Is the Kia Telluride’s Lack of Power Its Biggest Weakness?

The 2020 Kia Telluride is a tough-looking vehicle with a brawny stance and a large front end, and it’s the owner of MotorTrend’s SUV of the Year award. Does all that add up to a lot of power under the hood? One reviewer says not so much. However, that’s about the only bad thing there is to say about the capable Kia Telluride.

The Kia Telluride has plenty of good points

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This could be the highest quality vehicle ever built by Kia. Inside, the materials have a sophisticated look, the instruments are logically placed, and there is a distinct luxury feel inside the 2020 Kia Telluride. It’s a vehicle that really works for today’s families with three rows of seating and a reasonable price tag.

Second-row captains chairs feature class-leading legroom, and there’s even available heated and ventilated rear seats for the passengers. Get cargo and passengers in and out quickly with one-touch folding and sliding second-row seats. 

The 2020 Telluride has available all-wheel drive to keep you secure on all kinds of terrain and road conditions. The Telluride adjusts to various situations with different available modes like Snow Mode. For work or play, this capable SUV also has standard Class III towing capacity and can haul up to 5,000 pounds. 

The Telluride’s engine is just adequate

Even though this is only the second year the Kia Telluride has been on the market, the engine may seem vaguely familiar. It’s the same engine that’s in the Telluride’s cousin, the Hyundai Palisade. It’s a 3.8-liter V6 that will get you around, but the 291 hp doesn’t pack a lot of punch. A recent review found the Kia Telluride’s engine to be hard on the ears and not very exciting.

The reviewer conceded that the midsize SUV class with three rows of seating isn’t known for it’s race-track like acceleration or precision handling. So with that in mind, the Kia Telluride’s lack of power is a weakness shared with a lot of the other SUV’s in its class.

Engines with closer to 400 hp aren’t hard to find in SUVs if you’re looking at more high-end names like Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, and Bentley; although, you won’t find third-row seats in most of those. The most powerful SUV out there that the Telluride will never compete with is the 2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, piling on 707 hp from its supercharged 6.2-liter Hemi V8.

Power in the technology

The real power of the 2020 Kia Telluride lies in the all-out technology that fills the vehicle. How about a system that will amplify your voice to your rear passengers via the 10-inch touchscreen? These are the kind of technology details families appreciate. Another highlight is available wireless charging and USB ports. It has a voice command navigation system with real-time traffic, plus full smartphone integration with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Safety technology in the Kia Telluride is cutting edge as well. Kia gives drivers assistance with blind-spot collision technology, a standard back-up camera, and an available surround-view monitor that helps with parking.

On the highway, available highway driving assist keeps track of the drivers around you and maintains a safe distance every time you’re on the road, and exit assist keeps rear passengers safer. There’s also standard emergency braking technology. 

While the Kia Telluride might not have exhilarating power under the hood, it does have plenty of room, comfort, and features that SUV lovers are looking for. The Telluride’s engine power is more than enough for most people to get everything they need out of the vehicle.