The 2021 Kia Telluride Is the Best Brand-New SUV According to Consumer Reports

Despite some criticism of its fuel economy, the 2021 Kia Telluride is still one of the best midsize SUVs on the market. According to Consumer Reports, the Telluride has its owners ready to come back for more. What is it about a fuel-hungry SUV that buyers just can’t get enough of?

The SUV wows Consumer Reports across multiple categories

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Consumer Reports is singing Kia’s praises for its 2021 Telluride. The midsize SUV smashed its competition in owner satisfaction, comfort, performance, and driver experience. They named Telluride the best overall car of 2021 in a recent report, and it’s easy to see why.

The Telluride did not impress with its emissions ratings. It earned a paltry 4 and 5 out of 10 for Greenhouse gas emissions and smog. Kia also received average marks in fuel economy and pricing but still scored an overall rating of 97.

Simple style meets powerful performance in the Kia Telluride

The lauded Kia Telluride isn’t making splashes with its understated design. Function over form takes precedent both inside and out. A 291 horsepower V6 engine delivers punchy acceleration going 0 to 60 mph in just over seven seconds.

Consumer Reports gave the transmission its highest rating based on the smoothness of shifting and responsiveness. This SUV is a pleasure to drive but won’t completely break the bank with fuel costs. Kia’s Telluride reaches an estimated combined fuel economy of 21 miles per gallon. 

Consumer Reports rates the Telluride one of the most comfortable SUVs on the market

A black 2021 Kia Telluride parked in front of trees
A 2021 Kia Telluride parked outdoors | Kia media

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Five inches of headroom coupled with the vehicle’s interior design give it a high level of accessibility and visibility. There’s no cramped feeling here, even for the tallest of drivers.

The third row received the lowest comfort rating, likely due to its limited legroom compared to the first and second rows. Access to this seat also received a low score. Both of these comfort issues are irrelevant if passenger occupancy does not require this seat. 

Owners are thrilled with the Telluride 

Data gathered by Consumer Reports shows that a staggering 91% of Telluride owners said they would purchase the SUV again. 93% of owners reported being satisfied with the comfort of the ride and seating. Cited as another point of satisfaction was low cabin sound.

Fewer owners felt the price of the vehicle represented its quality. 70% still reported feeling the price was fair. 91% of Telluride owners say they’re happy with the appearance and styling of their SUV. The overall driving experience hit the mark with 86% of buyers. 

How does it compare to other mid-size SUVs?

Several midsize SUVs give the Telluride some severe competition. The Hyundai Palisade features the same V6 engine and chassis as the Telluride. Where they match in performance, they differ in design.

Hyundai gave the Palisade a more refined interior, changing many of the finishes and materials. The Palisade exterior is a bit more flashy than the more conservative Telluride, giving it a sporty appearance.

Chevy offers another alternative with slightly more horsepower with the 2021 Traverse. The Traverse also measures two additional cubic feet of cargo space over Kia’s Telluride.

Meanwhile, Mazda’s CX-9 makes an agile and sporty competitor to the reserved Kia. Kia still beats the competition and outshines the average SUV.