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2020 Kia Telluride First Drive – Your Road Trip Awaits

2020 Kia Telluride

Life is usually a matter of timing. Ask Kia concerning the distinction between the 2020 Kia Telluride crossover and its final try at one thing comparable – the Kia Borrego.

Keep in mind the Borrego?

I do. That body-on-frame SUV wasn’t a poor car – I drove one, briefly, and appreciated it – however it got here to market proper because the Nice Recession and a speedy rise in fuel costs have been conspiring to work towards costly, gas-guzzling SUVs. Positive, loads of nameplates survived the carnage, however a newcomer just like the Borrego, produced by a model as soon as recognized for reasonable compact automobiles, had no probability towards these market headwinds.

Enter the Telluride, which is so totally different from the Borrego that about the one issues they’ve in widespread are class, quantity of seating rows, engine displacement, and door rely. In contrast to the body-on-frame Borrego, the unibody Telluride is getting into a market the place the winds are a bit extra favorable – crossovers are nonetheless scorching and there’s no signal of that altering anytime quickly.

So Kia gained’t have to fret about preventing an uphill battle, at the least when it comes to market forces. It’s going to be all concerning the product this time. And the product is sort of good.

(Full disclosure: Kia flew me to Gateway, Colorado in order that I might drive the Telluride. The corporate fed me and put me up in a room in a pleasant resort that had a reasonably neat automotive museum on property.)

Good when judged towards three-row crossover expectations, that’s. On this class, buyers need area, content material, consolation, and utility. Aside from maybe passing energy and journey, performance-related points take a again seat in consumers’ minds.

2020 Kia Telluride

If things like experience and dealing with do matter to you whenever you’re on the lookout for a household hauler, properly, right here’s the thin on the Telluride. The three.Eight-liter Lambda II GDI is a more-modern model of the three.Eight-liter Lambda II discovered underneath the Borrego’s hood, and this direct-injection, Atkinson-cycle engine places out 291 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque.

This powerplant motivates the upcoming Hyundai Palisade (which shares its chassis with the Telluride), as properly, and it mates with an eight-speed automated transmission in each purposes. Wheels are both 18 or 20 inches, relying on trim, and the Telluride has a most towing capability of 5,000 kilos. Entrance- or all-wheel drive is accessible.

Acceleration finally ends up being satisfactory. The SX trim I drove had all-wheel drive and a curb weight north of four,300 lbs, so there’s a little bit of bulk to be moved round. There was sufficient passing punch available to permit me to get round a slow-moving truck at altitude whereas driving uphill en path to the precise city of Telluride with out drama, however in the event you’re anticipating to be pushed again into your seat, don’t maintain your breath.

2020 Kia Telluride

The eight-speed is usually not felt, nevertheless it didn’t a lot care to downshift for engine braking wants, and a few downshifts for passing have been a bit wonky. Oh, and should you’re questioning why the chic twin-turbo V6 from the Stinger isn’t out there right here, that engine was designed for a front-rear format and wouldn’t match nicely within the Telluride.

Steering really feel is synthetic but agency and correct, and as you may anticipate, there’s loads of physique roll in corners; understeer/plow happens should you are available a bit too scorching. Experience is clean (though marred a bit by some float/wallow) on the nice two-lanes of Colorado, although we had no probability to check on the freeway. Switching from “sensible” drive mode to “sport” companies the proceedings up a bit, however solely a bit. Different drive modes embrace consolation and eco. There’s additionally “snow” modes and an “AWD lock” mode obtainable on AWD fashions.

Talking of AWD fashions, sensible and eco modes ship 100 % of the facility to the entrance wheels, whereas consolation splits it 80/20. Sport has a 65/35 cut up, and lock distributes energy equally to all 4 wheels.

2020 Kia Telluride

Kia did have us attempt our hand at a reasonably straightforward off-road path, and whereas we did hear inform of 1 popped tire on another person’s rig, our Telluride had no actual hassle. Attending to the trailhead ought to be straightforward.

The entrance suspension is an unbiased MacPherson strut setup with coil springs and stabilizer bar; the rear is an unbiased multilink setup with stabilizer bar.

Not that the Telluride’s responses when pushed exhausting actually matter all that a lot, save maybe the experience and passing features, as famous above.

That in thoughts, the seats are all-day cozy. Third-row entry isn’t inconceivable for adults – I received again there by way of the pass-thru between the second-row seats with out an excessive amount of hassle, and I’m a long-legged six-foot-one. As soon as again there, I had sufficient legroom that I might’ve tolerated a journey of as much as perhaps 30 minutes with out complaining.

2020 Kia Telluride

Getting out by way of sliding the second-row seat on the driving force’s aspect was a tad trickier, however I made it out, if not gracefully.

Legroom and headroom upfront are plentiful, even for taller adults.

Inside storage is class-competitive, with a pleasant bin in entrance of the cupholders that holds the obtainable wi-fi cell-phone charger. iPhone customers take word – mine had a tough time charging. I’ve a case, like many iPhone customers, and that would’ve been the difficulty.

The pretend (Kia admitted it) wooden and metallic trim on the sprint of our SX trim tester appeared and felt good, however there was extra exhausting plastic than I’d like, particularly on the door armrests. As soon as once more, an infotainment display stands tackily above the higher sprint, however the look is much less obnoxious right here than in different purposes. The road of HVAC controls is modern and engaging, and the required knobs are straightforward to succeed in and use.

2020 Kia Telluride

Inside noise ranges are stored to a minimal, with just some tire and street noise bleeding by means of, though the engine does get a bit buzzy and thrashy over three,000 RPM. Given the snug seats and quiet cabin, the Telluride makes for a great long-distance tripper.

Cargo area is listed at 87 cubic ft down with each rear rows down, 46 with the third row folded, and 21 with all seats up. That’s greater than the Honda Pilot with rear seats all down or all up, and equal with third-row down. It bests the Toyota Highlander throughout the board.

Kia went all-in on the boxy styling and, whereas it’s type of plain, it’s a good-looking sufficient look. It gained’t flip many heads, however there’s one thing to be stated for simplicity. Inside tidbits I didn’t cowl earlier than embrace a twin grab-handle setup on the middle console that appears cool (and homes the seat-heater/cooler switches).

2020 Kia Telluride

Kia hasn’t skimped on content material, providing obtainable options akin to (*takes a breath*) a 10.25-inch touchscreen, premium audio, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, wi-fi cell-phone charging, USB ports in every row (5 ports normal, with a sixth obtainable), out there two-device Bluetooth connectivity, reclining third-row seats, leather-based seats, heated front-row seats, heated second-row seats, cooled front-row seats, cooled-second row seats, heated steering wheel, second-row local weather management, distant begin, keyless entry and beginning, head-up show, Kia’s UVO infotainment system, head-up show, and distant begin.

2020 Kia Telluride

Out there tech-type stuff consists of: Ahead-collision warning, ahead collision-avoidance help with pedestrian detection, high-beam help, lane-departure warning, lane-keep help, blind-spot collision-avoidance help (rear), blind-spot monitoring, driver-attention warning, sensible cruise management, rear cross-traffic collision-avoidance help, park distance warning (entrance and rear), 360-degree digital camera, highway-driving help, safe-exit help, microphone for speaking with second/third row, quiet mode (cuts audio in second and third rows), and rear occupant alert.

4 trims can be found: LX, S, EX, and SX. The LX and EX are eight-passenger, the S is seven- or eight-passenger, and the SX is seven-passenger.

Pricing is as follows: $31,690 for an LX with front-wheel drive, $33,990 for a FWD S, $37,090 for a Telluride EX with FWD, and $41,490 for an SX with front-wheel drive. Add $2,000 to any of these for AWD, and vacation spot is $1,045.

2020 Kia Telluride

A $2,000 Status Package deal (head-up show, rain-sensing wipers, leather-based seats, heated and cooled second-row seats, premium material headliner, and 110-volt inverter) is obtainable on the SX AWD. Our tester had that package deal, plus carpeted flooring mats and carpeted cargo mat, for a complete of $45,815. With D and D, it was $46,860.

That pricing is a little more than that of the Highlander Restricted and fewer than a Restricted Platinum, and the identical story repeats when evaluating the Telluride to a Honda Pilot Touring or Pilot Elite.

Gasoline financial system measurements are 20 mpg metropolis/26 mpg freeway/23 mpg mixed for front-wheel drive fashions, and 19/24/21 for AWD fashions.

Until market tastes change in a single day, the Telluride’s story goes to play out a lot in a different way than that of the Borrego. Positive, that is no driver’s crossover, however should you’re hauling seven or eight passengers typically, or numerous gear, and you’ve got lengthy distances to cowl, the Telluride matches the invoice simply advantageous. Quiet, snug, and properly optioned, this massive crossover is a darn good road-tripper.

Kia is providing up a powerful, if barely boring, three-row giant crossover to satiate shopper demand. Will it promote in tony Telluride, house of Land Rovers and Subarus? I don’t know. However will probably be coming to a suburban driveway close to you.

[Images © 2019 Tim Healey/TTAC, Kia Motors]

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