Experienced by Adrian McQueen
Photography by Adrenaline Lifestyles
Since the Telluride appeared on the market, it has made its’ mark hitting record sales in 2020 and again in 2021. COVID-19, supply chain issues and semiconductor chip shortages, could not stop the sales of this magnificent vehicle. The Kia Telluride quickly became known to consumers as a reasonably priced SUV. It has been couple years since I have been behind the wheel of one so I was excited to review the 2022 Telluride SX V6 AWD.
The Kia Telluride was originally introduced as a concept car in 2016 at the North American International Auto Show. The Kia Telluride is a mid-size crossover, three-row, seven-passenger SUV. It is named after the town Telluride, in Colorado, and debuted in the spring of 2019 as a 2020 model. In 2020, the Telluride was named the 2020 World Car of the Year.
Upon first look you notice the Telluride’s truck-like exterior, while rectangular in appearance, is still sporty with the grille, headlights and fog lights. The everlasting silver paint gleams bright, while the orange LED lighting around the headlights truly stands out. The telluride sits on 20” Black finished alloy wheels with satin finish on the exterior trim pieces. The dual sunroofs are a great touch as well. On the hood and tailgate, “TELLURIDE” is prominently marked and nearly extends the width of the vehicle. I would classify the Telluride’s styling as bold, which is rare in its class. Although it draws a close comparison to its corporate counterpart, the Hyundai Palisade.
The Telluride can seat up to eight passengers and offers a maximum of 87 cubic feet of cargo capacity. Kia lists the Telluride’s cargo hold as offering 21 cubic feet of space with the third row of seats in place. When you fold the third row down, cargo room expands to 46 cubic feet. The seats up front are comfortable with driver-seat memory functions, captain’s chairs in the middle and a reasonably sized third row. The interior ambient lighting is a cool feature to have in the vehicle. The interior design is upscale with an impressive cabin filled with high-quality materials and an eye-pleasing design. The model that we tested was the SX trim along with the $2,300 SX Prestige pack. Matte wood and nappa leather add to why this cabin is considered luxurious.
Kia equips the Telluride SX with a stellar technology package as well. The SX comes standard with a 10.25” touchscreen, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity, keyless remote, push button start, heated steering wheel, heated and ventilated front seats and a Harman Kardon surround-sound system that is crystal clear. Kia’s UVO Link with navigation, Cabin Talk (an in-cabin speaker that sends sound from the front row to the rear row), Quiet Mode (which turns sound from the speakers off entirely behind the front seats) are included as well. The digital instrument cluster, located between two analog gauges, along with the head-up display adds to the luxury moniker.
The 2022 Kia Telluride is equipped with a 3.8-liter Gas Direct Injection (GDI) V6 engine that puts out 291 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque, all pushed through a smooth shifting 8-speed automatic transmission. The SX model Telluride is also equipped with active on-demand all-wheel drive. Gas mileage on the Telluride isn’t bad coming at 19 mpg in the city, 24 mpg highway and 21 mpg combined. The Telluride drives and handles well. Comfort and Eco mode are fine but the Telluride comes to life when in Sport mode. Throttle response is enhanced as well as improvement to the steering and suspension.
Kia is high on safety and it rated with 4 and 5 stars by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The amount of available safety equipment such as blind-spot monitoring, forward and reverse automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane centering, lane-departure warning, and more.
The Telluride is so popular that some dealerships began to mark up the vehicles, almost pricing many people out of the Kia Telluride segment. This has forced some consumers to look at other Kia SUVs or other brands entirely but most came back to the Telluride and willing to pay the premium for it. Hopefully the chip shortage, that has plagued the entire automotive industry, will subside soon and bring things back to normal. The Telluride sits in a competitive class amongst the Chevrolet Traverse, the Volkswagen Atlas, the Honda Pilot, Hyundai Palisade, Mazda CX-9 and the Subaru Ascent. The Kia Telluride SX model that we tested came in at $49,235, which is competitively priced and worth it. Please enjoy the photo gallery.