The KIA Telluride is one of the best-selling midsize crossover SUVs in the US market in 2019. Being a stylish model that also ticks all the boxes for a comfortable and capable family SUV, the Telluride has been one of the must-haves. -choices for buyers. With the launch of the 2023 Kia Telluride for a base retail price of $35,000, the model retains all the goodness of the outgoing model while implementing numerous updates to make it better.
Available in six trim configurations, with new X-line and X-Pro trims on the roster, it still retains the naturally aspirated V6 engine capable of towing up to 5,500 lbs and delivers one of the best 0 times at 60 mph in its segment, and the ride and handling are excellent too. The changes come in the form of updated styling, a new digital gauge display connected to the 12.3-inch infotainment system, and more standard infotainment features. Competing with the Hyundai Palisade, Ford Bronco and Jeep Grand Cherokee, here are 10 things you need to know before buying the 2023 Kia Telluride.
ten Beautiful upside down design
The appealing styling of the outgoing model years of the Kia Telluride had always appealed to many Americans, and with this 2023 iteration’s small front-end tweak, it just got even better looking. Upgraded LED headlights, a new bumper design and a sleeker grille with the neatly incorporated redesigned Kia logo will turn heads.
We also like the masculine hood and best-in-class 8″ ground clearance, giving it an appropriate SUV stance. LEDs and the 20 “Alloy wheels complete the overall design language. The newly launched X-line and X-Pro versions also make the Telluride more robust.
9 A comfortable cruiser
We’ve always admired the Telluride for its comfortable ride quality and effortless cruising ability. Even this updated Telluride retains both features, making it a great tool for hitting the highways. The comfortable suspension setup makes it perfect for seven passengers to travel in comfort.
This SUV’s class-leading level of refinement and punchy powertrain on offer are also a boon for the driver and passengers. The comfortable cabin is complemented by premium materials and plush seats, and the long list of standard interior and infotainment features add significantly to the comfort factor.
8 Offers A Spacious Cabin
Enter the interior of the 2023 Kia Telluride and you will feel at home in terms of space and comfort offered. The front-row seats are well bolstered and provide excellent support, helping passengers take long journeys with less fatigue. The top trim is also premium leather. Even the rear seats are comfortable.
The front and second row seats offer excellent head, leg and shoulder room, and even the tallest passengers would have no problem fitting in. You can also get the second row seat in captain’s chairs or a single bench seat. Even if the third row seat will not be very spacious, it has nothing to envy to rivals in the segment. Multiple in-cab storage spaces and one of the best cargo capacities of 21 cubic feet enhance versatility.
seven All driver assistance features are standard
The Kia Telluride has always come with a full suite of driver assistance technologies as standard, and this 2023 iteration is no different. Standard features include forward collision warning, automated emergency braking, lane departure warning, lane keeping assist and a blind spot monitoring system.
Solid build quality coupled with all the basic safety features that come standard also adds to the resume of this family crossover SUV. Although the 2023 Telluride has not yet been crash tested, the outgoing model has received 5 star crash safety in NHTSA crash test and the IIHS crash test top safety pick title.
6 SX Trim offers excellent value for money
The SX trim was the most expensive trim of the outgoing model years, and we’ve consistently recommended it over all other trims due to the excellent list of standard features provided, making it a far more desirable proposition than the cheaper versions. . With the arrival of the 2023 Telluride, even though the X-Pro version turned out to be the more expensive version, we still recommend getting the cheaper $4,000 SX version.
Standard features include heated and power seats, 20-inch alloy wheels that are blacked out, a punchy Harman Kardon sound system, a dual sunroof and a second-row captain’s chair. You can also get the optional AWD drivetrain for an extra $1,900 and the SX Prestige package gives you even more bells and whistles for not so much more money.
5 Superb Refinement
The naturally aspirated V6 engine under the hood of the 2023 Kia Telluride got some minor tweaks, and it’s proven to be one of the quietest engines around for the price. Even when you press the throttle for a quick overtake, the sound doesn’t creep into the cabin too much like that of the Ford Explorer or Toyota Highlander.
We also felt the soundproofing was far superior to its rivals, especially the Ford Explorer, and outside noise is filtered out well. Even the trims that come with 20-inch alloy wheels don’t produce too much road noise and tire noise, which is very evident when back-to-back testing with segment rivals.
4 Not as thrilling to drive as some of the rivals
Even though most offerings in the mid-size crossover SUV segment won’t thrill you with precise handling, we found the 2023 Kia Telluride to be a bit more toned down than the competition, which ultimately makes it one of the most comfortable from the edge. The steering lacks feel and feedback, and it doesn’t provide the confidence needed at higher speeds.
Being a front-heavy SUV, there’s quite a bit of understeer in corners that are a bit too fast. The high ground clearance and height also make the center of gravity slightly higher than its rivals, making it a bit less stable on the highways compared to the Highlander.
3 Energy efficiency could have been better
Without forced induction and with a mild-hybrid system for the V6 engine, the 2023 Kia Telluride might disappoint those who want a frugal daily driver. This mid-size SUV returned 20 MPG in the city and 26 MPG on the highways with the FWD drivetrain variants.
If you get the optional AWD transmission, fuel efficiency sees a minor drop to 19 MPG in the city and 24 MPG on the highway. This SUV could go 451 miles on highways on a full tank of gas (18.8 gallon fuel tank capacity). In comparison, the Ford Explorer and Toyota Highlander offered a slightly higher combined gas mileage of 24 MPG.
2 Solid braking performance
The 2023 Kia Telluride is one of the lightest models in the midsize SUV segment, at just 4,112 lbs. Even then, it comes with one of the biggest braking hardware consisting of 13.4″ vented front rotors and 12″ rear solid discs, as well as all other braking features such as the ABS with EBD, automated emergency braking and brake assist.
The firm pedal with superb initial bite will be appreciated by owners. Braking progression is excellent, and the 70-0 mph braking distance of 177 feet is also decent. Our only complaint is that the 2023 Kia Telluride has more than average forward dive under hard braking.
1 Smooth and torquey V6 engine
The powertrain sees no changes and the naturally aspirated 3.8-liter V6, producing 291 hp and 262 lb-ft of torque, mated to the 8-speed torque converter automatic transmission, is the only option with the Telluride. This SUV can be equipped with either FWD or AWD transmissions, and it has a maximum towing capacity of 5,500 lbs.
The V6’s quick acceleration from 2,000 rpm is going to be appreciated, and the midrange is punchy enough for a naturally aspirated engine. It’s a smooth powertrain even at high revs and the automatic transmission does the job perfectly. The 0-60 mph time of 7.1 seconds makes it faster than the Highlander, but slower than the Explorer and Traverse.