Test Drive Notes Library
Test Drive Notes Library
- Smooth. One of the smoothest engine/transmission combinations in SUV-dom. People used to buy Cadillacs to get this kind of engine and transmission smoothness. The Telluride glides, with unnoticeable shifts, and plenty of power from a 3.8 liter V6.
- Stylin'. We're predicting rappers will be switching over from their Escalades and start driving Tellurides. This thing has presence. It's somewhat reminiscent of Cadillac's uber hauler in front and back, with its vertical headlight and taillight treatment. Honestly, we like it even better.
- Easy. This is, above all, an easy SUV to live with. Like we said, power is delivered perfectly. Visibility is good with thin A-pillars and a squared-off shape. It's easy to get in and out of with big doors, flat sills, and an appropriate height. The third row of seats is there for kids if you need it but folds flat into the floor to create a huge cargo area the rest of the time. The second row folds, too, when you need to carry around an extra Kia Forte. Controls are clear and easy to use, with a large, easy to comprehend touch screen that looks like the screens in newer BMWs. And inside, the interior is comfortable and calming.
- Ride. The ride is tuned to comfort. It cruises smoothly, quietly, and comfortably. Inside the Telluride is a nice place to be.
- Standard safety. Not only does the Telluride come with forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and lane departure warning, but Kia also includes blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert with automatic rear braking, and lane keeping assist. Those features come on every Telluride, regardless of trim level. Praise Kia. Two other features are worth noting. The top end SX trim we tested also shows you a view of the adjacent lane when you turn on a directional signal. So if you signal to turn right, you see the right side of the Telluride, looking back, to make sure a car or bicycle isn't coming up on your side. A system also prevents you from opening the rear doors if a car or bike is coming up from behind. Awesome idea. Why not apply it to the front doors as well, and save some bicyclists a trip to the hospital.
- Price. We're impressed with what you get for $47K, which is what our loaded Telluride SX AWD cost. We'd seriously prefer it to a Cadillac Escalade. Of course, you can probably pick up an inexpensive used Escalade from a rapper who's upgrading to a Telluride in the near future. The Telluride certainly compares favorably to the Toyota Highlander, the Subaru Ascent, and the Chevy Traverse. It should be on the shopping list of anyone considering one of those vehicles.
- Warranty. Kia's 10 year, 100,000 mile drivetrain warranty is very good. The rest of the car is covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. That's also better than most competitors. And while Kia's reliability has been just average in the past, that warranty ought to provide some confidence to buyers.
Get the Car Talk Newsletter