2020 Telluride SX AWD

Excellent styling, loads of room, super technology
By Durhl Caussey, Epoch Times Contributor
June 8, 2019 Updated: June 8, 2019

Recently, during three days of driving, journalists from Texas Auto Writers Association named the all-new 2020 Kia Telluride “CUV of Texas,” as well as “2020 Mid-Size CUV of Texas.”

After driving several dozens of new vehicles over the three-day evaluation period, Telluride was voted the top vehicle in those two categories.

On the outside, Telluride’s big “tiger nose” grille, accompanied by sleek LED lighting and sidelines that bleed into owl-eye taillights, looks noble and stylish. The power tilt and sliding sunroof and smart hands-free power liftgate complete the exterior design that rides on 20-inch Black Finish Alloy Wheels.

The powertrain comprises a 3.8-liter Gas Direct Injection (GDI) 6-cylinder engine coupled to an 8-speed automatic transmission and Active On-demand All Wheel Drive. The engine cranks out a maximum of 291 horsepower and 262 lb.-ft. of torque to move its 4,440-pound curb weight. Fuel consumption is rated at 19/24/21 mpg city/highway/combined.

Telluride is smooth, while steering is firm. Its size contributes much to a large interior, which is more than adequate. Combined with a towing capacity of 5,000 pounds (When equipped with Towing Package), Telluride provides space and strength designed for seven or eight passengers with third-row seating. The second-row captain’s chairs folds forward with a touch of a button for easy access to the third row.

Three-row seating in the Telluride. (Courtesy of Kia)

The multimedia system provides entertainment and useful technology. The attractive instrument panel houses easily read gauges, and on the left side of the panel is a display tied to the camera in the side mirrors.

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard. I really liked the Driver Talk Feature. Just press a button on the touchscreen to mute the music while activating a microphone to project the driver’s voice to a speaker in the back. Much easier than turning around and shouting into the back.

Stylish leather seat trim with heated and ventilated front seats add to the front of cabin comfort. However, the back of the captain’s chairs are too tight. The seats are designed for safety and hold the occupants tightly, but at the expense of comfort. Seems like there needs to tweak the balance.

Front dashboard. (Courtesy of Kia)

Side mirror and door lock adjustments are located on the side door panels near the windows. Because the car is spacious, there is sufficient room to make these adjustments with ease.

There is excellent space between the accelerator and the brake pedal, so there is a good amount of space to move freely between the two. To the left of the brake pedal is a dandy, slightly elevated foot-rest to help combat foot fatigue.

Numerous standard features include Blind-spot Collision Avoidance Assist, Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Avoidance Assist, Advanced Forward Collision Avoidance Assist, and Safe Exit Assist.

Personally, I found the best standard feature was the 10-inch touchscreen and rearview camera. It includes Navigation and enhanced UVO Link featuring AM/FM Radio and SiriusXM Satellite Radio. Great color, clarity, and easy to adjust, allows the split-screen to enhance possibilities.

Telluride starts as low as $31,690 for the base LX, but with the technology, safety and comfortable features the MSRP for the test SX model came out to $46,815.

5-year/60,000-mile Limited Basic Warranty
10-year/100,000-mile Limited Powertrain Warranty
5-year/100,000-mile Limited Anti-perforation Warranty
5-year/60,000-mile Roadside Assistance

Durhl Caussey writes a car column read around the world. He may be reached at this paper or dcaussey@sbcglobal.net.