The 2022 Kia Telluride separates itself from the herd of three-row, mid-size crossovers with its handsome looks, unexpected luxuriousness, and unrivaled value. Of course, the largest Kia also flawlessly executes its core mission, which is to comfortably ferry families and their cargo. With a rugged exterior and a rich-looking interior, the Telluride wouldn’t appear out of place in a Land Rover showroom. Along with an array of standard active safety features, every model has a robust infotainment system, and the top trim offers luxuries such as ventilated rear seats for an incredibly affordable price. While the palatial ute isn’t exactly exciting to drive, and its 291-hp V-6 isn’t particularly fuel-efficient, its ride is refined and body roll is restrained. It’ll also effortlessly tug a 5000-pound trailer and all-wheel-drive models will tackle uneven terrain with ease. The 2022 Telluride is simply the gold standard of its segment.
What’s New for 2022?
For 2022, Kia bestows its new-look logo on the Telluride, with the company’s rebranded badge appearing prominently on its mildly restyled grille, rear liftgate, and steering wheel cover. The SUV’s bottom two trims also benefit from better standard features, including a 10.3-inch touchscreen (replacing the old 8.0-inch unit) and fully automatic temperature control. Plus, both models now come with semi-autonomous adaptive cruise control that even utilizes the navigation system to actively adjust the vehicle’s speeding going into and out of corners.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
The Telluride is such a great value that we’d even choose the top-of-the-line SX model. It comes standard with flashy features, such as a 12-way power driver’s seat, black-painted 20-inch rims, a Harman Kardon stereo, front and rear sunroofs, and second-row captain’s chairs. Those who want the added sense of security that comes with all-wheel drive can have it for an extra $1900. We’d further enhance our Telluride with the SX Prestige package that brings a head-up display, heated and ventilated second-row seats, nappa leather upholstery, and more. The tow package’s hitch and self-leveling rear suspension are also a worthy addition in order to best utilize the ute’s towing capability.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
Under the hood of every Telluride is a naturally aspirated V-6 that makes 291 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. Its engine pairs with an eight-speed automatic transmission that feeds the front wheels in the standard format—all-wheel drive is also optional across the board. The top-of-the-line Telluride SX we tested sped to 60 mph in 7.1 seconds. However, the big Kia didn’t feel as responsive to throttle inputs at lower speeds as did some of its turbocharged rivals. The Telluride’s ride is on the firm side, with harsh pavement sometimes throwing the three-row SUV off its intended path. A self-leveling rear air suspension is also available. Brakes are excellent and the steering is precise with a nice heft to its feel. The Telluride boasts 8.0 inches of ground clearance for off-road excursions, and it can tow up to 5000 pounds.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
Unlike many rival three-row SUVs, the Telluride is only offered with a V-6 powertrain. The EPA estimates the front-drive version is the thriftiest, with ratings of 20 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway. All-wheel-drive models drop to 19 mpg city and 24 mpg highway, which are slightly higher than V-6–powered competitors such as the Volkswagen Atlas and slightly lower than the Honda Pilot. The all-wheel-drive Telluride we tested on our 75-mph highway fuel-economy route returned 24 mpg—matching its government rating. The Atlas also earned 24 mpg while the Pilot got 27 mpg during our real-world test. For more information about the Telluride’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
Regardless of people’s opinion about the Telluride’s bold outward appearance, its interior is undeniably upscale and comfortable. The build quality is excellent, the materials are attractive, and the desirable features are plentiful. The SX trim tops them all with the fanciest options that include driver’s seat memory settings, a head-up display, heated and ventilated rear seats, a premium headliner, and nappa leather upholstery. Because the Telluride is several inches longer than the seven-passenger Kia Sorento, its cabin is even more spacious, especially for those in the wayback seat. There is room for eight with a second-row bench seat or room for seven with the optional captain’s chairs. Along with ample interior storage throughout the cabin, we managed to fit four carry-on suitcases behind its third row and stuffed a total of 35 carry-ons with both back rows folded flat.
Infotainment and Connectivity
Even Telluride boasts a robust infotainment system that features a 10.3-inch touchscreen with popular content that includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability along with numerous power points. Also available is a 10-speaker Harman Kardon audio system, a 110-volt power inverter, and wireless smartphone charging. With Driver Talk, which is available on the EX and SX trims, the driver’s voice is amplified through speakers in the back two rows to better communicate with any inattentive or unruly passengers.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
Kia is packaging a comprehensive suite of driver-assistance technology on all Telluride models. Several upgraded assists are also available, including automatic high-beams, a 360-degree camera system, and what Kia calls a Blind-Spot View Monitor. This tech projects a camera image of the vehicles blind-spot into the gauge cluster display. For more information about its crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:
- Standard forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking
- Standard lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist
- Standard blind-spot monitoring
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
Kia provides some of the best comprehensive coverage out there, with the longest powertrain warranty in the biz. However, it lacks the complimentary scheduled maintenance of rivals such as the Toyota Highlander and the Chevy Traverse.
- Limited warranty covers five years or 60,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers 10 years or 100,000 miles
- No complimentary scheduled maintenance
2020 Kia Telluride SX AWD
front-engine, all-wheel-drive, 7-passenger, 4-door hatchback
PRICE AS TESTED
$46,910 (base price: $44,585)
DOHC 24-valve V-6, aluminum block and heads, direct fuel injection
231 cu in, 3778 cc
291 hp @ 6000 rpm
262 lb-ft @ 5200 rpm
Suspension (F/R): struts/multilink
Brakes (F/R): 13.4-in vented disc/12.0-in disc
Tires: Michelin Primacy Tour A/S, 245/50R-20 102V M+S
Wheelbase: 114.2 in
Length: 196.9 in
Width: 79.3 in
Height: 69.3 in
Passenger volume: 155 cu ft
Cargo volume: 21 cu ft
Curb weight: 4443 lb
Rollout, 1 ft: 0.4 sec
60 mph: 7.0 sec
100 mph: 17.8 sec
130 mph: 39.5 sec
Rolling start, 5–60 mph: 7.4 sec
Top gear, 30–50 mph: 3.8 sec
Top gear, 50–70 mph: 4.8 sec
¼-mile: 15.3 sec @ 93 mph
Top speed (governor limited): 132 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 177 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad: 0.81 g
Observed: 20 mpg
EPA FUEL ECONOMY
Combined/city/highway: 21/19/24 mpg
More Features and Specs