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Kia Telluride mixes fun with practicality

Scott Sturgis, The Philadelphia Inquirer on

Published in Automotive News

2020 Kia Telluride: $47,310 as tested. $210 for floor mats, $115 for cargo mat, and $450 for interior lighting.

Conventional wisdom: Motor Trend says, "The rest of the midsize crossover segment better look out."

Marketer's pitch: "No holding back."

Reality: On the down side, it's not as beefy as the others, but on the plus side, it's not as beefy as the others.

What's new: The whole thing. It's a new three-row SUV with a squared-off rugged look and the appearance of a vehicle ready to take on the toughest of terrains.

So how does this new beast work out?

 

Up to speed: The 3.8-liter V-6 provides 291 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. It offers great performance from a standing start -- 0 to 60 in 7.2 seconds, according to Motor Trend. The Kia is definitely losing this race.

But as my time in the Mazda3 reminded me, driving is about more than just starting from a red light as fast as possible; it's about being comfortable accessing interstate highways and passing before the left lane closes.

In those areas, the Telluride shines. We loaded the three-row up with four people, and performance never seemed to suffer. (I only wish I could have arranged more passengers, but it was not to be.)

On the road: The Telluride's handling impressed me right out of the starting gate. It runs rings around the Kia Sorento for road handling and ride. The country road that leads out of our development features several uneven turns and dips, and the Telluride didn't feel wobbly or bouncy over any of them.

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