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lT v1 Road test | Kia Telluride: cultural immersion - The Times Hub

Road test | Kia Telluride: cultural immersion

Road test |  Kia Telluride: cultural immersion

It is named after a small Colorado village nestled in high altitude. Its design was sculpted in Irvine, California. Its assembly is made in a factory in Georgia. Despite being a huge South Korean conglomerate, Telluride is almost as American as a can of Coca-Cola. Behind this Americanness hides a deep reflection and a real understanding of the desires of the North American market.


PHOTO PROVIDED BY KIA From the side, the Telluride has a large glass area and a rear roofline with a slight angle to energize the whole. At first glance, the Telluride might make one think that it is based on a ladder frame as its cubic shapes can be compared to those of some full-size American SUVs. However, it is not. This mid-size SUV is built on a unibody platform like the Hyundai Palisade, its cousin. But, beyond this observation, Telluride elegantly distinguishes itself by cultivating its own visual identity. Its front part with its parallelogram optics placed at both ends supports the middle of its wings. Necklaces of orange diodes describing the same shape accentuate this idea. The grille, always in “tiger nose”, visual signature of Kia, is not too imposing to adorn the whole. From the side, the Telluride has a large glass area and a rear roofline with a slight angle to energize everything. The rear is not to be outdone, with elegant lights in inverted L, but the asymmetrical exhaust pipes spoil the homogeneity a little.

On board

Road test |  Kia Telluride: cultural immersion

PHOTO PROVIDED BY KIA It is the opulent atmosphere that we notice when we board the Telluride. The Telluride is the largest vehicle Kia has ever produced. It stretches over 5 m in length, which positions it between a Honda Pilot and a Ford Explorer. But first, it is the opulent atmosphere that we denote. Admittedly, the shades of brushed aluminum and various black materials are not at all avant-garde, but this Telluride displays a great sensitivity to the overall quality, in direct line with the evolution of the brand’s products. However, we could have avoided the use of mat wood grain moldings that would have had their place on an IKEA cabinet. Moreover, we greatly appreciate the airy aspect of all, focusing on horizontal lines and touches. Head and legroom are good in the first two rows and the middle seats are raised, which helps prevent children’s visibility from being obstructed by the body line. In addition, the storage spaces are quite numerous, but their volume remains slightly limited.

Under the hood

Road test |  Kia Telluride: cultural immersion

PHOTO PROVIDED BY KIA The Telluride is the manufacturer’s latest model powered by a V6. At 3.8 L in volume, this direct injection engine offers 291 hp and 262 lb-ft of torque. As turbocharged four-cylinders continue to gain traction, the Telluride is the manufacturer’s latest model powered by a V6. With a volume of 3.8 L, this direct injection engine offers 291 hp and 262 lb-ft of torque to convince. If these figures hardly impress in a context where they have to negotiate with a mass of more than 2000 kg, they nevertheless express only part of the portrait. This engine shines with its discretion, a smoothness that could advantageously be compared to that of the V6 produced by Lexus. The eight-speed automatic transmission is not the liveliest, but maintains this overall smoothness. Accelerations are generally very acceptable, while the six-cylinder engine actually delivers its full load above 4000 rpm. On the fuel consumption side, the Telluride was around 10.7 / 100 km in winter testing, so average.

Behind the wheel

Road test |  Kia Telluride: cultural immersion

PHOTO PROVIDED BY KIA Supported by a rigid platform, the Telluride travels the miles, enveloping passengers in comfort and silence. At over $ 46,000 as a starting price, the Telluride is no bargain when compared to several of its rivals, which retail around $ 40,000 in basic livery. That being said, it’s equipped with standard all-wheel drive, which levels it off a bit and sets it apart from the Sorento. Despite this state of affairs, the mid-size SUV displays a truly luxurious character that transcends this bill. Supported by a rigid platform, it travels the miles enveloping passengers in comfort and silence. When the road becomes more tortuous, the SUV presents a placid behavior, guided by a steering which is not too disconnected to the touch, without vacuum and with very precise guidance given the size of the vehicle. The only real dissonant note is in the front seat plan, whose padding and support are slightly insufficient.

Embedded technologies

Road test |  Kia Telluride: cultural immersion

PHOTO PROVIDED BY KIA The Telluride has as standard a latest generation multimedia system encased in a large 10.25 ”screen well integrated into the dashboard. Like the other models in the Kia range, the Telluride emphasizes its technological component to entice the buyer. We thus have as standard a latest-generation multimedia system encased in a large 10.25-inch screen well integrated into the dashboard. Tactile, it displays a quick navigation in the menus without a glitch and very intuitive. The GPS system is integrated at no cost, just like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. There are some rather original features, including a microphone system that amplifies the driver’s voice for the rear passengers and a feature that deactivates the rear speakers to avoid disturbing the peace of mind of the passengers. Speaking of sound, the Harman Kardon system, which can be found in three of the four liveries, offers a half-tone rendering, while it lacks depth in the bass plan.

The verdict

Road test |  Kia Telluride: cultural immersion

PHOTO PROVIDED BY KIA The Telluride is an extremely competitive creation giving an impression of solidity and high quality while offering very complete standard equipment. The Telluride exposes all the seriousness of the Hyundai group in its strategy of diversifying its model range. It is an extremely competitive creation giving an impression of solidity and high quality while offering very complete standard equipment and a unique visual identity. If you can ignore certain aesthetic details, the production version (EX) is undoubtedly to be preferred because of its list of characteristics only slightly shorter than that of the other versions. Of course, we would have liked more modern mechanics, but this V6 has the assets necessary to support the short-term aspirations of the SUV. Kia has therefore adapted very nicely without falling into the clichés of softness often associated with North American markets, as Volkswagen has done with its Atlas. No doubt add to your list of models to consider if you are shopping for an SUV of this size.


A third row that can be used

Without being a symbol of comfort, the back seat of the Telluride can accommodate passengers of average height, but the central place is really cramped.

Acceptable towing capacity

The Telluride can tow a load of 2267 kg, which puts it in the segment average.


Despite the presence of a bench seat in the rear, the Telluride offers 601 L of storage when opening the tailgate, a space that increases to 1304 L once the bench is folded down.

Double-monitored blind spots

Among the many active safety elements, there is a system of cameras which broadcast in the instrumentation unit an image of the two blind spots in addition to the blind spot sensors.

Conventional all-wheel drive

All the same effective, the Telluride’s all-wheel drive is all in all conventional while it can send up to 50% of the torque to the rear while favoring the front in normal driving in the dry.

Technical sheet

Model under test: Kia Telluride SX-L Nightsky Edition Engine: 3.8L DOHC V6 Power: 291 hp @ 6,000 rpm Torque: 262 lb-ft @ 5,200 rpm Transmission: Eight-speed automatic with manual mode Engine architecture: Front transverse engine, all-wheel drive Consumption (EnerGuide): 11.3 L / 100 km Price (with options, transport and preparation): $ 57,955 Competitors: Buick Enclave, Chevrolet Traverser, Dodge Durango, Ford Explorer, Honda Pilot , Hyundai Palisade, Mazda CX-9, Nissan Pathfinder, Subaru Ascent, Toyota Highlander and Volkswagen Atlas New for 2021? : No major change For more information: Visit the Kia Canada website

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