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No vehicle is perfect, including the 2021 Kia Telluride. While the Kia Telluride seems pretty close to being flawless, it still has a few potential drawbacks to consider. But these dealbreakers may not be an issue for all buyers. 

Three possible 2021 Kia Telluride issues 

First, for a quick overview, the 2021 Kia Telluride has an MSRP of about $32,190. It provides a competitive price for its class that includes a ton of value. The Telluride keeps snagging awards too. 

The 2021 Kia Telluride parked in dirt
2021 Kia Telluride | Kia

For example, the Kia Telluride is the best SUV to buy in 2021 and just won the best SUV for Families award for the second year in a row. Critics are loving this new family hauler. However, the Kia Telluride is a little basic, with three possible dealbreakers to consider. 

1. The Kia Telluride doesn’t have the best ride quality 

The 2021 Kia Telluride comes with a 3.8-liter V6 engine that pumps out 291 hp and 262 lb-ft of torque. According to Car and Driver, even though these numbers sound strong, the Telluride lacks a sporty feeling. 

It can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in about 7.1 seconds, which is great for its size. However, it didn’t feel as responsive as its rivals, and it has a firm ride. Bumps in the pavement can be pretty jostling. 

But on a positive note, the steering is precise, and the brakes feel confident. You can add an optional self-leveling rear air suspension too. When properly equipped, the Telluride can tow up to 5,000 lb. 

The Kia Telluride isn’t the best on gas either. There is no hybrid variant in the mix yet. It gets an EPA-estimated 20 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway. The smaller Kia Sorento Hybrid can help you save on fuel. 

2. Telluride cargo space is lacking 

According to Edmunds, the Kia Telluride has less small-item storage in the cabin than some rivals. There are several options for organizing your gear, but there is much less space for personal items. 

An interior view of a 2021 Kia Telluride SUV's front seats and dashboard
2021 Kia Telluride Interior | Kia

There is room for eight passengers in the Kia Telluride unless you opt for captain’s chairs in the second row. There is plenty of space for average-sized passengers, but taller adults may feel cramped in the back seats. 

You can access up to 21.0 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats, which might be limiting during family vacations. However, with the seats folded flat, you can access up to 87.0 cubic feet of space. 

3. The Kia Telluride isn’t for off-roading 

The 2021 Kia Telluride still doesn’t have an off-roading variant that fans have been waiting for. Sure, the Telluride can tow up to 5,000 lb and has all-wheel drive to tackle snow and other slippery conditions, but it’s not for adventuring. 

A black 2021 Kia Telluride with the Nightfall edition
2021 Telluride Nightfall Edition Black

You’ll get to your campsite perfectly fine in your Telluride but don’t push it on off-roading obstacles. It does have a locking center differential, but it still struggles to go up steep inclines, according to Car Revs Daily. It also lacks underbody protection, making it difficult to maneuver confidently.


20,000 Miles Later and the Kia Telluride Still Is Unmatched