The 2020 Kia Telluride is notable for many reasons. This midsize crossover SUV boasts power and features that typically cost far beyond its $33,000 asking price. Kia has become the industry leader in giving drivers more bang for their buck. But though this SUV is one of the best-reviewed cars of its class, shoppers might overlook one of its most notable features.
Overview of the 2020 Kia Telluride
While many automakers drive up prices with every feature they add, Kia remains dedicated to giving drivers the best bang for their buck. No, these cars might not be the height of luxury or the absolute best models on the market. However, they provide a close alternative at a fraction of the price.
The 2020 Kia Telluride starts at $33,000, but for about $10,000 more, drivers can get the optimal package for an obscenely low price, Car and Driver notes. From its all-wheel-drive capabilities to the 12-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, 20-inch wheels, automatic high-beams, blind-spot monitoring, heated passenger’s seats, and much more, this SUV is arguably one of the best bargains on the market. And with three-row seating, it also has enough space for even large groups or families.
The Telluride’s V6 engine, along with an eight-speed transmission, harnesses 291 hp. It makes any outing — from grocery store runs to road trips — a breeze. Though Car and Driver acknowledges some faults in the SUV’s input and acceleration, the payoff in features makes up for those flaws.
On-road, off-road, and everywhere in between, the 2020 Telluride offers enough performance, power, and luxury to make the SX package’s $43,000 price seem like a typo. Kia has long reinvented itself as the affordable alternative to industry giants, but the Telluride is arguably its best work. One year on, C/D stands by everything it said in 2020, too.
How does the 2020 Kia Telluride hold up after a year?
After giving the SUV a glowing review in 2020, Car and Driver went back to look at how the car held up one year later. Giving it a 40,000-mile progress report, the publication stood by its initial review. It even doubled down on its praise while commending the Kia Telluride’s versatility and ease of use. C/D’s vehicle testing director, Dave Vanderwerp, even called it “a Range Rover for the middle class.”
That’s hard to argue with. Kia has taken a concept typically reserved for those who can afford six-figure SUVs and given it an affordable makeover. However, while reviewers have analyzed, praised, and tested seemingly everything, the shock absorbers provide a lesser-known reason to recommend the Telluride.
This SUV’s most shocking feature
Going back to Car and Driver’s 2020 Kia Telluride review, the updated rundown included one particularly noteworthy feature. According to the publication, the 2020 model’s damping ended up being one of its defining features. Cheaper cars have a reputation for feeling clunkier and less smooth in the harshest conditions. At least that was the case before the 2020 Telluride.
Noting how the new-car feel held up after over 40,000 miles on the road, Car and Driver’s reviewers seemed smitten that such a cheap vehicle could compare so easily to the Range Rover and other rivals. Though it once fell behind in transmission and the nitty-gritty of the car’s design, Kia has changed the game by catching up to the rest while keeping the cost low and staying true to its commitment to customers.
The results speak for themselves. In 2020, Car and Driver awarded the Telluride a perfect 10/10, but a year later, reviewers seem to like it even more. Maybe Kia will never be in line with high-end manufacturers. However, by building something unique, the South Korean automaker has confirmed it doesn’t have to match luxury brands to be a power player in an ever-growing SUV market.