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The Kia Telluride and Hyundai Palisade have been the darlings of the mainstream three-row SUV segment since making their debuts for the 2020 model year, racking up plenty of awards and lavish praise from automotive experts and buyers alike. On paper, the corporate cousins share many attributes, but there are more than looks that separate these practical, affordable, and refined SUVs.

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

2023 Hyundai Palisade vs. Kia Telluride: what’s the same?

Before diving into differences, it’s important to note what the Palisade and Telluride share. And the short answer is, “a lot.”

Both models ride on the same chassis with an identical 3.8-liter V6 under the hood developing 291 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. As standard, both models send this power to the front wheels (AWD is available on both) through an eight-speed automatic transmission and can haul up to 5,000 pounds.  

Pricing is nearly identical in the lower and mid-range trims, starting at about $36,000. Exterior dimensions are almost mirrored, and both models come with a long list of similar safety features, technology and driver’s aids.

Overall, Edmunds ranks the Telluride as the best midsize, three-row SUV just ahead of the Palisade. The Telluride earned an overall rating of 8.4 to the Palisade’s 8.3. The publication gave the edge to the Palisade for comfort, driving, and its overall packaging, with the Palisade earning higher marks in technology and utility.

The Kia Telluride is slightly more spacious

The exterior dimensions of the Telluride and Palisade are nearly identical, but the Kia does a slightly better job of maximizing its interior space. The Telluride offers 21 cu-ft of cargo space behind the rear row while the Palisade settles for 18. Fold down either of the rear rows, and the Palisade is just as spacious.

There’s not much separating the two models for passenger room. Still, the Telluride offers two more cubic feet of total passenger space (155.3 cu-ft in the Palisade versus 157.1 in the Kia) with slightly better figures for hip room in the front two rows and more hip and headroom in the front. But further evidence of just how close these models are overall, the Palisade offers a notable 2.7 inches of legroom in the front.

Drivetrain decides which model is more fuel efficient

Though they are motivated by the same engine, and there’s not much difference in curb weight, the Telluride is a bit friendlier at the pumps—at least as standard. The 2023 Telluride earns an EPA rating of 23 combined mpg (20 city, 26 highway) with front-wheel drive, which is one mpg better than the Palisade in all categories.

Opting for all-wheel drive evens the combined rating between the two models at 21 mpg, but the Palisade holds a slight edge with 19 city/25 highway over the 18/24 rating of the Kia.

Seating: standard synthetic leather vs. cloth

The interior features list is, again, extremely similar for the three-row SUVs, but a notable difference is the Telluride comes standard with leatherette seats while the Palisade has cloth upholstery as standard.

That distinction helps the base Telluride feel slightly more upmarket than the Palisade in their base trims. However, the Palisade is more luxe in higher trims, with the Calligraphy infringing into luxury territory. The Palisade also offers some unique features in upper trims like Hyundai’s Digital Key and Blind Spot View Monitor.

The Palisade has a slightly better warranty

Kia and Hyundai each offer attractive warranties. Both automakers deliver a five-year/60,000-mile basic warranty and 10-year/100,000-mile drivetrain warranty for the Telluride and Palisade.

However, Hyundai gains the edge with unlimited roadside assistance. Kia offers roadside assistance for up to 60,000 miles.

The Honda Pilot is another appealing midsize three-row

The Palisade and Telluride are Edmunds’ top picks for midsize three-row SUVs for 2023, but just behind them in the rankings is the equally tempting Honda Pilot.

The Pilot enters a new generation for 2023 with handsome styling, a revised powertrain, a new all-terrain TrailSport trim, larger dimensions and the user-friendliness and refinement expected of a model wearing a Honda badge. Those considering the Palisade or Telluride don’t have much to compare between the models, but they should also consider the Pilot.


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