2020 Kia Telluride vs. Volkswagen Atlas: The Long-Term Winner Is Clear

If you’re in the market looking for a midsize SUV with third-row seating, you’ve probably noticed a decent amount of choices out there. Some of them, like the Volkswagen Atlas and the Kia Telluride, offer exceptional features for an affordable price. 

But which one should you choose? Which one offers the better bang for the buck, so to speak? AutoTrader looked at both SUVs and shared their thoughts on what each one has to offer. Let’s see which one they thought was the better value in the long run. 

What does the Volkswagen Atlas offer?

The Volkswagen Atlas offers plenty of head, leg, and elbow room for all seven passengers. Even the third-row seat easily accommodates two full-size adults. It has excellent handling and ride for a midsize SUV and comes with lots of storage and cup holders. 

Powering it up is a 2.0-liter Inline four-cylinder motor mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. It can generate 235 hp with 258 lb-ft of torque. You can also choose the optional 3.6-liter V6 engine on the SE w/Technology R-Line trim and up. This motor produces 276 hp. 

The Atlas has front-wheel drive for the base and lower-end trims. All-wheel drive is available, but only for the V6 motor, that’s available on the higher-end trims. The EPA estimate is 26 mpg on the highway and 24 mpg combined. 

AutoTrader found it lacking a hybrid option, and the standard engine isn’t quite up to par as the motor you can get with a more expensive trim level. The base price falls in the $31,800 range. 

What does the Kia Telluride bring to this segment?

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The biggest strength of the Kia Telluride is its comfort. It also has plenty of impressive technology and exterior design. Another great feature that you get from the Telluride is Kia’s top-of-the-line warranty package. With a 5-year/60,000-mile warranty, it outshines all of its competitors. 

This eight-passenger SUV only has one engine choice across the line, but it’s a pretty powerful one. You can find a 3.8-liter V6 engine that generates 291 hp and 262 lb-ft of torque. Paired with it is an eight-speed automatic transmission. Fuel economy isn’t all that great, however. The Telluride gets 26 mpg on the highway, and only 23 mpg combined. 

Kia loaded this SUV with plenty of safety tech as standard equipment. The third-row seat isn’t quite as roomy as others in the class, plus it also doesn’t offer any entertainment for rear passengers. Some of the interior isn’t as impressive as you’d hope, especially the glove box, which AutoTrader called an “afterthought.” 

The Kia Telluride starts at $32,735 for the base trim. The higher trims offer tons of useful features, but they could raise the price of the vehicle quite quickly. 

Which one is the winner?

The Volkswagen Atlas offers more room for all passengers and a large amount of cargo space, which would draw in families needing a lot of storage. Base and other lower-end trims have the less powerful motor, but they’re more affordable. The higher trims offer more power, but it will come at a cost. 

The Kia Telluride isn’t as roomy as the Atlas, nor does it have as much cargo space for storage. But it does come with a warranty that offers one year and 10,000 miles more than what you get with the Volkswagen Atlas. 

All in all, the Kia Telluride offers more standard safety and driver’s assistance features, and that, coupled with the exceptional warranty, makes it a better value in the long run. 

Both the Volkswagen Atlas and the Kia Telluride are great SUVs. But if you’re looking for long-term value and more useful features, the Telluride wins.