2020 is a big year for Korean automakers Hyundai and Kia. Both have introduced luxury and sports cars in the past couple of years and this year, both have brought very convincing luxury SUVs to market. I told you about the Hyundai Palisade last month---and now, I've driven its platform cousin, the Kia Telluride.
The two machines are virtually identical, apart from their looks. Hyundai and Kia wisely have chosen to make the Palisade and Telluride look like two different machines, with the Telluride the more restrained of the two---and, especially in Snow White Pearl paint like our tester---doing a convincing impression of a Range Rover.
Under the hood is Kia's tried-and-true 3.8-liter V6, making 291 horsepower. Mated to a eight-speed automatic transmission and with active on-demand all wheel drive, our tester gets an EPA-estimated 19 miles per gallon city/24 highway.
That's plenty of power, decent fuel economy for its size class, and the Telluride rides and drives every bit like a premium luxury SUV.
There are four trim levels of Telluride, starting at an astonishingly low $31,890 for the base LX model. Next is the S at $34,290, then the EX at $37,290 and finally, the top of the line SX, which I drove, and which begins at $41,790. Add all-wheel drive, which ours had and the price of entry is $43,490, which is still an absolute bargain. And here's what that money buys:
- 20-inch black-finished alloy wheels.
- LED headlamps (low beam) and fog lamps.
- Rear sunroof (fixed glass).
- Second-row captain's chairs.
- Upgraded 12-way power driver's seat.
- Memory driver's seat and outside mirrors.
- Harman/Kardon Surround Sound audio.
- Surround view and blind-spot view monitor
- Parking distance warning-forward.
- Vehicle stability management.
- Leather seat trim with heated and ventilated front seats.
- Blind spot collision avoidance assist, front and rear.
- Rear cross-traffic collision avoidance assist.
- Forward collision avoidance assist.
- Highway driving assist.
- Lane keeping assist.
- Parking distance warning-reverse.
- Smart cruise control w/ Stop & Go.
- Rear occupant alert with ultrasonic sensors.
- Safe Exit Assist.
- Smart Key with pushbutton start.
- Navigation with enhanced UVO link features.
- AM/FM radio with 10-inch touchscreen.
- Rearview camera.
- Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration.
- SiriusXM Satellite Radio with free three-month subscription.
- Tri-zone automatic climate control.
- Power driver and passenger seat.
- 60/40 split folding second-row seats (one-touch slide and fold).
- 60/40 split folding third-row seats.
- Wireless phone charger.
- Side window curtains on rear doors.
- Heated leather-wrapped steering wheel with remote controls.
- Front power tilt and sliding sunroof.
- Hands-free power liftgate.
- Acoustic front windshield and door glass.
- Power folding heated outside mirrors with turn signal indicators.
Our tester also had some extra-cost options. The Snow White Pearl paint is $395. The SX Prestige Package (head up display, 110-volt inverter, Nappa leather seat trim, premium cloth headliner and sun visors, heated and ventilated second-row seats and rain-sensing windshield wipers) is $2,000. Carpeted floor mats added $210 and a carpeted cargo mat with seat back protection was another $115.
With $1,044 inland freight and handling, the bottom line on the window sticker reads $47,255. That's $350 less than its cousin, the Hyundai Palisade, that we had Thanksgiving week.
Two convincing luxury SUVs with presence, poise and premium features---both for less than 50 grand. That's enormous value---and it explains why you're seeing so many Kia Tellurides on the road lately.