Kia Telluride

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Kia Telluride
2020 Kia Telluride front view (United States).png
ProductionFebruary 2019 – present[1]
Model years2020–present
AssemblyUnited States: West Point, Georgia (KMMG)
DesignerPark Byung-Kyu[2]
Body and chassis
ClassMid-size crossover SUV[3][4]
Body style5-door SUV
RelatedHyundai Palisade
Transmission8-speed A8LF1 automatic
Wheelbase114.2 in (2,900 mm)
Length196.9 in (5,000 mm)
Width78.3 in (1,990 mm)
Height68.9 in (1,750 mm)
Curb weight4,112–4,482 lb (1,865–2,033 kg)
PredecessorKia Mohave/Borrego

The Kia Telluride is a mid-size crossover SUV with three-row seating manufactured and marketed by Kia since 2019. Positioned above the smaller Sorento, the Telluride was previewed as a concept car in 2016, with the production model debuting in the spring of 2019 as a 2020 model. It shares components and specifications with its sister model, the Hyundai Palisade, including its engine, transmission, and wheelbase.[5] Named after the town of Telluride, Colorado, the Telluride is the largest vehicle Kia has manufactured in the United States.[6]

In 2020, the Telluride was named the 2020 World Car of the Year as well as Motor Trend's SUV of the year.[7]


Rear view

The production version of the Telluride was launched at the 2019 North American International Auto Show in January. Previously, the Telluride was displayed as a customized version inspired by fashion designer Brandon Maxwell's Texas-inspired collection, at New York Fashion Week in September 2018.[8] The overall design is similar to the 2016 concept except for the front end which was completely redesigned.

The Telluride is the first Kia designed specifically for the US market, with the design work handled at the Kia Design Center in Irvine, California.[9] The production version Telluride is powered by a 3.8-liter Lambda II V6 Atkinson cycle gasoline engine rated at 291 hp (295 PS; 217 kW) and 355 N⋅m (36.2 kg⋅m; 262 lb⋅ft), paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission and either front-wheel drive or all-wheel-drive.

The Telluride features four drive modes – Smart, Eco, Sport and Comfort. Snow and AWD Lock modes are also available for specific driving conditions, and the on-demand electro-hydraulic AWD system with multi-plate clutch plate constantly redistributes power to both axles. In Eco and Smart modes, power is completely routed to the front wheels, whereas Sport mode splits the power down to 65 percent front, 35 percent rear.[10]

The standard towing rate for this SUV is rated at 5,000 pounds (2,300 kg), and it also features the optional self-levelling rear suspension where the ride height is automatically calibrated depending on vehicle load to optimise control and stability.[10]

The Telluride is not marketed in South Korea as it is only produced in the United States, whereas its Hyundai counterpart, the Korean-built Palisade is marketed there instead.[11] Exports from the West Point, Georgia plant to the Middle East started in February 2019.[12] Kia limited exports of the Telluride to around 3,000 units annually.[13]

Trim levels[edit]

In U.S. and Canada, the Telluride is offered in four trim levels: LX, S, EX, and SX.[14] The latter is offered with an optional "SX Prestige Package," which include several premium features.[15] Since 2021, Kia has offered a "Premium Package" on the EX trim. A 3-seat bench is standard for the second row while captain's chairs can be added, dropping the seating capacity from eight to seven.[9]

All Tellurides are equipped with various features that are otherwise optional in some of its competitors, such as "Sofino" (leatherette)-trimmed or leather-trimmed seating surfaces. Available equipment includes a 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system, rear view monitor, 630-watt 10-speaker Harman Kardon audio system, wireless smartphone charging tray, and head-up display with turn-by-turn navigation, along with heated and ventilated first and second row bucket seats. The Telluride is also equipped with Driver Talk for some trim levels, an in-car intercom system that allows the driver to communicate separately with passengers in the second or third row.[10]

2023 refresh[edit]

The refreshed 2023 Telluride was unveiled at the New York International Auto Show on April 13, 2022.[16] New convenience technology such as a 12.3-inch instrument panel and an available smart power liftgate with auto-close functionality were added. On the exterior, the grille, headlights, and front bumper were redesigned. More rugged-looking X-Line and X-Pro trims became available since the 2023 model year.[17]

Concept version[edit]

Kia Telluride Concept

The concept version was first introduced at the 2016 North American International Auto Show. A mid-size, three-row, seven-passenger SUV, the Telluride concept is based on a modified Sorento chassis, and powered by a transversely-mounted 3.5-liter gasoline direct injected V6 producing 270 hp (201 kW) combined with an electric motor producing 130 hp (97 kW), for an overall output of 400 hp (298 kW). Fuel consumption is claimed to be 30 miles per US gallon (7.8 L/100 km).[18]

The exterior was finished in dark pyrite paint and featured a squared off body riding on 22-inch rims, as well as an enlarged tiger nose grille and multiple LED headlamps, consistent with Kia's current design language (as of 2016).[19] The car's suicide doors swung open 90 degrees in opposite directions,[20] revealing a pillarless design.[21] Some of the interior components were 3D printed, marking Kia's first usage of 3D printing technology.[22] It was designed by Tom Kearns from Kia Design Center America.[23]


Year U.S.[24]
2019 58,604
2020 75,129
2021 93,705


  1. ^ "First 2020 Kia Telluride Rolls Off The Production Line". CarBuzz. February 20, 2019.
  2. ^ US D889319, Park, Byung Kyu, "Automobile", published 2020-07-07, assigned to Hyundai Motor Co. and Kia Motors Corp. 
  3. ^[bare URL]
  4. ^ Stafford, Eric (July 16, 2020). "2021 Kia Telluride Review, Pricing, and Specs". Car and Driver.
  5. ^ Bragman, Aaron. "What's the Difference Between the 2020 Hyundai Palisade and 2020 Kia Telluride?". Retrieved 14 May 2019.
  6. ^ "New SUV with a Colorado name is so hot dealers can't keep it in stock". Denver Post. 15 December 2019. Retrieved 13 January 2020.
  7. ^ "The Kia Telluride is the 2020 MotorTrend SUV of the Year". MotorTrend. November 19, 2019.
  8. ^ "2020 Kia Telluride Makes Texas-Sized Debut At NY Fashion Week". Retrieved 2018-10-01.
  9. ^ a b "2020 Kia Telluride is a new option for the big SUV crowd". Motor Authority. Retrieved 2022-09-01.
  10. ^ a b c Tong, Matthew H (2019-01-17). "2020 Kia Telluride - flagship eight-seat SUV debuts -". Paul Tan's Automotive News. Retrieved 2022-09-01.
  11. ^ Bizwire, Korea. "Kia Motors Mulls Telluride Launch in S. Korea". Be Korea-savvy. Retrieved 2020-11-11.
  12. ^ Williams, Trevor (2019-02-27). "First Exported Kia Telluride SUVs Head From Georgia to the Middle East". Global Atlanta. Retrieved 2022-09-01.
  13. ^ Patrascu, Daniel (2019-02-28). "First Kia Telluride SUVs Ready to Ship Overseas". autoevolution. Retrieved 2022-09-01.
  14. ^ "2020 Kia Telluride Specs". Retrieved November 28, 2019.
  15. ^ "2020 Kia Telluride comparison: Specs and pricing versus other 3-row crossovers" from Autoblog (February 8, 2019)
  16. ^ "Up Close With the 2023 Kia Telluride". Retrieved April 13, 2022.
  17. ^ "2023 Kia Telluride Review, Pricing, and Specs". Car and Driver. 2022-04-13. Retrieved 2022-05-17.
  18. ^ Sheehan, Sam (January 11, 2016). "Kia Telluride concept SUV revealed". Autocar. Retrieved February 14, 2016.
  19. ^ Atiyeh, Clifford (January 11, 2016). "Kia Telluride Concept: Fool's Gold". Car and Driver. Retrieved February 14, 2016.
  20. ^ Hard, Andrew (January 11, 2016). "Kia debuts three-row, seven-passenger Telluride concept in Detroit". Digital Trends. Retrieved February 14, 2016.
  21. ^ Aaron, Chris (January 12, 2016). "Kia Telluride concept previews premium 7-seat SUV". Paul Tan's Automotive News. Retrieved February 14, 2016.
  22. ^ Garlitos, Kirby (January 12, 2016). "2016 Kia Telluride Concept". Top Speed. Retrieved February 14, 2016.
  24. ^ "Kia Telluride US car sales figures". 2019-03-02. Retrieved 2020-02-16.

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