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Kia has always been known for its affordable vehicles, but has never been considered as a brand that makes “the best of the best.” In recent years, however, Kia has revolutionized itself into becoming a real competitor in multiple segments. Its latest SUV, the Kia Telluride, is earning respect among other 3-row vehicles and proving Kia can keep up with an ever-challenging, ever-changing market.

Kia's 3 row SUV, the Telluride on display at an auto show.
The 2020 Kia Telluride | Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

How Kia changed its brand with the Telluride

Kia first entered the scene in 1996, according to Aberdeen News, focusing on small and affordable cars. Challenging the base and entry-level models of American and Japanese automakers, Kia quickly became one of the country’s biggest brands.

But automakers must do more than ever in today’s market to keep consumers interested and purchasing its vehicles. Consumers today are searching for SUVs with more impressive specs, without a more expensive price tag. Automakers must revolutionize designs and lineups in order to keep up with the ever-changing competition.

And it seems Kia is here to deliver, with its “game-changing flagship SUV,” the Telluride. The Telluride is the largest vehicle Kia has ever produced and though its fresh off the line, it’s already challenging other three-row SUVs in its class. 

What the experts have to say about the Kia Telluride

When Consumer Reports took the new Kia Telluride on a test drive, the experts were surprised by the automaker’s newest design. It received a near-perfect road test score of 97 (out of 100) and a predicted owner satisfaction rating of four out of five.

Regarded as a “formidable competitor in the midsized three-row SUV segment,” Consumer Reports loved its refined driving experience, enormous cargo space, ease-of-use, and impressive features. And when it comes to value, the Telluride offers tremendous performance and standard equipment for a base price of just more than $31,000.

Consumer Reports also gave the Telluride perfect scores in categories such as transmission, braking, rear-seat comfort, driving experience/comfort, and more.

The 2020 Kia Telluride has even been picked for MotorTrend’s 2020 SUV of the Year award, claiming that Kia has made history by joining the “premier league” of SUV brands.

According to MotorTrend, Kia couldn’t have done a better job with the design, size, style, and refinement of the Telluride, creating an American-built SUV, for Americans. Even fully-loaded, the Telluride offers an incomparable value that almost “deflates its mass-market competition.”

MotorTrend experts don’t just appreciate the Telluride’s value, as all 11 experts rated it at the top of all six categories of criteria: advancement in design, engineering excellence, efficiency, safety, value, and performance of intended function.

Where the Kia Telluride stands among other third-row SUVs

The three-row SUV segment has only grown over the last few years, with more consumers seeking out passenger space and functionality. But according to Forbes, the 2020 Kia Telluride “stands out” in the “crowded 3-row class.”

Though the SUV segment is certainly oversaturated, the Telluride stands out as this year’s biggest surprise, offering luxury space and features, without the luxury sticker price. In fact, Forbes finds that the new Telluride “overshadows the competition” in value, size, and finish.

Consumer Reports ranks the 2020 Kia Telluride as its top pick for new midsized-SUVs. Out of 30 total SUVs, Telluride takes the top position, with its super-impressive overall score of 92 (out of 100). And out of those 30 SUVs, the Telluride is the only one to receive an overall score of 90 or above.

This rating is especially extraordinary, as the brand-new SUV outshines others that have been leading the pack for years, including the Subaru Outback, Toyota Highlander, Hyundai Santa Fe, and more.