Consumer Reports: Only One SUV Wins Top Ratings 2 Consecutive Years

It’s hard enough getting enough top ratings in one or two Consumer Reports categories. Winning the Best Midsize SUV two years running says a lot about the 2022 Kia Telluride. Its top rating in 2021, with 98 out of 100 points, was no fluke. And again in 2022, it picked up the coveted Best Three-Row Midsize SUV honors. Here’s why.

How was the Kia Telluride rated?

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

Consumer Reports goes through a range of tests, giving points in each category. One of its main inputs comes from Telluride owners themselves. Owners are given a questionnaire that, once tabulated, gets a satisfaction rating. Consumer Reports can also get on-the-ground assessments of what’s right, and wrong, about the makes and models surveyed owners have. 

There are also the tests you would expect; road testing, powertrain, cabin noise, safety features, etc. Last year the Telluride scored 98 out of 100 points overall. This year it was one shy of that, scoring 97 points for its 2022 model.

What else was rated with the Telluride?

A gray Kia Telluride is on display.
Kia Telluride is on display | Getty

Competing with models like the Chevy Traverse, Honda Pilot, and Subaru Ascent, it was found to offer refined driving, intuitive and convenient controls, lots of features, and plenty of cargo room. Consumer Reports also found that compared to the competition, the 2022 Telluride offered more for less money. 

The V6 engine and eight-speed automatic handled sudden acceleration well with plenty of grunt left. And it did it smoothly as well as effortlessly. It felt that the suspension was also refined, with little cabin noise. If it was lacking in this metric, it was because the handling was only fair. The body had a tendency to roll a bit in turns. But it did well in avoidance maneuvers. 

Inside, it found a lot to like. Controls for seat functions, and the seats themselves, got hit ratings. The infotainment system was user-friendly, which can’t be said for all 2022 models Consumer Reports tests. And the system responded to inputs quickly, without a lag. Both the third and second seats can be folded away, with the second seat needing only the push of a button to retract. 

What safety features come standard?

Car Seat in the Kia Telluride
Car Seat Installed in Kia Telluride | Cars.com

The safety features on vehicles today are expanding, and the Telluride has a gang of them. Forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian protection, blind-spot warning, rear-seat occupant alert, and a function that when engaged, the rear doors can’t open if a car approaches from the rear. These come standard in all Telluride SUVs

If there is a downside to its safety features, it has to do with the lane departure warning system. When activated, there are annoying warning beeps and the driver’s seat vibrates excessively. As with some vehicles, you can’t choose one or the other. There is some concern that it is annoying enough that drivers might shut it off entirely. 

What’s new for 2022?

2022 Kia Telluride got Consumer Reports highest score
2022 Kia Telluride | Kia

New for 2022 is the 10.25-inch screen becoming standard. Towing capacity remains at 5,000 lbs. A button on the console can lock the front and rear differentials so that both front and rear wheels rotate at the same rate. This works well in snow or rain conditions. 

There are four trim levels that are LX, S, EX, and top-of-the-line SX. With so many standard features on the Telluride, the LX may be the best choice. Yes, those 20-inch wheels and 64-color mood lamps are nice, you have to step up to many options to get them. The starting price for an LX is right at $33,000. But it can quickly get to almost $45,000. 

That $12,000 difference can buy you and your family a Grand Canyon road trip, with plenty left over. But hey, that 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat does look comfortable. 

RELATED: Are the 2022 Kia Sorento and Telluride the Same SUV?