telluride is capable of seating eight and is loaded with technology for comfort, convenience, and utility, with a go-anywhere, do-anything attitude suggested by the brawny exterior.
Its powerful exterior is complemented by tasteful chrome and lighting accents, hinting at the luxurious, well-appointed interior.
Four trims are available, each building on the previous – LX, $31,690; S, $33,990; EX, $37,090; and SX (the trim I drove), $41,490. All-wheel drive adds $2,000.
Seven exterior colors are offered, depending on the trim level – standard Dark Moss (green/brown), Everlasting Silver, Gravity Gray, and premium ($395) Snow White Pearl, Ebony Black, and Black Copper (slight copper glow in bright light).
My Dark Moss Telluride SX was powered by a 3.8-liter GDI V-6 with 291 horsepower, through an eight-speed automatic transmission with four drive modes – Comfort, Eco, Sport, and Smart.
An electronic parking brake is standard. Twenty-inch alloy wheels with five multi-spokes had a glossy black Sport finish – very attractive with the dark exterior color.
My Telluride was EPA rated at 19 mpg highway/24 city/21 combined. I drove mostly local neighborhood and surface streets and averaged 24.8 mpg.
Active On-Demand All Wheel Drive monitors road conditions and distributes power to the wheels that need it. Snow Mode or AWD Lock can be manually activated to provide optimal traction. Eco and Comfort modes can deliver 20 to 35% of power to the rear wheels.