Engine: 3.8-liter gas direct injection 6-cylinder
Transmission: 8-speed automatic
Torque: 262 lb.-ft.
EPA ratings: 19/city, 24/highway, 21/combined
Base price: $44,590
As tested: $51,010
Overview: The Kia Telluride continues winning awards, just as it has since it debuted in 2020. It was most recently named US News & World Report’s “Best 3-Row SUV For Families” — for the third year in a row. It hasn’t changed its winning ways for 2022, but has added new standard equipment, including automatic climate control and a 10.3-inch touchscreen, plus adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go control on some models. All Tellurides have standard automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitors, adaptive cruise control and active lane control. Our test-driver was the new AWD SX Nightfall model, and this review focuses on that vehicle.
Walkaround: The Telluride’s rugged, yet cultured styling has remained the same since its debut, showcasing a pleasing combination of both curves and angles that’s appealing from every viewpoint. The wide grille and upright headlights showcase an aggressive stance — especially with the 20-inch wheels. Our SX Nightfall version featured all-black trim for a more menacing look.
Interior: The Telluride’s cabin trim varies depending on the model. Our SX offered the available nappa leather with heated and cooled power seats, head-up display, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, satellite radio, Harman/Kardon premium surround sound, wireless charging, remote start, hands-free power liftgate and power front and rear sunroofs, along with all the other usual power accessories. The low, wide dash sits under the display-style 10.3-inch infotainment touchscreen. The driver and front passenger space is outstanding, as is the small-item storage. The second row can be a bench seat or the two captain’s chairs our test-driver came with. There’s as much rear seat room as some minivans. The rear seat folds and slides forward for easier reach of the third row, which offers enough room for adults on short trips. There’s 21 cubic feet of cargo room behind the third row, 46 with it folded and 87 with the second row folded.
Behind the Wheel: The Telluride’s 291-horse, 3.8-liter V-6 and eight-speed automatic work well with either front- or all-wheel drive — and there’s a sport mode too. At about 4,500 pounds, acceleration isn’t ferocious, but adequate, and the transmission downshifts quickly and cleanly when speed is needed. The Telluride’s ride is quite comfortable, even with its 20-inch wheels. With AWD, the Telluride can tow up to 5,000 pounds. A 50/50 power split is locked in at speeds up to 40 mph, but changes as required for the driving conditions. Since there is no Telluride hybrid version, EPA ratings are somewhat marginal. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gives the Telluride five stars overall and four for frontal protection, and calls models with LED headlights a Top Safety Pick.
Bottom Line: The award-winning Telluride checks every box except fuel economy. It’s been termed an “amazing value” — especially when compared to rivals. And don’t forget that best-in-the-business 100,000-mile warranty.