2020 Kia Telluride is a Top Safety Pick, but only with certain headlights

July 23, 2019

Safety-conscious car shoppers have another SUV to put on their list. The 2020 Kia Telluride is an IIHS Top Safety Pick, but there's a catch.

The SUV earned the award, but only when equipped with specific headlights. To qualify as a Top Safety Pick by the IIHS, vehicles must earn "Good" ratings in at least five of the six crashworthiness tests. The Telluride aced all its crash tests, including the newer passenger-side small-overlap crash test that was recently added to the award criteria. The other five crash tests are the driver-side small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength, and head restraint tests.

2020 Kia Telluride

2020 Kia Telluride

Kia's latest SUV comes with standard front-crash prevention systems that the IIHS rated "Superior" in its testing. The Telluride avoided forward crashes at 12 mph and 25 mph with the active safety technology.

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The caveat for the Telluride are its headlights. The 2020 Telluride's Top Safety Pick only applies to models equipped with optional LED headlights. The safety group found the low beams illuminated the roadway well, but created some minor glare. The headlights earned an "Acceptable" rating—just enough to qualify for a Top Safety Pick. The optional headlights also include high-beam assist, which is a system that automatically flicks between low- and high-beams when possible.

2020 Kia Telluride

2020 Kia Telluride

All other Telluride models with the standard halogen projectors earned a "Poor" rating.

The Top Safety Pick award applies only to Telluride SX crossovers, which are top of the line. The LED lights are not optional on any other trim, but standard on the SX. The SUV in SX trim starts at $42,535 before additional options. A base Telluride costs $32,735.

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