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The Kia Telluride is a fantastic midsize SUV. But don’t just take our word for it; nearly every automotive publication has ranked the Kia Telluride at the top of their list of the best SUVs for 2023. The Kia Telluride has been a hit since its introduction in 2016 as a dramatically different concept car, eventually turning into the Telluride we have today that has been in production since 2019.

For 2023, the Telluride is getting a few welcome design refreshes for the interior and exterior, but there is one aspect of the 2023 Telluride that has some people scratching their heads – the sheer amount of trim levels available.

You read the title correctly; the 2023 Kia Telluride is premiering with 10 different trim levels for consumers to choose from. Oddly enough, in the modern age where simplicity and easy-to-understand consumer language is king, Kia is taking the approach of many ’90s American car companies who, at the time, would flood the market with subtle variations of their cars under different model names. Here is everything you need to know about the Kia Telluride’s 10 trim levels and some ways that Kia could easily simplify their lineup in the future.

Every 2023 Kia Telluride trim level explained

A blue 2023 Kia Telluride driving on a desert road.
2023 Kia Telluride | Kia

The 2023 Kia Telluride comes standard with a 291-hp, 3.8-liter V6 engine, but that is about the only constant between these trim levels. The 2023 Kia Telluride base model is called the LX trim and starts at around $35,890 MSRP. A step up from the LX is the S trim, which adds heated front passenger seats and wireless device charging.

Continuing is the EX trim, which adds leather ventilated seats and a hands-free liftgate. Next is the EX X-Line package that adds all-wheel drive, self-leveling suspension, a heated steering wheel, and higher ride height.

The final six trim levels of the Kia Telluride are all under the SX umbrella. The regular SX model comes standard with a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster, panoramic sunroof, surround-view camera, ambient lighting, and more. The SX X-Line adds the same all-wheel-drive X-Line equipment from before to the SX lineup.

The SX X-Pro adds 18-inch wheels, all-terrain tires, and a 120-volt outlet. The SX Prestige adds upgraded leather upholstery, a heads-up display, a rearview mirror, and rain-sensing windshield wipers. The SX Prestige X-Line adds the offroading features of the X-Line to the SX Prestige, and the SX Prestige X-Pro adds the X-Pro Package to the SX lineup.

Kia needs to simplify the Telluride

If the previous segment was confusing and tough to follow, you can thank Kia for making 10 separate trim levels of the Kia Telluride. There is no easy way to explain the intricacies of a vehicle with 10 different trim levels that are all nearly the same vehicle.

Popular vehicle brands like Tesla and popular models like the Chevrolet Corvette are known for keeping their trim level numbers low to reduce confusion and make the car buying process straightforward to understand. Nothing turns a consumer away from a car lot more than a confusing jumble of numbers and letters that require a chart to understand.

To make the Telluride easier for casual consumers to understand, the lineup should be simplified. For starters, the X-Line and X-Pro models don’t need their own trim level, those options could just be tacked on as optional equipment. The X-Line and X-Pro model names are also way too similar. At first glance, it’s easy to think these two models are the same thing.

The SX umbrella of models should also be simplified to just one model. Other than some quality-of-life features and upgraded leather, the SX and SX Prestige are essentially the same vehicle. The Kia Telluride is a great SUV, but its list of 10 separate trim levels could easily be shortened to four or five different models, and that would make the lineup much easier to understand.


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