With the Telluride, Kia has its best family car ever. Its best highway car ever. Its best interior ever. Cleverly, it’s all wrapped in a three-row package that’s aimed right at slaking America’s SUV thirst—without acting too thirsty.
The 2020 Kia Telluride does what great family vehicles must do, with seating for up to eight people including (in top versions) comfy heated and cooled front buckets, sliding second-row captain’s chairs, and a power-fold third-row seat that disappears to open up about 46 cubic feet of cargo space. It’s an airy space, too, with linear and rectangular shapes that can be trimmed in lovely leather and decked out with widescreen interfaces for a high-tech look that pares down the glitz of the similar Hyundai Palisade.
The Telluride sports good crash-test scores and safety equipment, too. The IIHS calls it a Top Safety Pick when it’s rigged with LED headlights. Every Telluride comes with blind-spot monitors, automatic emergency braking, active lane control, and adaptive cruise control.
It’s a strong performer, too, with a 291-horsepower, 3.8-liter V-6 coupled to an 8-speed automatic. What drivers will notice most is the Telluride’s fluent highway ride and steering that whittles down its nearly 200-inch length to something that feels smaller and more nimble in city driving. All-wheel drive’s available, and so are 20-inch wheels.
The 2020 Telluride’s charming style conjures up a truck-like look that’s sophisticated and rugged, like GMC does when it’s on its game. The Telluride’s electric-shaver grille and tall headlights exude confidence—but you don’t have to look any further than the TELLURIDE lettering on the nose to see Kia knows it has a hit on its hands. The clean shapes and handsome trim choices in the cabin play well off the Telluride’s low dash; we like the lighter-toned wood and leather, where the impression of a luxury car is no longer an impression—it’s the real thing, minus the pricey badge.
With Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, Bluetooth, an available 10.3-inch touchscreen interface, good to great audio, and available sunroof and leather and all-wheel drive, the 2020 Telluride knocks a slew of three-row crossovers off their pedestals. It’s particularly strong in value in the Telluride EX, for just about $40,000 and with an extensive 5-year/60,000-mile warranty.
It’s a welcome standout in a sea of homogenous SUVs. The Georgia-built 2020 Telluride is the best vehicle Kia’s ever built, full stop—and it's our Best Car To Buy 2020, in addition to being our Best Family Vehicle To Buy 2020 and our Best Crossover To Buy 2020.