How Does the Kia Telluride Hold Up Against a Real Luxury Brand?

The 2020 Kia Telluride is turning heads with its appealing design, tech options, and standard features. The three-row Telluride combines luxurious comfort with plenty of passenger space at an affordable price.

Luxury automakers have been meeting the needs of the luxury SUV segment for quite some time and are well aware of what consumers are looking for in a high-end vehicle. Where they are falling short is in keeping up with the pace of new and emerging products such as the Telluride. The 2020 Infiniti QX60 is well-regarded but starting to show signs of age and in need of some updates.

As luxury brands start to feel the heat from new competitors, Kia hit it out of the park with the all-new Telluride. But, can the lower-priced SUV hold its own against the reputation of more well-known brands such as Infiniti?

Kia has improved its brand image

2020 Kia Telluride
2020 Kia Telluride | Kia

The Korean automaker began manufacturing vehicles for the United States in 1992, focusing on the Pacific Northwest region until the brand started gaining traction. Several years later, dealerships around the country began offering the Kia Sportage.

In 1997, Kia Motor Corporation declared bankruptcy, and Hyundai Motors assumed 51 percent of the company, outbidding Ford Motor Company. By 2006, Kia was back on its feet with improved design elements and a new goal in mind. The automaker broke ground on a billion-dollar manufacturing plant in Georgia. To date, the facility has produced more than 3 million units that include the Kia Sorento, Optima, and Telluride.

Ten years later, J.D. Power and Associates ranked Kia as No. 1 in model reliability in the United States. Headquartered in Irvine, California, Kia Motors America (KMA) now offers a complete line of vehicles that includes the luxury Telluride SUV. More than 750 dealers nationwide carry the Kia product.

KMA continues to experience an increased market share in the U.S. From its humble beginnings with the poorly-rated, low-selling Sportage, the brand has improved its image tenfold with nicer looking vehicles. The 2020 Telluride is bringing long-awaited recognition to the Korean brand. MotorTrend and Edmunds agree that it is the best SUV of the year.

How the Kia Telluride stands up against the competition

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The starting price of $32,735 for the 2020 Kia Telluride is considerably lower than a luxury SUV such as the 2020 Infiniti QX60 that has an MSRP of $44,350. Despite the lower cost, the Telluride still delivers with its upscale design features and the use of quality materials that gives it a luxurious feel.

According to Kelley Blue Book, the new Kia Telluride “is a good bet for a reliable, comfortable, and spacious 8-passenger SUV.” The roomy three-row vehicle offers standard driver and safety assists along with eye-catching appeal. The quiet cabin offers an enjoyable ride for the driver and all other occupants.

The 2020 Kia Telluride received a Kelley Blue Book expert rating of 4.8 out of 5 with a consumer rating of 4.4 out of 5. In comparison, the more expensive luxury brand Infiniti QX60 received an expert rating of 4.2 and a 4.0 consumer rating. The auto reviewer selected the Telluride as its choice for the Best Buy and Best New Model for 2020.

Is the Kia Telluride a good investment?

The 2020 Kia Telluride offers standard front-wheel drive and is available in AWD to handle all kinds of driving conditions. Packed with safety features and modern conveniences, the all-new Telluride delivers a high-end experience at an affordable price tag. Some up-to-date features that come standard on the Telluride, like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, are not available on the QX60.

Impressed by the comfort of the Telluride, Kelley Blue Book stated that the Made in America automobile is “a ride so comfortable you’ll forget you are in an SUV.”