The 2020 Kia Telluride Is Kia's New Family SUV


  • Published on: 2019-03-14
  • this is the 2020 Kia telluride and it's the new family SUV from Kia it's about the same size as the Ford Explorer and the Toyota Highlander and it's priced like those SUVs - and it's now officially on sale firmly entering Kia into the world of the three row family SUV I've borrowed this 2020 Kia telluride from Covina valley Kia here in Southern California east of Los Angeles where they have all of the new Kia models on sale as you can imagine and there are a lot of them you have the new soul you have the new stinger and now you have this the telluride Kia's first SUV designed to take on some of the most popular family haulers in North America to be clear Kia already has the Sorento family crossover which has three rows seating but the Sorento is smaller than the Telluride and that third row is pretty tight the tele ride is designed to address that complaint with more interior space and more power to make it a foam rival to competitors like the Honda Pilot the Toyota Highlander and the Ford Explorer which cell in the bazillions like most of those vehicles the telluride comes standard with a v6 in this case a 3.8 liter v6 that makes 290 horsepower and 260 pound feet of torque which is pretty healthy numbers the Telluride has boxier brawny ER styling than most of its competitors for sort of a bolder look and prices start around 30 $2,500 for a base level Telluride which places it within a few hundred dollars of the Explorer the Highlander and the pilot this is an upper-level IX model and the price on this one is just under 39 thousand dollars it's also the hottest new SUV on the market if you're looking for family transportation I've had dozens of people already email me tweet me asking me to review the Telluride even though it's just been on sale for a few weeks so today I'm going to do just that first I'm gonna take you on a tour of this car and show you all of its quirks and features then I'm gonna get it out on the road and drive and then I'm going to give it a dug score and four more of my thoughts on the Telluride click the link below to visit autotrader.com slash oversteer where I've also rounded up a list of my favorite vehicles named after places now I'm going to start the quicksand features of the Telluride in the back seats usually I start upfront but I figure most of the people who are buying one of these are you can be using it as a family car so they want to know how the rear seats work and getting into the third row is especially easy to access it you press this little circular button on the side of the second row seat and then the second row folds forward and provides a path to get into the third row very very simple and useful and the path to get into the third row is actually rather large despite the fact that I'm a fairly tall adult I can climb back here no problem even though the third row is primarily intended for children okay so now that I'm back here let's talk third row as you can see I fit back here just fine but that's with this seat folded forward if I fold this seat back into place I have a lot less room back here and the third row really is primarily intended for children but an adult could be back here in a pinch now one cool thing about getting out of the third row you don't have to reach all the way back up and find that little button to release the second row there's a button right here on the back of the second row you just press it and it does its thing it folds forward and then that pathway is created to once again get out other items worth noting here in the third row one is the fact that the third row in this vehicle has three seats and there are three seats in the middle row and obviously two up front which means that this is an 8 seater vehicle which is pretty impressive some of these 3 row SUVs stop at only 7 seats but I will say you won't be putting 3 adults back here you could put an adult on either side in the 3rd row but the middle seat is very much only for small children and even then probably not for a very long ride other interesting items with the third row for one it isn't a complete afterthought like it is in some cars you have cupholders back here in fact you have three cupholders one for each seat you also have USB ports back here so third row passengers can charge their devices even though they're in the furthest back seat and speaking of being way back here this is Kia's biggest SUV ever and it's pretty far from the front seats to the third row so if you're driving this car you have one of your children in the third row you won't easily be able to just talk to them and tell them something fortunately Kia has a solution for that it's called driver talk and it works similarly to Honda's Kevin talk feature that I showed you in a Honda Odyssey review a couple years ago if you didn't see that check this out you go into the infotainment system and you select driver talk and then while you're speaking you're not just speaking to yourself instead your voice is amplified on the rear speakers alright I'm gonna demonstrate this take a look okay so obviously I'm sitting up front here and I've turned mine microphones off the camera is mounted in the third row and it's just recording what it's hearing which is the same thing your child would be hearing if your child was sitting in the third row so I turn around and this is without driver talk on here's what you hear oh I'm driving the Kia Telluride ah the Kia telluride kia kia tell your children stop fighting okay so now with that in mind I turn on driver talk the point is that driver talk makes it easier to talk to your third row passengers and if you want to turn off driver talking you don't have to go into the infotainment system you can just press the end call button on the steering wheel and then driver talk is off now back to normal okay that's the third row seat now I'm climbing into the second row where there are a couple of interesting quirks and features starting with the fact that the second row USB ports for second row passengers to charge their devices they're located on the back of the driver seat backs over on the side just kind of quirky little interesting place to put it I also like the fact that on the back of the driver seats you have these little cargo storage pockets pretty standard but in these cargo storage pockets there is a second smaller cargo storage pocket integrated into them for smaller items like for example a cell phone mixed up another interesting atom of the rear seats is on the ceiling where you have the climate controls as far as three zone climate control so two zones in front and then there's a zone for the rear which means that the rear passengers can adjust the temperature or the amount of air all that sort of stuff of course the front passengers have the final say-so they can lock out the rear controls if they don't want the kids back here playing with the climate controls another cool item in this car is the fact that it has built-in rear sunshades for the second row they're not power operated but they're there you can lift them up from the door panel and then you can have a sunshade to shade your baby or a child back here who's sensitive to sunlight instead of having you just stick one on some rivals still don't have this feature but it's really really good to have in a family SUV and speaking of family SUVs I should mention it's quite roomy back here even for an adult I have absolutely no problem with Headroom legroom there's a ton even sitting behind the driver's seat where I would sit if I was driving I have room back here and if you need more room you can always move the seats forward or backwards they slide into all sorts of different positions and this seat slides as well even though it's the larger of the two so you have a lot of different possibilities you can even recline the seat just a little if you want to lay down back here and get chauffeured around by your parents and the key to Telluride now next we move on to the front seat of the Telluride where there are several quirks and features worth noting but first I want to start with the interior materials the interior materials in this car are very very nice I think this car has a much nicer interior than its rivals Honda Pilot Toyota Highlander the buttons look nice they feel really nice to press there's no blanks this car also has this nice wood trim that goes across the dashboard that gives it kind of a classy upscale look this is a really nice place to spend time I think better than rivals which is surprising me for what is effectively Kia's first entrant into this segment in fact in this interior you even get three Center climate vents not just your usual two with that said there are a couple of things that I would change in this interior for example the door lock it's impossible to tell whether it's locked or unlocked the difference is tremendously subtle so you never really know if the doors are locked and if you're worried about that sort of thing and probably be pressing the lock and unlock button just to make sure as you're driving down the road another thing that I would absolutely change and immediately is the placement of the driver side climate control dial and the volume dial they are right next to each other literally with an inch they are the same size the same shape the same material and I guarantee it's gonna happen very frequently people are gonna go for the volume knob and accidentally turn up the climate control or vice versa which will be annoying those two things should never be placed that close together now the other thing that I would change in this interior is the gauge cluster screen in the middle it's just this kind of small black and white gauge cluster screen there might be a better one on the upper end Telluride models but this one is almost $40,000 and for that money I would expect just something a little bit nicer in there with that said this gauge cluster screen does have some interesting quirks and features of its own starting with the fact that it will monitor your attention level basically how long you've been driving do you need a break it will even tell you when your last a break was but my favorite thing is it shows you your attention level in the form of a graph some cars just say you need a break this thing actually displays on a high to low scale what your current attention level is so you're driving along you're getting tired you're like no no it still says I'm a 2:05 I can make this next up maybe my favorite item in the gauge cluster is the fact that there is a configurable option in this car to adjust the power tailgate opening speed you ever get behind your power tailgate you like this thing is it fast enough we need more speed well in this vehicle you can do that you set and adjust the speed at which it opens unfortunately only two adjustments fast and normal I personally would go fast of course in this gauge cluster screen like an other Kia models I've reviewed you can also turn on or off the welcome sound which actually doesn't play when you turn on the car but when you turn it off still it's a wonderful thing to hear take a listen ah [Music] the welcome sound but joking aside there is one other item I really like in that gauge cluster screen and that is a reminder to check the back seat if the car knows that you opened the back door and then closed it and then got in and drove somewhere when you turn off the car it will actually remind you how to look in the back seat and that way you don't forget anything back there including potentially a child it is a really good idea and frankly all cars should have it's a good feature now next we move on to the infotainment system in the Telluride and I've already reviewed this infotainment system in several other cars the Kia stinger the Kia k9 and I will link those videos in the description below so you can go into greater depth but on a general level I should say I really really do like this infotainment system one of my very favorite in the business it's wide enough that you can see three things at once which is important because you can have the map up and not have to cancel the map to change the song on the radio you can see everything it's a really really good system and it's tremendously responsive to your touch the moment you tap your finger on it it moves very responsive to your touch just like a smartphone it really is one of the best infotainment systems in the entire car industry which is a good thing because Kia puts it and basically all of their vehicles now next up a couple of interesting quirks of the infotainment system I've already shown you driver talk but there's another interesting new idea in here and that's called quiet mode and the way that works is if you turn on quiet mode the car will mute all of the speakers in the back seats and it will only leave on the speakers in the front seats but even then those speakers won't be allowed to be adjusted over volume level 7 which is fairly quiet the theory here is you're a parent on a road trip your kids have fallen asleep in the back you can still listen to music up front while you drive but the music is muted in back so your kids can sleep and it's quieter up front so it won't disturb them that is a pretty good idea for a family SUV and next up here's another great idea the steering wheel has a mode button on it as most cars do so you can cycle through the stereo modes you can change between FM AM Bluetooth audio whatever while in this car you can also go into the infotainment system and remove some of those things from the mode cycle button so for example if you only want to toggle between Bluetooth audio and satellite radio you can take everything else out so you won't waste time going through different stereo media players that you're not going to use now next we move on to the cargo area of the Telluride obviously it has a power tailgate so you open it it opens right up and you can see there's not really all that much cargo space back here with the third row in place although that's fairly typical of vehicles of this size usually you need to fold down the third row in order to gain a bigger more gigantic cargo area one cool item though what this vehicle is there is a load floor underneath the cargo air if you pull this up you can see you have a separate loading area under there so you can put items that you don't want rolling around back here or something that you don't want to be able to be seen if you look in the windows next we got to talk about folding down the third row of seats now I review a lot of luxury SUVs where you come back here and you push a little button and the third row folds down automatically and that's very nice but I got to be honest nothing is easier than this it's down to the other side it's down it takes literally a second to fold down these things now I love technology and cool features obviously and I always hate those people who are like I'll never have a screen in my car I'll never have a self-driving car but in this case you got to admit this is easier than any other solution including a little button which just adds complexity and time to this relatively simple process the second row it's worth noting does fold with a button although it isn't power folding you just press this little button on the left side of the cargo area to fold the second row seats and then they fold forward and once you have all the seats folded you can see there's a lot of space back here this vehicle effectively becomes like an enclosed Kia pickup truck and you can drive around with large items if you need now one drawback to the fact that these seats are not power operated with a button is the fact that then you have to manually put them back up when you want seats again with the third row seat it's pretty easy you just reach back here and it's up same to you on the other side just reach here pull on the latch put it in the place you want and it's up but the second row is a little bit more cumbersome I admit you have to open each individual door pull a latch push the seats back into place go around to the other side do the same thing which does take longer than a power seat button by the way one other item I love back here is the power tailgate height adjustment now in some cars you can choose if you want the power tailgate to go all the way up or to stop at a lower height because maybe it'll hit the ceiling in your garage or whatever in this car you don't just choose between low or high you can actually pull the power tailgate to exactly the place you want it to stop and then you hold the power tailgate button and then that will set its height and it will always remember it which is a great idea you can pull it to open basically just as far as your garage roof and leave it there rather having to use the pre-programmed heights from the car company that is really a smart smart idea and finally on the outside of the Telluride I want to talk about styling namely the fact that I really like how the Telluride looks so many crossovers and suv's these days are just basically copies of each other although this isn't as common as they get larger like the Telluride but especially the small SUVs they all look about the same the Telluride though has way more style and one contributing factor is this big grille in front instead of having a soft line that slopes down like a car it really looks brawny and bold and muscular how big and upright it is and I think that gives the Telluride more of a capable overall look like you could tackle terrain in this thing if you wanted to I also really liked up front the way that the running lights look you can see there's basically this little LED box around the headlights those are the running lights for this car very distinctive look for a very distinctively styled car and it's the same story in back once again the Telluride carries it's sort of brawny bold boxier more muscular look to the back that gives this thing the look of more intense capability than its rivals even though that might not be true it does have that look which is nice I also really like the taillights of the Telluride being upright like this gives it a more substantial look compared to normal boring taillights like most other SUVs have in general I really do like the look of this vehicle and I'm surprised that it comes from kiyow kiyow is usually pretty conservative with their styling they don't want to rock the boat or do anything crazy but in this case they went brawny muscular and kind of took some risks and I think and I hope that it will pay off for them and finally we move under the hood where you can see the 3.8 liter v6 that powers the Telluride as of right now this is the only engine option like I mentioned 290 horsepower 260 pound feet right around there those numbers may sound big and muscular especially for any Europeans watching this but they're actually pretty standard for this segment too Toyota Highlander the Honda Pilot or both right around there with their v6 engines as well now one other quick I like in the engine compartment this car I've always loved Kia's little warning label that explains why you shouldn't stick your hand into the engine fan the label actually shows someone's fingers getting cut off in real-time it is just wonderful I only wish Kia would add little droplets of blood so we could really get the full effect from this warning label and so that's a comprehensive look at the crooks and features of the Kia telluride now it's time to get it out on the road and see how it drives all right driving the Kia Telluride first thing I want to mention for this money I didn't talk about it before but you get a lot of safety equipment yeah blind spot monitoring Lane keep assist so it'll steer you back if you start to drift down forward collision braking if you're about to hit something it'll stop for you you get rear cross-traffic alerts so you're backing up it'll beep if there's a car coming that you can't see obviously you get a camera it is a pretty well-equipped vehicle in terms of safety and I complained about the quality of that gauge cluster screen the black and white one but I would rather have the safety stuff if I had to choose between the two so I still consider this car pretty good value and you have a nice driving position here you set up higher than some midsize crossovers but either way you do feel like you you're kind of above the world reasonably quiet and here a fairly typical of midsize SUVs in this segment not particularly unusual or different I do think the interior stands out though this is a nicer interior than most of the of the rivals I think it did that because you know Kia already doesn't really have a presence in this segment so if they're going to compete they almost have to be better than the others for people to notice them and this interior does that feels reasonably quick enough passing power exactly you want sitting at a stoplight and driving in general it's reasonably quiet again sort of in keeping with class rivals you know there's not that much new and crazy and different stuff that can be discovered in terms of driving experience for these midsize SUVs they all have about the same sizing about the same power about the same transmission there's nothing particularly crazy that's gonna happen so instead what you kind of will you start looking at what you start expecting is differences in equipment safety features which this car has a lot of new and interesting technology like driver talk and like the quiet mode which i think is actually a really really good idea I think people don't buy car this class because of how they drive but they will not buy them because of how they don't drive there's some glaring flaw and I'm happy to report this car has no obvious glaring flaws visibility is good the mirrors are big you can see everything it's just a really really competent package which is no surprise he has been making a lot of vehicles that are really really competent packages and so that's the 2020 Kia telluride which is an excellent family crossover in a market that's full of excellent family crossovers and it's debuting at the same time as the hyundai palisade which will share many of its same benefits but this is a great car and it comes with Kia's great warranty which offers five years of bumper to bumper coverage and 10 years of powertrain coverage those terms are unmatched by any rival except for Hyundai anyway with that in mind now it's time to give the Telluride a dug score starting with the weekend categories and styling the Telluride is a handsome SUV but not quite distinctive or attractive enough to earn more than a 5 out of 10 acceleration 0 to 60 is 7.3 seconds which just earns it a 1 out of 10 handling is normal for the segment and it gets a 3 out of 10 fun factor despite its brawny styling and muscular look it's not especially fun to drive but that too is normal for the segment and it gets a 1 out of 10 cool factor this is the hot new SUV and for right now and earns a 2 out of 10 though I'm sure I'll revise that down to a 1 as these start to get everywhere that gives the Telluride a 12 out of 50 in the weekend score next up are the daily categories and features that telluride is loaded with a lot of great safety and convenience stuff and it gets a 7 out of 10 Comfort is normal for the segment and it gets a 7 out of 10 quality to is normal for the segment and it gets a 7 out of 10 same story with practicality 3 row SUVs with this many convenience features always get a 10 out of 10 including the Telluride finally value and there's a lot to like here it's spacious practical attractive and well equipped then it gets a 7 out of 10 for a total daily score of 38 out of 50 added up and the dug score is 50 out of 100 which places it here against some similar family vehicles I've tested the 4runner TRD pro wins overall because of its off-road capabilities but the telluride beats out its closest rival on list the Subaru ascent the Telluride I test is slightly better equipped than the Subaru and just a little cooler but both are excellent choices in this crowded family SUV segment Telluride snow falling down I was waking up in that sleepy little town in erisa world came [Music]
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COMMENTS: 20

  • Fonzie

    Ugliest front end ive ever seen, thats saying a lot.. kia never fails to disgust me though so im not really surprised

  • Fonzie

    Cheap junky piece of shit with a slab of wood and tons of buttons in the interior to trick the yuppie consumers into thinking theyre driving a high end luxury car, lol cant wait to see these on the roads, not

  • MTS

    Gotta tell ya, feels like Doug didn't put his all into this review. The model he reviewed is not the one to purchase and I'm shocked that he reviewed the lower end version - although I suppose that is the one the majority will end up in. You absolutely must buy the SX, it's a totally different driving experience, totally different car really. It's little things, like having a turn signal camera in the gauge cluster that makes the car worth buying, the insane camera system, and a variety of other features that you do not get in the models below the SX. Buy the SX.

  • Sangeet Mullassery

    Kia used to have the Mohave which was a seven seat suv larger than the Sorento.

  • Suave House

    What you know about tailgate speed controller!!! lol 😂 KIA on that 2020 level

  • Samuel Mayieka

    There is no Giant Sunroof🤔 you can get that from a 2010 Nissan qashqai

  • Jack Le

    3:04 nice Hanes product placement there

  • Fatah alary

    Is it just me or does this thing look like a 2019 Ford Expedition?

  • Matt Rodriguez

    Saw one on the road today it looks nice not to bulky as a regular suv it looks sharp and the head lights are awesome

  • treyatl2006

    I like it but I would have to get the top trim fully loaded. He should have reviewed the top trim version. And it's still in the low $40ks.