KIA Insider

2020 Telluride: Kia introduces its biggest SUV

Kia launched its biggest its SUV yet, the 2020 Telluride, in Colorado, with on- and off-road test drives. The luxurious SUV is capable of carrying seven to eight passengers — in comfort — with room for their gear.

The Telluride comes in four trims starting with a base LX; an S model; the EX; and top-of-the-line SX. Designed and built in Georgia at Kia’s West Point manufacturing facility, it’s ready to take on America with the whole family aboard.


How do you succeed in life? Give it everything you’ve got. That’s Kia’s philosophy with the all-new Telluride. This SUV boasts advanced driver assistance systems, technology, as well as comfort and convenience features galore. Plenty of power is provided by the 3.8-liter V-6 engine mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission.

Appealing style

The 2020 Kia Telluride is the first Kia designed specifically for the U.S. The exterior shape is intentionally big, bold, and boxy. Key design points include a long, broad hood and wide signature grille; bold, stacked headlamps; a tall windshield and a clean side profile; inverted “L” taillamps with LED stripes; elongated nameplates on the hood’s and liftgate’s leading edge; and a sculpted rear skidplate with integrated right-side twin exhaust tips.

The well-appointed interior is chock full of technology-enhancing comfort, convenience, utility, and versatility. Significant elements include grab handles integrated into the wide, a horizontally emphasized center console, and Kia’s premium fit and finish. The cabin is also spacious, providing generous hip, shoulder, leg, and headroom throughout.

Get up and go


VEHICLE TYPE: 7-passenger AWD midsize SUV

BASE PRICE: $43,490 (as tested: $46,860)

ENGINE TYPE: 24-valve V-6 w/GDI


HORSEPOWER (net): 291 at 6,000 rpm

TORQUE (lb.-ft.): 262 at 5,200 rpm

TRANSMISSION: 8-speed automatic


TURNING CIRCLE (curb-to-curb): 39 ft.

CURB WEIGHT: 4,317 lbs.

FUEL CAPACITY: 18.8 gal.

EPA MILEAGE RATING: 19 mpg city, 24 mpg highway

The 3.8-liter 24-valve V-6 engine produces 291 horsepower at 6,000 rpm, along with 262 lb.-ft. of torque at 5,200 rpm. Motive energy is geared to the driving wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission with four operational modes — Smart, Eco, Sport, and Comfort — each offering different settings for powertrain, drivetrain, and steering effort mapping.

The AWD system may be set to “Snow” or “AWD Lock” to adjust for specific terrain conditions. The available system helps provide enhanced driving performance, actively distributing torque between front and rear wheels depending on road conditions and driver input. Standard towing capacity is rated up to 5,000 pounds with an optional $2,000 towing package.

As tested

My test 2020 Telluride was an SX trim and in an AWD configuration. The exterior was a Dark Moss metallic; while the interior was executed in Gray tones with satin-finish faux wood trim accents. The base sticker read $43,480, while optional fare (along with inland freight and handling charges) bumped the final total to $46,860. Pretty amazing, all things considered, with its long, loaded feature content list. The only accessory missing on my tester was the optional tow package.


Testing the mettle of the 2020 Kia Telluride, automotive journalists were able to experience driving it in a variety of conditions including rain and driving snow on the open road and over twisty, mountain roads with greasy, slick, muddy, and rutted surfaces. The ride was not only balanced and stable, but quiet too.

Steering is spot-on and responsive, providing a sporty quality to the confidence-inspiring handling characteristics.

The Active AWD system distributes power during normal driving based on the drive mode selected. “Eco” and “Comfort” modes can deliver 20 to 35 percent rear-wheel power. “Sport”, “Smart,” and “Snow” modes can deliver up to 50 percent of rear-wheel power. “AWD Lock” mode delivers power evenly to all four wheels.

Comfort and convenience

Comfort is enhanced by available heated and ventilated first- and second-row seats, ceiling-mounted second-row climate control, HVAC diffusing ceiling vents for a wider airflow spread, reclining third-row seats, and a leather-wrapped, tilt/telescopic steering wheel with available heating.

Connectivity and infotainment are paramount as well, with features such as an available 10.25-inch color touchscreen with rearview monitor and parking guidance; an available 630-watt, 10-speaker Harman/Kardon audio system (AM/FM/SiriusXM) with Quantum Logic Surround Sound and Clari-Fi; Apple CarPlay and Android Auto; available wireless smartphone charging; available six USB charging ports; and available multi-Bluetooth wireless connectivity.

Staying safe is easy with an impressive list of both standard and available safety-oriented features that aid in accident-free driving.

The final impression

The 2020 Kia Telluride SX V-6 AWD displays a bold, attractive appearance in a boxy but very functional format. It provides the ultimate in comfort in its class and is amazingly affordable. It is definitely a top pick in the midsize SUV category.