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There’s no arguing that the 2020 Kia Telluride has been a phenomenal success for the South Korean automaker. The Telluride is insanely popular, and despite having been on the market for only a year, it’s already a leader among three-row SUVs.

This midsize SUV offers spacious seating, cutting-edge technologies, and a powerful engine. However, the Kia Telluride has a noticeable drawback, which may not make it perfect for every type of driver. 

Consumer Reports put the 2020 Kia Telluride at the top of its midsize SUV rankings with an overall score of 92/100. The only significant low mark the publication noted was the Telluride’s agility. Should this matter to the eye of a potential buyer? If so, should they settle for a lesser vehicle?

How important is agility?

2020 Kia Telluride driving down a dirt road
2020 Kia Telluride in action | Photo via Kia

No one expects sports car handling from a three-row SUV, but it still needs to be agile, despite its large stature. The Mazda CX-9 sets the standard for handling in its class with athletic, responsive steering. Meanwhile, the 2020 Kia Telluride can’t quite keep up.

Consumer Reports’ review of the Telluride states, “(Handling) is not the Telluride’s strong suit. There’s noticeable body lean when taking corners.”

However, the publication did note that the 2020 Kia Telluride fared well in its evasive maneuver test. Thus, the SUV’s lack of agility is not a safety liability.

Where this fault does come into play is during everyday driving situations. For example, it may be frustrating to navigate tight parking lots or parking garages. Others may need more room to merge into another lane during their morning commute or driving in busy cities. Plus, cornering 

in this large-bodied vehicle could also take some getting used to.

Not every driver will be bothered by this, and many may not even notice it at all. However, interested car shoppers should test the limits of the 2020 Kia Telluride’s agility during a test drive before putting pen to paper.

Why you should buy the 2020 Kia Telluride

You won’t find many other vehicles as well-rounded as the 2020 Kia Telluride. Sure, it lacks agility, but it more than makes up for it in different key categories.

Its standard 3.8-liter V6 engine kicks out 291 hp and 262 lb-ft of torque. It is just so-so in the fuel efficiency department, getting an EPA-estimated 23 MPG city/highway combined. But that’s simply the price you pay when you get a vehicle that can tow up to 5,000 pounds.

Meanwhile, the Telluride offers more space than Kia’s other three-row SUV, the Sorento. In fact, the Telluride has 21 cubic feet of cargo space behind its back row and 87 cubic feet of room with both rear rows of seating lowered down. That’s nearly 10 cubic feet and 14 cubic feet more than the 2020 Kia Sorento offers.

This family SUV is also big on safety, as it comes standard with just about every crucial driver-assistance system. These technologies include forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping assist, and more.

Drivers will also appreciate the Telluride’s inclusion of Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, six USB ports, and an eight-inch touchscreen. Premium amenities include a head-up display, wireless phone charging, a surround-view parking camera, rain-sensing wipers, and more.

The final say


The Kia Telluride Is Quite Literally Too Popular

This single imperfection doesn’t dethrone the 2020 Telluride as the top dog in the midsize SUV class. The 2020 Kia Tellurides lack of agility will give some shoppers pause. However, few drivers will find this overly frustrating on a daily basis.

Simply put, those looking for the ultimate family vehicle owe it to themselves to consider the 2020 Kia Telluride. Only getting behind the wheel during a test drive can help one decide if this vehicle is for them.