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The Toyota Highlander is one of the most well-respected SUVs on the market. However, the Kia Telluride has gained a strong reputation over the last several years. As such, there are strong reasons why the 2021 Kia Telluride might be better than a used Toyota Highlander of the same model year. The SUVs are similar, but the Telluride is more modern in many ways.

More modern interior

2021 Kia Telluride interior
2021 Kia Telluride | Kia

One area that might make the 2021 Kia Telluride better than the used Toyota Highlander is the interior. Though they offer roughly the same amount of space, the used Kia Telluride has a much more stylish and modern interior. It’s undeniably upscale and comes packed with features, such as ample storage around the vehicle. In addition, the 2021 Kia Telluride has more cargo space.

Regarding technology, the 2021 Telluride continues its modern and upscale aesthetic. Like the Highlander 2021, it comes standard with an 8.0-inch touchscreen. However, other trims come with a 10.3-inch option. While not as big as the upgraded screen on the Toyota SUV, it’s more user-friendly. Though it’s too late to configure the 2021 Kia Telluride, some used options will have a 10-speaker Harman Kardon car sound system.

The 2021 Toyota Highlander is only marginally better in performance

2021 Toyota Highlander in gray
2021 Toyota Highlander | Toyota

There is no denying that this used Toyota Highlander offers slightly better performance. However, the difference isn’t enough to pick it over the used Kia Telluride. According to Edmunds, the 2021 Kia Telluride has a 3.8-liter V6 engine with a maximum output of 291 hp. The Highlander has a similar engine capacity with a maximum output of 295 hp. Both can be either front or all-wheel drive.

Regarding speed, the Toyota Highlander accelerates from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 6 to 6.4 seconds. The Kia option does so in 6.6 to 6.9 seconds. Again, this is a marginal difference and isn’t enough to call the Highlander better. Most people who buy this type of vehicle won’t feel the difference on the road. It should also be noted that the used Kia Telluride has better steering and handling than the Toyota SUV.

The Kia Telluride is more trendy 

2021 Kia Telluride in dirt
2021 Kia Telluride | Kia

Of course, trends don’t always determine the better vehicle. However, the Kia Telluride’s reputation has grown significantly over the last few years. Though Toyota will likely never be replaced as a top automaker, the Kia Telluride is seen as the fresher model with similar capabilities. This makes the Kia an attractive choice for many buyers.

Buyers want something new, and while the Highlander has been refreshed over the years, it still has what many call a boring Toyota interior. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that the Kia Telluride is a little cheaper than the Toyota SUV, which would also be true for used models. Both SUVs are great for families, but the Kia Telluride has a more youthful and modern design.

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