Best Road Trip Cars: Kia Telluride

The Kia Telluride came out swinging in 2020. This completely brand-new SUV has dominated the market with its bevy of tech features and exceptional comfort. The Telluride is a remarkable vehicle that’s ideal for many driving situations with Consumer Reports most recently naming it the best three-row midsized SUV for road trips. 

How the Telluride performs 

The Telluride is available in a variety of different trims but each one is powered by the same  3.8-liter V6 engine that produces a 291 horsepower and is linked to an eight-speed automatic transmission.  Front-wheel drive models feature four different driving modes which include Eco, Sport, Comfort, and Smart. Models equipped with all-wheel-drive get additional Snow and Lock modes. 

Overall, the Telluride is quick to accelerate and offers smooth handling. It gets a combined 21 mpg which is about average for its class. Perhaps the Telluride’s only real weakness is that it’s not as agile as we would have hoped. On the plus side though, the Telluride can haul up to 5,000 pounds. 

The Telluride’s super quiet cabin

The 2020 Kia Telluride's grey cloth interior
2020 Kia Telluride interior | Kia

Road noise is a non-factor in the Telluride which makes it an even better option for long road trips. It’s so quiet on the inside that critics have gone as far to say that this sizable SUV is quite serene. The Telluride can seat up to eight people in its spacious cabin. No matter which trim level you pick, you’ll find that this SUV delivers on value and luxury.

The Telluride comes standard with desirable in-car electronics such as an 8-inch touchscreen display, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and Bluetooth connectivity. Available upgrades include a 10-speaker Harman Kardon stereo system, 10.25-inch touchscreen, navigation, and wireless charging. The Telluride’s infotainment system is very easy to use but the model is more well known for its advanced safety equipment. 

Oh so many safety features 

Safety is an extremely important aspect of the Telluride. Each trim level comes with a long list of desirable advanced safety features. These include pre-collision warning and braking, pedestrian detection, and lane keep assist.

The most notable standard safety feature though is the safe exit assist.  With safe exit assist, the Telluride can stop a passenger from exiting the vehicle when a potential hazard is approaching. There are additional safety features available too such as highway driving assist, blind-sport monitoring, and a 360-degree camera system.

The Telluride’s full-suite of advanced technology features helped it earn a five-star crash-test score from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It was also named as a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. 

What about reliability?

It might seem scary to buy a car in its first model year but the Telluride has earned good predicted reliability scores overall.  Consumer Reports gave the Telluride a near-perfect reliability score but you should know that the SUV has been recalled once by the NHTSA. The recall relates to the vehicle’s seat belt security for child car seats in the back rows. The recall action was initiated in August 2019.