2020 Kia Telluride SX V6 AWD Review by David Colman +VIDEO - It's E15 Approved
In Perspective: Kia Telluride Historical Context
Kia's finest SUV offering to date...a fantastic bargain
By David Colman
Special Correspondent to THE AUTO CHANNEL
Well we didn't scatter the farm herd during our week with the Telluride, nor did we use it to conquer Baja. Rather, we spent a rather sedate week at the helm of Kia's finest SUV offering to date. The top line, AWD SX model carries a base price of $43,490. With the addition of a $2,000 SX Prestige Package, our test Kia tallied in at $47,255. While that might seem expensive for a Kia, in the grander scheme of things, the new Telluride is a fantastic bargain.
Although we spent most of our time behind the wheel, we also had a chance to assess the rear accommodations during a short hop in one of the second row captain's chairs. The ride in back is convincingly luxurious thanks to erectable privacy screens, fold-down arm rests, individual temperature and fan adjustment provisions, and spacious leg stretch room. All in all, passenger status in the aft compartment is absolutely first rate. There's even a 110 volt rear inverter next to one of six USB ports scattered throughout the cabin. For easy conversion of the rear seats to storage use, Kia provides one touch slide and fold for both captain's chairs. A third row of seats is a first for any Kia SUV. When the second and third rows are folded flat, the interior of this bus yields 87 cubic feet of storage space.
The all-wheel-drive version of the Telluride weighs in at 4,482 pounds. With a 3.8 liter V6 producing 291hp, the power-to-weight ratio is rather modest, at 15.45lbs. per horsepower. Tow rating is 5,000 lbs. The SUV's V6 is best when carefully managed by the manual mode gate available from the 8-speed automatic gearbox. If you choose the right ratio, the Telluride jumps forward with authority. But if you just leave the transmission in Drive, you're likely to endure rather more leisurely performance when you stomp the throttle. Paddle shifts are not available on Telluride. But Kia does offer sportier performance by providing 3 driving mode choices (Smart, Eco and Sport). If you select SPORT mode, the vehicle automatically adjusts steering effort and transmission control logic for "enhanced driver performance." The quartet of 20 x 7.5J inch black alloy rims which grace the SX model are shod with premium quality Michelin rubber: 245/50R20 Primacy Tour tires with a long life treadwear rating of TW 540. Not only will these Michelins last, they also provide excellent cornering bite. The Telluride may be big, but it never feels clumsy or unwieldy from the driver's 12 way adjustable, heated and cooled, glove leather soft seat.
2020 KIA TELLURIDE SX V6 AWD
ENGINE: 3.8 liter Gas Direct Injection V6 24 valve, DOHC, CVVT
FUEL CONSUMPTION: 19MPG City/24MPG Highway
PRICE AS TESTED: $47,255
HYPES: Kia's First 3 Row SUV is a Home Run
GRIPES: Rather See 265mm Tire Width
STAR RATING: 10 Stars out of 10