The 2021 Kia Telluride Is a Standout Against a Longtime Favorite

The 2021 Kia Telluride and the 2021 Toyota Highlander are both Consumer Reports-recommended SUVs. The Telluride has an almost perfect road test score, as well as a perfect reliability rating and a decent owner satisfaction score. The 2021 Toyota Highlander has an excellent road-test score, as well as an excellent reliability rating and a very good owner satisfaction score. So which is better, and how can you choose between them?

A silver 2021 Kia Telluride splashes across a river.
2021 Kia Telluride | Kia

The Kia Telluride’s road test score blows away the Toyota Highlander’s

Consumer Reports gives the 2021 Kia Telluride a 4/5 for its acceleration. It takes 7.2 seconds to go from 0 to 60. Its transmission scores a 5/5. Routine handling is a 3/5 and emergency handling gets a very good 4/5. The Kia Telluride’s max avoidance speed is 54 mph.

Consumer Reports gives the 2021 Toyota Highlander a 4/5 for its acceleration. It takes 7.3 seconds to go from 0 to 60. Its transmission scores a 4/5. Routine and emergency handling get a 3/5. The Toyota Highlander’s max avoidance speed is 50 mph. 

The Kia Telluride gets a perfect 5/5 for its braking. It can brake from 60 mph on dry pavement in 127 feet and 133 feet on wet pavement. The Telluride’s headlights score an excellent  4/5.

The Toyota Highlander gets a 4/5 for its braking. It can brake from 60 mph on dry pavement in 132 feet and 141 feet on wet pavement. The Highlander’s headlights score an okay 3/5.

Comfort in the 2021 Kia Telluride and 2021 Toyota Highlander is similar

As far as comfort, the 2021 Kia Telluride gets a fantastic 4/5 for its ride, as well as for noise. Front-seat comfort is very good, at a 4/5. Rear seat comfort gets a fantastic 5/5. Third row comfort is only a 1/5. Interior fit and finish get a very good 4/5. The trunk and cargo space also score a 4/5, with 47.5 cubic feet of storage space.

As far as comfort, the 2021 Toyota Highlander gets a fantastic 4/5 for its ride, as well as for noise. Front-seat comfort is very good, at a 4/5. Rear seat comfort gets a fantastic 5/5. Third row comfort is only a 1/5.

Interior fit and finish get a very good 4/5. The trunk and cargo space also score a 3/5, with 41 cubic feet of storage space.

Reliability and owner satisfaction in the Telluride is perfect

Consumer Reports gives the 2021 Kia Telluride a perfect 5/5 for its predicted reliability. The 2020 also had an excellent reliability rating, with no problem areas. The power equipment in the 2020 did get 4/5, though everything else is 5/5.

The Telluride gets a perfect predicted owner satisfaction score, at a 5/5. The driving experience gets an 86, while comfort gets a 93. Styling gets a 91, and value is a 70. 91% of people would buy the 2021 Kia Telluride again, which is more than any other SUV in its category.

Consumer Reports gives the 2021 Toyota Highlander a near-perfect 4/5 for its predicted reliability. Both the 2019 and 2020 have a 4/5 for reliability ratings. The in-car electronics in the 2020 get a 3/5. In the 2019 the fuel system and in-car electronics both get a 2/5.

The Highlander gets an excellent predicted owner satisfaction score, at a 4/5. The driving experience gets an 84, while comfort gets an 85. Styling gets a 79, and value is a 48. 78% of people would buy the 2021 Toyota Highlander again.

Although there isn’t a huge difference in the Consumer Reports ratings between the 2021 Kia Telluride and the 2021 Toyota Highlander, there is a difference. Perhaps most surprising is that Kia is offering up such a solid challenger to Toyota, which has been a longtime family favorite. If you’re in the market for a new SUV, the Kia Telluride is an excellent choice.

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