TELLURIDE SUV ANOTHER EXAMPLE
OF WHAT KIA IS DOING RIGHT THESE DAYS
Several years ago I heard a Kia exec explain that the company entered the U.S. with cheaper entry-level vehicles in the early 1990s in order to get a foothold on the market.
It chose the latter, and though not the only one, the Kia Telluride is a great example of what the fruits of those labors have brought the South Korean automaker.
Already, the 2022 Kia Telluride has reaped awards from such automotive authorities as Motortrend (SUV of the Year), U.S. News & World Report (No. 1 in Midsize SUVs), Edmunds.com (Top-Rated” recognition), and Motorweek (Criver’s Choice Award), to single out just a few.
When the Telluride was introduced for 2020, judges for the North American International Auto Show (Detroit) named it their North American Utility Vehicle of the Year, and Texas auto writers dubbed it “SUV of Texas” at their annual Texas Truck Rodeo, one of the most prestigious competitions in the industry.
Not bad for a company that had to declare bankruptcy in 1997 before fellow countryman Hyundai came to its rescue.
But let’s get back to the Telluride.
Kia made few changes to the debut 2020 Telluride for 2021. It added a “Nightfall” Edition for a more aggressive appearance, upgraded the towing harness, and added remote engine start to the key fob along with a couple of exterior colors.
The 2022 Kia Telluride adds the new company emblem to all trims and lower trims get some tweaks that include more standard features like a 10.25-inch touchscreen that includes navigation and voice recognition, which was already included with EX and SX models.
The Telluride is offered in four trims — base LX, EX, S, and SX. This review is based on the top-of-the-line SX trim that carries a starring MSRP of $44,590 with AWD, which are numbers you once would not have associated with Kia.
Included in that are such niceties as the 10..25-inch monitor with navigation, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, wireless phone charger, power driver and front passenger seat, leather-wrapped steering wheel, heated and ventilated front seats, power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, side curtains on the rear windows for privacy, 20-inch black forged alloy wheels, rear fixed glass sunroof, LED headlights and fog lights, surround view and blind-spot monitor, Harmon/Kardon premium sound system, second-row captain’s chairs, and safety features like lane-keeping and lane-following assist, adaptive cruise control, forward collision avoidance, and parking distance warning.
Like the other trims, the 2022 Kia Telluride SX comes with a 3.8-liter V6 engine that is mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission. The engine puts out 291 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. Front-wheel drive is standard with all-wheel propulsion available. Towing capacity is 5,000 pounds with either configuration.
My test vehicle came with a couple of option packages that were nice additions. The SX Premium package adds a head-up display, upgraded Nappa leather seat trim, premium cloth headliner and sun visors, heated and ventilated second-row seats, and rain-sensing windshield wipers for an extra $2,300.
Other trims run from $34,015 for the LX, $36,515 for the S, and $39,015 for the EX. AWD adds $1,900 to each.
What I didn’t like about the 2022 Kia Telluride SX: Nothing really to note here, though a bit more punch for the top-of-the-line SX trim’s engine might be nice.
Would I buy the 2022 Kia Telluride SX? Yes. If a 7-passenger SUV is on your wish list, you definitely need to check out the Telluride. The base LX trim comes with bench seating for the second row and offers 8-passenger capacity. Other trims get captain’s chairs for the second row to reduce capacity.