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The midsize three-row SUV class includes two of the top models for 2023. The Kia Telluride and Toyota Highlander are headliners in this class, giving us two of the most useful and popular vehicles in this SUV class.

Both models experienced significant changes for 2023, giving them a slow start, but each has recovered. Let’s see what the 2023 Kia Telluride has that the 2023 Toyota Highlander doesn’t.

What changes do we find in these midsize three-row SUVs?

2023 Kia Telluride midsize three-row SUV driving on a road
2023 Kia Telluride | Kia

Neither SUV is all-new, but each includes a series of upgrades. The 2023 Toyota Highlander has a new turbocharged base engine with better fuel economy and drivability. J.D. Power also tells us that the Highlander sports a new instrument panel and infotainment screen to give it modern qualities.

The 2023 Kia Telluride offers some upgrades to make it better as well. Although the Telluride has only been part of the automotive market since 2020, this 2023 version includes a larger infotainment screen, a bigger digital instrument cluster, a redesigned dashboard, and more interior color packages.

Kia also added two new trim levels to the 2023 Telluride. These are X-Line and X-Pro, which both receive standard AWD, giving the Telluride some off-road credibility.

The 2023 Kia Telluride has a better standard warranty than the 2023 Toyota Highlander

The Highlander sticks to traditional warranty and roadside assistance coverage with:

  • Standard warranty: 3 years/36,000 miles
  • Powertrain warranty: 5 years/60,000 miles
  • Roadside assistance: 2 years and unlimited miles
  • Scheduled maintenance: 2 years/25,000 miles

While the Telluride offers:

  • Standard warranty: 5 years/60,000 miles
  • Powertrain warranty: 10 years/100,000 miles
  • Roadside assistance: 5 years/60,000 miles
  • Scheduled maintenance: Not complimentary

The only advantage the Highlander offers in this category is the scheduled maintenance. Otherwise, the advantage goes to the Kia SUV.

Kia goes bigger than Toyota in infotainment and technology

2023 Kia Telluride Dashboard featuring two 12.3-inch screens side-by-side
2023 Kia Telluride Dashboard | Kia

We see big screens for connectivity in nearly every vehicle in the market. The 2023 Kia Telluride bests the Toyota Highlander with a standard 12.3-inch infotainment screen compared to the 8-inch unit for the Toyota SUV.

Both SUVs include 12.3-inch digital display screens and have similar connectivity functions. The Kia Connect services in the Telluride provide over-the-air updates, which we don’t see in the Highlander.

If you love listening to music during your drive, the Highlander is the better midsize three-row SUV to drive. Although the Kia Telluride includes a 10-speaker Harman Kardon premium audio system on upper trims, the Toyota sound system is better. At the XSE, Limited, and Platinum trims, you can enjoy a 1,200-watt/11-speaker JPB premium audio system in the Toyota Highlander.

The Telluride has more cargo room than the Highlander

These midsize three-row SUVs offer ample passenger space across three rows and seating configurations for seven or eight passengers. The separation of the interior room is found in the cargo space. This area is measured as follows for each SUV:

2023 Kia Telluride

  • 21.0 cu-ft behind the third row
  • 46.0 cu-ft behind the second row
  • 87.0 cu-ft behind the front row

2023 Toyota Highlander

  • 16.0 cu-ft behind the third row
  • 48.4 cu-ft behind the second row
  • 84.3 cu-ft behind the front row

Summary: What does the 2023 Kia Telluride have that the 2023 Toyota Highlander doesn’t?

The Kia SUV stands above the Toyota SUV with:

  • Two new off-road trims
  • Better warranty coverage
  • A larger infotainment screen
  • More overall cargo room

Check out this video comparison of the 2023 Kia Telluride and Toyota Highlander to learn more:

Related What Does the 2023 Toyota Highlander Have That the 2023 Kia Telluride Doesn’t

What Does the 2023 Toyota Highlander Have That the 2023 Kia Telluride Doesn’t