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Kia Telluride: One of the best in class


The Kia Telluride for 2022 is highly popular; so much so that we get calls asking where they can be purchased and when we follo wup we discover that many dealerships are out of stock. High demand, coupled with the global semiconductor chip shortage, means it is almost impossible to find a new Kia Telluride. If you can track one down, you'll have to pay more than the list price to get it. Well I can give you feedback on the star SUV and I'm thrilled to share what I discovered.

It was exciting to get my hands on the Telluride SX V6 all-wheel drive. I really wanted to know if the hype was real or just a buzz. I have seen them on the streets and they look beautiful so I’m ready to get into it.


The Kia Telluride is a mid-size crossover SUV, built by Kia. Originally introduced as a concept car in 2016, the vehicle debuted in the spring of 2019 as a 2020 model.While each of the options reflect a design and performance upgrade from the previous year, note that there are several trim levels The LX is the first of four 2022 Telluride SUV trims, starting around $33,090, (along with the destination charge). Adding all-wheel drive is an additional $2,000, or $1,900 in the highest SX trim.The tester that we drove came in at $49,120.


THE DRIVE AND PERFORMANCE

Kia made the 2022 Telluride SX V6 AWD as an all-purpose vehicle, with some off-road action, and impressive performance. Dodge Durango and Ford Explorer are competitors in the segment but the Telluride is holding its own. With the dynamic exterior appointments, it's easy to get caught up with the looks of this beautiful vehicle, but I wanted to get on the road right away to get the test drive going.


Now the standard EX all wheel drive features include a 3.8 l gas direct injection six-cylinder engine with an 8-speed automatic transmission and active on-demand all-wheel drive. There's also a drive mode select to allow you to determine what kind of mode and experience you want to enjoy; echo, smart, and more.

The performance is nimble for its size and surprisingly agile. The other surprise is the smooth and balanced ride. It's pretty stable on turns and corners. On the open road it's quiet and can kick into a higher gear to accelerate and pass in traffic without a struggle. The safety technology is impressive as well. There’s a long list that includes forward collision, avoidance assist, blind spot collision and avoidance assist.

It's easy to take this technology for granted until it reminds you of its value. I found that the rear lane keeping assist quite helpful and lane following assist as well. There's real cross traffic and collision avoidance assist and a safe exit assist so you're protected when you're getting out of your car. These are just a few of the long list of safety technology but I always find the vehicle stability management system an amazing piece of technology because it allows for a much smoother ride.

Fuel economy is 21 miles per gallon or 19 in the city and 24 on the highway. Saying that an SUV is fun to drive is unusual but the Telluride was a lot of fun to drive. Clearly the engineers were aiming at making it as competitive as possible. front-engine, all-wheel-drive, 7-passenger, 4-door hatchback, Powertrain: 291-hp 3.8L V-6, eight-speed automatic transmission. A 5500-pound towing capacity makes the Telluride useful for hauling around a small boat or camper, and its spacious and comfortable cabin is ideal for long-distance cruising.

Now let's go inside.


INSIDE

Inside the Telluride, you’ll discover a premium inspired interitor setup with well organized elements, attractive layers and color combinations dominated by the 10.25 inch touchscreen. That screen is packed with info including a navigation map and all the information readouts, entertainment options and climate controls. There's Android auto and Apple carplay as well as a smart key with push button and remote start. I found that quite helpful on rainy days and needing to get into the vehicle quickly. The wood border around the cabin is a classy touch and the sports performance gas and brake pedals add to the sportiness of the Telluride. Right down below the infotainment system is a wireless phone charger. With the seats leather trim with heated and ventilated up front and power driver and passenger seats as well.

Also available in the Telluride is a powerful 10-speaker Harman/Kardon audio system. we are absolutely in love with their automotive products and theres a 110-volt power inverter, and wireless smartphone charging port. A feature called "Driver Talk" amplifies the driver's voice through speakers in the back two rows to better communicate with passengers back there. Kia must know that there are families out there that need a strong voice to keep things under control. The Telluride carries all the class-leading features from its Hyundai Palisade sibling. There's a surround view and blind spot vehicle monitor. Now on the second row seats you got Captain's chairs, two of them. It's quite comfortable and leg space as well.

Telluride boasts a robust infotainment system that features a 12.3-inch touchscreen with popular content that includes Apple CarPlay, Android Auto capability, in-dash navigation, and onboard Wi-Fi.

The center stack is clean, easy to navigate and well designed. Its go style. Between driver and passenger seats are your leather wrapped stick shift and the mode selector knob. The chrome finish on the rest of the center stack add a premium touch to the design.

There's more, cargo in the back is ample. The Telluride has 21 cubic feet of cargo space behind its third row, 46 cubic feet with those seats folded down, and 87 cubic feet with all the rear seats folded. Those are some of the best figures in the midsize SUV class. A hands-free power liftgate is optional.


EXTERIOR DESIGN

Look at the exterior design. It's gorgeous. The bold absolute signature grill was just what Kia needed to have a distinguishing product on the market. They nailed it. They've got great designs across their model spectrum but to tell you right is pushing the envelope. There are SX features with all-wheel drive like the 20-in black finished alloy wheels, a rear sunroof with fixed glass. Now the tester we drove had the SX prestige package which included heads up display Napa leather seat trim, heated and ventilated second row seats as well and a towing package.

In a crowded market it's hard to stand out and the field is thick and the SUV segment. Here deciding to place the telluride SX V6 or wheel drive in the mix was smart simply because it's so competitive and so customer friendly. The Telluride is well-priced, nicely equipped, and unquestionably refined, the Telluride is the complete package.





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