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Kia began to move into the SUV segment in 1993. The first two Kia SUVs that were introduced to the U.S. market were the Sephia and Sportage 4×4. Since then, the company has added many more models to its SUV lineup. Let’s take a look at the lowest and highest-scoring Kia SUVs according to Edmunds.

A row of 2023 Kia Tellurides, the third-row SUV that's best for you parked outdoors.
2023 Kia Telluride | Kia Media

The highest-scoring 2023 Kia SUV

The highest-scoring 2023 Kia SUV on Edmunds’ list is the Telluride, earning an 8.4 out of 10. As soon as the three-row Telluride was unveiled for 2020, it swiftly rose to the top of Kia’s bestseller list.

The NHTSA gave the 2022 Telluride a five-star overall safety rating, and the IIHS named it a Top Safety Pick.
Since it’s on the same platform as the 2022 model, the 2023 model is anticipated to receive comparable ratings from both the NHTSA and IIHS.

The Telluride’s 3.8-liter naturally aspirated V-6 is back for 2023. Additionally, it is still rated at 291 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque, along with the eight-speed automatic transmission. The starting MSRP is $37,255 for the LX trim.

The lowest-scoring 2023 Kia SUV

The lowest-scoring Kia according to Edmunds was the Seltos, with a score of 7.6 out of 10. This means the lowest-scoring Kia SUV was only .8 points away from the highest-scoring model. Viewed in this context, it is a testament to the consistency Kia is showing across its SUV lineup.

Similar in styling to the Telluride, the Seltos is sized somewhere between the Soul and Sportage. The NHTSA gave the 2023 Seltos models with FWD and AWD four out of five stars in terms of overall crashworthiness.

However, that isn’t particularly special because many of its rivals, such as the Subaru Crosstrek, achieved an overall five-star rating. However, the IIHS named it a 2022 Top Safety Pick. The Seltos starts at $24,665.

What Edmunds liked and didn’t like about the Telluride

Edmunds listed some pros for the Telluride, highlighting its plush ride and well-shaped seats offering. They loved its spacious interior for large families, wealth tandard tech and safety features, and driver assistance features that work well and were are easy to use. Edmunds stated, “The Kia Telluride is quite simply the best three-row SUV you can buy today.”

However, they didn’t like that there was less small-item storage in the cabin than some competitors. They stated that although there are many possibilities for arranging small belongings, there is significantly less room than in other competitors for small personal items. They also didn’t like the slightly jerky acceleration under full acceleration.

What Edmunds liked and didn’t like about the Seltos

Edmunds liked that the Seltos has plenty of cargo space, upscale design and materials on the interior, and the exterior styling and paint choices. They were not so impressed with the comfort of the seats. They state that over long distances, the Seltos could use upgraded seats and suspension.

Overall, Edmunds says, “The Seltos is worth a look along with other popular models such as the Honda HR-V, Hyundai Kona and Mazda CX-30.” 

For both models, Edmunds was impressed with the warranty, which is five-year/60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper and 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain coverage. 

Kia has come a long way in the last few years, infusing some style and sophistication into its once value-based lineup. For years, Kia’s primary concern was producing a reliable car at an affordable price. These days, it is forced to deliver style and function to keep itself competitive in the automotive market.


Only 1 Kia Model Has Annual Maintenance Costs Under $300