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The Kia Telluride is one of the most popular midsize SUVs on the market. The Telluride took the world by storm when it debuted just a few years ago. Kia has only produced three Telluride model years thus far, and the nameplate has already earned plenty of awards. Two Japanese midsize SUVs will soon challenge its dominance.

Toyota has grand plans for its new midsize SUV

It’s no secret that Toyota produces some of the best SUV models on the market. From legendary capable SUVs like the Land Cruiser to best-selling models like the RAV4, the brand knows what drivers want from SUVs. It produces the Highlander and 4Runner for the midsize SUV segment. Neither model is a great matchup for the three-row Telluride.

Rival automakers are finally developing nameplates to combat the popular South Korean Kia Telluride and its cousin, the Hyundai Palisade. Toyota decided that the brand would improve upon a tried and true design instead of reinventing the wheel.

The Toyota Highlander is regarded as one of the best options in its segment because of its reliability and longevity. The midsize SUV is capable of lasting for over 200,000 miles. That works out to over 14 years of ownership based on the average annual driving distance in America. The average new vehicle ownership period is just 8.4 years.

Highlander drivers get their money’s worth over long ownership periods. The Grand Highlander is a supersized Highlander equipped with some new tricks. The new three-row midsize SUV is 6.5 inches longer than the Highlander and has much more cabin and cargo space. According to Toyota, the Grand Highlander starts at $43,070 and comes in three configurations. Toyota’s midsize three-row SUV may be more expensive than the Telluride, but it’s positioned to give the South Korean SUV a run for its money.

The Mazda CX-90 is coming to shake up its segment

Mazda, similarly to Toyota, sees the need to develop a competitive midsize three-row SUV option for consumers. The Mazda CX-90 is larger than the CX-9. It also has better powertrain options, including a plug-in hybrid option.

Like the CX-50, the Mazda CX-90 is bigger and bolder than its predecessor. The Japanese automaker is creating a sporty midsize SUV that can compete with the Telluride.

The 2024 Mazda CX-90 starts at $39,595 and comes in eight configurations. The midsize three-row SUV comes standard with all-wheel drive as well as sport and off-road modes.

Kia’s midsize SUV faces serious competition

A blue 2024 Toyota Grand Highlander midsize three-row SUV is towing a jet ski.
The 2024 Toyota Grand Highlander | Toyota

Kia may have dominated the midsize SUV segment in terms of popularity in the last few years, but it’s in for a rude awakening. Toyota’s new three-row SUV is already getting plenty of attention.

The Mazda CX-90 made a huge splash with its introduction. Kia’s midsize SUV remains one of the best options for the money because of its many standard features. That being said, the brand will have some serious competition in 2024.

Plenty of new midsize three-row SUV options will be available for consumers next year. Will Kia remain on top, or will the Telluride be dethroned by one of these two exciting new nameplates?


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