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In the competitive market of SUVs, a few models have taken the lead and outpaced their competitors, and two of these standout SUVs are the Hyundai Santa Fe and the Ford Explorer. While the Kia Telluride has gained substantial popularity, it still falls short in comparison to the robust sales numbers of the Santa Fe and the Explorer.

In this article, we’ll take a look at the Santa Fe and Explorer and speculate about why the Telluride is trailing behind the others despite its impressive offerings and what it needs to up its sales game to match the competition.

The Kia Telluride’s sales show its popularity

The Kia Telluride has made a strong impact in the SUV market, attracting a considerable following due to its winning combination of spacious interiors, potent performance, advanced safety features, and an attractive price point of $35,990. With its impressive YTD sales of 74,834 units as reported by GoodCarBadCar, it is still trailing behind the competition.

Some nice features that the Telluride has are a surround-view monitor, most trims come with a wireless phone charger, and smart cruise control with stop-and-go is standard on every 2024 Kia Telluride. It also has a 3.8-liter V6 engine that produces 291 hp and 262 lb-ft of torque. The engine is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission and a choice of front-wheel or all-wheel drive.

The Hyundai Santa Fe has been very popular with consumers, with impressive YTD sales of 83,486 units. It offers the new Digital Key 2, which allows for easy vehicle access/startup and remote control using your smartphone. In the wake of the pandemic, it also features an available UV-C sterilization tray. Also, the Santa Fe has the largest tailgate opening in its class. 

The 2024 Hyundai Santa Fe has two powertrain options: a 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder hybrid with a six-speed automatic transmission. Official pricing is expected to be released sometime this year,  but it has an expected starting price of $45,000.

The Ford Explorer is dominating sales this year

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The Ford Explorer stands tall as one of the best-selling SUVs, leaving its competitors in the dust with a remarkable YTD sales figure of 121,629 units. Some notable features include Ford BlueCruise, the automaker’s hands-free driver assistance system, wireless charging, and automatic emergency braking. The Explorer has a 2.3-liter turbo I-4 that produces 300 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque. It also has a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 that produces 400 hp and a 10-speed automatic transmission. It has an estimated MSRP of $38,000.

The challenge for Kia Telluride

The Kia Telluride undoubtedly stands as a top-tier SUV with positive sales numbers. However, the competition from the Hyundai Santa Fe and the Ford Explorer is fierce. To enhance its popularity and compete at a higher level, the Telluride needs to focus on ramping up its sales and expanding its market reach, as well as introducing more innovative features like QuiteZone technology, which is essentially a car intercom. With the push of a button, the driver can use the hands-free audio input to talk to people in the third row through the Harman/Kardon sound system. 

However, to reach the sales prowess of the Hyundai Santa Fe and the Ford Explorer, further efforts are needed to increase its market presence and elevate its appeal in the competitive SUV market. With the right strategies and a continued commitment to excellence, the Telluride has the potential to bridge the sales gap and establish itself as a dominant force in the SUV segment.