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The Kia Telluride is considered the best midsize SUV by several popular automotive publications and experts. The value-oriented Telluride propelled itself to the top of ranking lists in recent years. Consumers love the Kia Telluride because it has plenty of great standard features for an affordable price. The question is, is the Telluride really the best midsize SUV? Here’s why some consumers prefer alternatives.

The Kia Telluride doesn’t have a long history of reliability like competitors

A blue 2023 Kia Telluride midsize SUV is parked.
The 2023 Kia Telluride | Kia

The Kia Telluride three-row midsize SUV nameplate first hit the scene in 2019 as a 2020 model. Just three years later, it’s at the top of its class. It may not be the best-selling midsize SUV, but the Telluride has a huge following. Critics and reviewers can’t seem to get enough of it.

The midsize SUV may be building its reputation, but some consumers see its lack of experience as a con. Models like the Toyota Highlander have long histories of reliability. The Highlander may be pricey compared to some of its larger rivals, but it is known for its longevity. A new Toyota Highlander can easily last for 17 to 20 years when it’s maintained properly.

Being the new kid on the block means building a reputation from scratch. The Telluride is making a name for itself in the industry, but there are more seasoned midsize SUVs that have earned the trust of drivers over decades.

The Telluride can be hard to get

A blue 2023 Kia Telluride midsize SUV.
The 2023 Kia Telluride | Kia

Popularity can be a gift and a curse. The Kia Telluride’s popularity is positive for Kia, but is it a good thing for all the consumers that want one?

Reports of huge Kia Telluride dealership markups have spread. The midsize SUV’s popularity has made it scarce. Does Kia have the supply to meet the demand for the Telluride? It has become a hard vehicle to get for some consumers, and this contributes to its legacy. After all, what good is being the “best” if a large number of consumers that want a Telluride can’t get one?

If Kia wants the Telluride to hold on to the top spot in its segment, it’ll have to ensure that there are an adequate number of midsize SUVs to go around. If the South Korean automaker can’t meet the demand for the popular vehicle, consumers could begin to lose interest because of its lack of availability. Some drivers will avoid Kia’s midsize SUV altogether because they have the preconceived notion that one isn’t readily available for a fair price.

There are rivals with better gas mileage

A red 2023 Kia Sorento Hybrid midsize hybrid SUV.
The 2023 Kia Sorento Hybrid | Kia

The 2023 Kia Telluride gets 20 miles per gallon in the city and 26 miles per gallon on the highway. It holds 18.8 gallons of fuel. The midsize SUV can travel for around 432 miles on a full tank of gas. Car and Driver notes that it “could be more fuel efficient.”

Today, there are plenty of hybrid and plug-in hybrid midsize SUV options on the market with stellar fuel economy. Models like the Kia Sorento Hybrid are changing the game for midsize SUVs.

The Sorento Hybrid gets an incredible 39 miles per gallon in the city and 35 miles per gallon on the highway. The Kia Telluride is a great midsize SUV, but it isn’t everyone’s first choice.


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