Is the 2022 Kia Telluride Perfect or Boring?

Kia is running the game, and the Kia Telluride ushered in this new era of dominance. Debuting for the 2020 model year, the Kia Telluride showed up and cleaned up on all the reviews. Consumer Reports has kept the 97/100 rating for three years in a row now. After a week with the 2022 Kia Telluride, I can’t decide whether or not the Telluride is perfect or just a boring and sensible SUV?

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The 2022 Kia Telluride SUV parked in the dirt | Kia

Another Kia Telluride review 

You may be confused about what exactly I’m getting at here, and that’s ok. Allow me to explain. 

The Kia Telluride is beloved by nearly everyone who’s driven one. After years of reading endless glowing reviews, I was excited to finally see what all the fuss was about. 

Over the last few weeks, I’ve tested the Mercedes-Benz GLE, Subaru Forester Wilderness, and the GMC Yukon AT4, so SUVs were on my mind. I took delivery of the Telluride and got in. The first impression was solid. The exterior is a bit plain but not bad-looking. I couldn’t find much to dislike, but I also had a hard time finding a design cue that I actively liked: either way, a decent-looking SUV. 

Compared to the other SUVs I’d recently driven, the Kia wore a less-exciting outfit but still had an understated note of class and composure. 

Is the 2022 Kia Telluride interior nice? 

2022 Kia Telluride recalls
2022 Kia Telluride interior | Kia

After we circled the SUV a few times, we got in. My wife – who isn’t much a car person – was immediately impressed with the interior. I think I was, too, at first. However, the longer I drove it, the more I realized that this interior was good, but it wasn’t great. 

Kia was smart in how they designed the interior. It feels pretty upscale, but where most high-end carmakers go wrong, the Telluride did not follow. Instead, the 2022 Kia Telluride interior is nice-looking and full of features but still simple. 

Sure, the seats are nice. The dash is full of screens and faux wood trim. There are plenty of features, charging ports, driving modes, etc. But the more time you spend in the Telluride, especially if you have driven a variety of upper-end vehicles, it perfectly plays the part of a luxury SUV without actually being there. Everything inside is just good enough. Nothing exceeded expectations. 

Is the Kia Telluride a good SUV? 

The 2022 Kia Telluride demonstrates its capability as a three-row SUV.
Kia Telluride | Kia

The Kia Telluride is a good SUV by every metric. This is why Consumer Reports gave it a 97/100. This is nearly unheard of. The engine is a 291-hp 3.8-liter V6 that might surprise you the first few times you put your foot in it. It isn’t fast, but it isn’t slow either. Again, the Telluride has a flawless engine that is still sitting in the middle. 

The driving profile left me with a similar feeling. At no point in my 2022 Kia Telluride review did I ever have a single strong feeling about the handling, braking, or steering. All of these aspects simply did what I expected them to do. When I turned the wheel, the SUV went where I thought it would.

When I stepped on the accelerator, it always got me where I needed to go without any surprises. The same is true for the brakes, the driving modes, stereo, sat-nav, comfort features, everything. The 2022 Kia Telluride did everything I expected it to, yet I never once felt like I liked it. Like, actively, liked it. 

Is the 2022 Kia Telluride worth the hype? 

Simply put, yes. I think the reason I can’t decide whether or not the Kia Telluride is perfect or boring is because I think it is perfect, which makes it a little boring. Character, like for people, is what makes the fun dream cars fun. 

The Jeep Wrangler is objectively a little bit of a bad vehicle. However, all of its quirks morph from a pile of annoyances to the perfect mixture of mindedness and feeling needed to enjoy the wild ride that a Jeep Wrangler gives. 

The same is true from the Telluride, but from the other side. The Telluride is a perfect SUV. Most people aren’t looking for character or flair; most folks want a reliable, safe, comfortable, and halfway cool-looking vehicle that does what they expect. That is the Telluride. There aren’t many cars like it, in that respect. So, here we are. Another year, another set of articles gushing about the Kia Telluride’s boring perfection. 

I gotta say, though, I get it. 

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