Does the Kia Telluride Wipe the Floor With the Lexus GX460?

If the Kia Telluride was an MMA fighter, then it would be Connor McGregor. It came into the automotive market out of nowhere and decimated not only the competition in its own class, but also those in the class above. It’s a force to be reckoned with and even luxury stalwarts like the Lexus GX460 don’t seem to stand a chance against the Telluride’s updated tech, safety, and performance specs, let alone the affordable three-row SUV’s bargain-basement price. Maybe it’s all relative, but from our point of view, the Kia Telluride seems to wiping the floor with its rivals, especially the Lexus GX460.

The Kia Telluride doesn’t need to talk any trash

Unlike the “notorious” Irishman that used to dominate the octagon, the Kia Telluride doesn’t need to rely on trash-talking to rile up its opponents. It’s a no-nonsense SUV that provides budding families with the passenger and cargo space they need in order to get where they need to go. But what’s so unexpected – or as unorthodox as McGregor’s fighting style – is the Telluride’s understated luxury that goes along with it.

For a mere $43,000, you can buy a fully loaded, all-wheel-drive Kia Telluride SX with a Nappa leather interior, second-row captain’s seats, and massive 10.25-inch infotainment display with a premium Hardon Kardon sound system. What’s more, the Telluride is fitted with a 3.8-liter V6 engine that produces 291 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque and is able to achieve 19 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway in all-wheel-drive form. It’s clear that the Kia Telluride’s value-packed performance and well-priced luxurious amenities do all the talking.

RELATED: 20,000 Miles Later and the Kia Telluride Still Is Unmatched

2021 Kia Telluride Nightfall Edition driving in the city
2021 Kia Telluride Nightfall Edition | Kia

The Lexus GX460 is a washed-up heavyweight

On the other side of the octagon, the Lexus GX460 is the old-time heavyweight that’s been around for years and has had some moderate training to keep up with younger fighters like the Telluride. Unfortunately, it relies on the same formula it always has; a hefty V8 engine, a body-on-frame construction, and some old school technology. For starters, the 8-inch infotainment display hasn’t been updated in over a decade and for a starting price of $53,000, the GX460 doesn’t even come with real leather. Although, some people might like that.

However, the Mark Levinson premium sound system with 17 speakers is great, but don’t expect other tech-savvy features like a head-up display or a 360-degree camera, those features aren’t even available on the top-trim Luxury model that retails for $65,000. And it doesn’t get much better under the hood, as the GX460 is powered by a 4.6-liter V8 that pumps out 301 horsepower and 329 lb-ft of torque, which is terrible compared to the Telluride’s stout V6. And while we can admit that the GX460 is a beast on the off-road trails, the fact that it gets 15 mpg in the city and 18 mpg on the highway overrides that fact if you’re planning on using it for everyday driving.

RELATED: The 2020 Lexus GX460 Is Opulent But Outdated

2020 Lexus GX460
2020 Lexus GX460 | Lexus

There is a clear winner here

While we haven’t weighed out every single spec between these two competitors to get the most thorough comparison possible, it’s that we don’t really need to. The Kia Telluride is not only punching above its weight class, but it dominates in a whole new territory. With enough tech features to satisfy any family nowadays, a potent V6 engine and a price that’s almost impossible to compete with, we can definitely say that the Kia Telluride legitimately wipes the floor with the Lexus GX460.