2020 Kia Telluride First Drive Review: Is Bigger Always Better?

It's spacious, comfortable and packed with tech

The Telluride is Kia’s largest SUV to date.

When Kia leaped into the three-row fray against a sea of competition, it had to come with something special. Just making a bigger Sorento wouldn’t do, so the 2020 Kia Telluride comes bearing unique styling, a relatively massive profile, bespoke engine, and all the tech you could ever possibly think of. But is that enough to endear shoppers away from the rest of the competition? In this video, Roman takes the new Telluride on and off-road outside Gateway, Colorado to find out.

Starting under the hood, there’s only one engine option in the 2020 Kia Telluride. It’s a 3.8-liter naturally-aspirated V6 making 291 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque. Kia’s flagship crossover also has a fashionable 8-speed automatic transmission to haul up to eight passengers, though not at any aggressive speed. While the Telluride is tuned more toward efficiency, it does have a sport mode, as well as four other drive modes. All-wheel drive models get an AWD lock button, to keep power going to all four wheels when you need it.

What about fuel economy?

The 2020 Kia Telluride is a big car, no doubt about it. Despite its size, it manages fuel economy figures around the middle of the three-row pack. It falls short of the Toyota Highlander, but it is more efficient than the Chevrolet Traverse. In fact, all-wheel drive models should achieve 19 City / 24 Highway / 21 Combined mpg. Front-wheel drive versions, as you’d expect, are a little better, with 20 City / 26 Highway / 23 Combined mpg.

2020 Kia Telluride

SEE ALSO: 2020 Kia Telluride TFL Expert Buyer’s Guide


In the top-of-the-line SX trim, the 2020 Kia Telluride gives you most of the technology you’d ever want in a family hauler. You get heated and ventilated front and second-row seats. There’s wireless charging for your smartphone, and an 8.0-inch touchscreen display with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility. Add in a huge panoramic sunroof and a wide array of safety features, and the Telluride is no slouch on equipment for the money. In fact, in terms of tech it’s not far off the BMW X7, which costs nearly twice as much.

One of the few sore spots as far as the 2020 Kia Telluride is concerned is the lack of a park assist function. There’s also no rear-seat entertainment option from the factory, although the Telluride does have USB ports for smartphones and tablets.

Pricing and availability

The 2020 Kia Telluride starts of at $31,690 excluding destination charges. That doesn’t make it the least expensive three-row crossover out there. However, it’s still less expensive to start than the Mazda CX-9 or Ford Explorer. The $45,490 top-end SX trim, though, is one of the best prices in its class against the fully-loaded competition. As equipped, our 2020 Kia Telluride costs $47,255.

If you’re in the market for a 2020 Kia Telluride, they’re making their way to Kia dealerships right now. Stay tuned to TFLcar.com for more news, views and three-row crossover reviews!