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Mar23

2020 Kia Telluride First Drive – Your Road Trip Awaits

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2020 Kia Telluride

Life is usually a matter of timing. Ask Kia concerning the distinction between the 2020 Kia Telluride crossover and its final try at one thing comparable – the Kia Borrego.

Keep in mind the Borrego?

I do. That physique-on-body SUV wasn’t a poor vehicle – I drove one, briefly, and appreciated it – however it got here to market proper because the Nice Recession and a speedy rise in fuel costs have been conspiring to work towards costly, fuel-guzzling SUVs. Positive, loads of nameplates survived the carnage, however a newcomer just like the Borrego, produced by a model as soon as recognized for reasonable compact automobiles, had no probability towards these market headwinds.

Enter the Telluride, which is so totally different from the Borrego that about the one issues they’ve in widespread are class, quantity of seating rows, engine displacement, and door rely. In contrast to the physique-on-body Borrego, the unibody Telluride is getting into a market the place the winds are a bit extra favorable – crossovers are nonetheless scorching and there’s no signal of that altering anytime quickly.

So Kia gained’t have to fret about preventing an uphill battle, a minimum of when it comes to market forces. It’s going to be all concerning the product this time. And the product is sort of good.

(Full disclosure: Kia flew me to Gateway, Colorado in order that I might drive the Telluride. The corporate fed me and put me up in a room in a pleasant resort that had a reasonably neat car museum on property.)

Good when judged towards three-row crossover expectations, that’s. On this class, consumers need area, content material, consolation, and utility. Aside from maybe passing energy and experience, efficiency-associated points take a again seat in consumers’ minds.

2020 Kia Telluride

If things like journey and dealing with do matter to you whenever you’re in search of a household hauler, nicely, right here’s the thin on the Telluride. The three.eight-liter Lambda II GDI is a extra-trendy model of the three.eight-liter Lambda II discovered underneath the Borrego’s hood, and this direct-injection, Atkinson-cycle engine places out 291 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque.

This powerplant motivates the upcoming Hyundai Palisade (which shares its chassis with the Telluride), as properly, and it mates with an eight-velocity automated transmission in each purposes. Wheels are both 18 or 20 inches, relying on trim, and the Telluride has a most towing capability of 5,000 kilos. Entrance- or all-wheel drive is out there.

Acceleration finally ends up being enough. The SX trim I drove had all-wheel drive and a curb weight north of four,300 lbs, so there’s a little bit of bulk to be moved round. There was sufficient passing punch available to permit me to get round a sluggish-shifting truck at altitude whereas driving uphill en path to the precise city of Telluride with out drama, however in the event you’re anticipating to be pushed again into your seat, don’t maintain your breath.

2020 Kia Telluride

The eight-velocity is usually not felt, nevertheless it didn’t a lot care to downshift for engine braking wants, and a few downshifts for passing have been a bit wonky. Oh, and should you’re questioning why the chic twin-turbo V6 from the Stinger isn’t obtainable right here, that engine was designed for a entrance-rear format and wouldn’t match nicely within the Telluride.

Steering really feel is synthetic but agency and correct, and as you may anticipate, there’s loads of physique roll in corners; understeer/plow happens should you are available a bit too scorching. Journey is clean (though marred a bit by some float/wallow) on the nice two-lanes of Colorado, although we had no probability to test on the freeway. Switching from “smart” drive mode to “sport” companies the proceedings up a bit, however solely a bit. Different drive modes embrace consolation and eco. There’s additionally “snow” modes and an “AWD lock” mode out there on AWD fashions.

Talking of AWD fashions, smart and eco modes ship one hundred pc of the facility to the entrance wheels, whereas consolation splits it eighty/20. Sport has a sixty five/35 cut up, and lock distributes energy equally to all 4 wheels.

2020 Kia Telluride

Kia did have us attempt our hand at a reasonably straightforward off-street path, and whereas we did hear inform of 1 popped tire on another person’s rig, our Telluride had no actual hassle. Attending to the trailhead must be straightforward.

The entrance suspension is an unbiased MacPherson strut setup with coil springs and stabilizer bar; the rear is an unbiased multilink setup with stabilizer bar.

Not that the Telluride’s responses when pushed onerous actually matter all that a lot, save maybe the experience and passing elements, as famous above.

That in thoughts, the seats are all-day cozy. Third-row entry isn’t unattainable for adults – I obtained again there by way of the cross-through between the second-row seats with out an excessive amount of hassle, and I’m an extended-legged six-foot-one. As soon as again there, I had sufficient legroom that I might’ve tolerated a journey of as much as perhaps half-hour with out complaining.

2020 Kia Telluride

Getting out by way of sliding the second-row seat on the driving force’s aspect was a tad trickier, however I made it out, if not gracefully.

Legroom and headroom upfront are plentiful, even for taller adults.

Inside storage is class-aggressive, with a pleasant bin in entrance of the cupholders that holds the out there wi-fi cell-telephone charger. iPhone customers take observe – mine had a tough time charging. I’ve a case, like many iPhone customers, and that would’ve been the difficulty.

The pretend (Kia admitted it) wooden and metallic trim on the sprint of our SX trim tester seemed and felt good, however there was extra onerous plastic than I’d like, particularly on the door armrests. As soon as once more, an infotainment display stands tackily above the higher sprint, however the look is much less obnoxious right here than in different purposes. The road of HVAC controls is modern and engaging, and the required knobs are straightforward to succeed in and use.

2020 Kia Telluride

Inside noise ranges are stored to a minimal, with just some tire and street noise bleeding by means of, though the engine does get a bit buzzy and thrashy over three,000 RPM. Given the snug seats and quiet cabin, the Telluride makes for a superb lengthy-distance tripper.

Cargo area is listed at 87 cubic ft down with each rear rows down, forty six with the third row folded, and 21 with all seats up. That’s greater than the Honda Pilot with rear seats all down or all up, and equal with third-row down. It bests the Toyota Highlander throughout the board.

Kia went all-in on the boxy styling and, whereas it’s kind of plain, it’s a good-looking sufficient look. It gained’t flip many heads, however there’s one thing to be stated for simplicity. Inside tidbits I didn’t cowl earlier than embrace a twin seize-deal with setup on the middle console that appears cool (and homes the seat-heater/cooler switches).

2020 Kia Telluride

Kia hasn’t skimped on content material, providing out there features corresponding to (*takes a breath*) a ten.25-inch touchscreen, premium audio, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, wi-fi cell-telephone charging, USB ports in every row (5 ports standard, with a sixth obtainable), obtainable two-gadget Bluetooth connectivity, reclining third-row seats, leather-based seats, heated entrance-row seats, heated second-row seats, cooled entrance-row seats, cooled-second row seats, heated steering wheel, second-row local weather management, distant begin, keyless entry and beginning, head-up show, Kia’s UVO infotainment system, head-up show, and distant begin.

2020 Kia Telluride

Out there tech-sort stuff consists of: Ahead-collision warning, ahead collision-avoidance help with pedestrian detection, excessive-beam help, lane-departure warning, lane-hold help, blind-spot collision-avoidance help (rear), blind-spot monitoring, driver-consideration warning, smart cruise management, rear cross-visitors collision-avoidance help, park distance warning (entrance and rear), 360-diploma digital camera, freeway-driving help, protected-exit help, microphone for speaking with second/third row, quiet mode (cuts audio in second and third rows), and rear occupant alert.

4 trims can be found: LX, S, EX, and SX. The LX and EX are eight-passenger, the S is seven- or eight-passenger, and the SX is seven-passenger.

Pricing is as follows: $31,690 for an LX with entrance-wheel drive, $33,990 for a FWD S, $37,090 for a Telluride EX with FWD, and $forty one,490 for an SX with entrance-wheel drive. Add $2,000 to any of these for AWD, and vacation spot is $1,045.

2020 Kia Telluride

A $2,000 Status Package deal (head-up show, rain-sensing wipers, leather-based seats, heated and cooled second-row seats, premium material headliner, and one hundred ten-volt inverter) is out there on the SX AWD. Our tester had that package deal, plus carpeted flooring mats and carpeted cargo mat, for a complete of $forty five,815. With D and D, it was $forty six,860.

That pricing is a little more than that of the Highlander Restricted and fewer than a Restricted Platinum, and the identical story repeats when evaluating the Telluride to a Honda Pilot Touring or Pilot Elite.

Gasoline financial system measurements are 20 mpg metropolis/26 mpg freeway/23 mpg mixed for entrance-wheel drive fashions, and 19/24/21 for AWD fashions.

Until market tastes change in a single day, the Telluride’s story goes to play out a lot in a different way than that of the Borrego. Positive, that is no driver’s crossover, however in case you’re hauling seven or eight passengers typically, or numerous gear, and you’ve got lengthy distances to cowl, the Telluride matches the invoice simply high quality. Quiet, snug, and properly optioned, this massive crossover is a darn good street-tripper.

Kia is providing up a powerful, if barely boring, three-row giant crossover to satiate consumer demand. Will it promote in tony Telluride, house of Land Rovers and Subarus? I don’t know. However will probably be coming to a suburban driveway close to you.

[Images © 2019 Tim Healey/TTAC, Kia Motors]

– 2020 Kia Telluride First Drive – Your Road Trip Awaits –

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