Was the Kia Telluride SUV Too Popular?

Kia hit it out of the park when it introduced the Telluride SUV a few years back. The 2021 Kia Telluride was one of the most talked-about vehicles last year when cars were in short supply but was that also its downfall? Let’s take a look at how the 2022 Kia Telluride is doing so far, and if it is projected to be a top-selling SUV like in previous years.

The Kia Telluride SUV riding off into the sunset
The Kia Telluride SUV riding off into the sunset | Kia

Since first arriving on the market, the Telluride has impressed buyers and critics alike. It had record sales in 2020 and again in 2021, even with the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic problems. With supply chain issues and semiconductor chip shortages, Kia still managed to keep the Telluride SUV at the top of the sales charts.

Back before these “market adjustments” were a regular thing, the Telluride SUV fell victim to this scheme. If buyers could find a new Telluride, the dealerships adjusted the price to well above MSRP. Practices like this work because people are always willing to pay extra for a vehicle that someone else wants.

According to the 2021 sales numbers from Kia, the Telluride wasn’t even its biggest seller. The Kia Forte was the number one seller with 115,929 units sold, followed by the Sportage SUV with 94,601 units sold. The Telluride came in third with 93,705 units sold in 2021. The brand sold 20% more vehicles in 2021 over 2020.

The Kia Telluride offers a good value for the money

RELATED: The 2022 Ford Maverick Is Coming to Overthrow the Kia Telluride

Everyone wants a car or SUV packed with technology, safety features, and lux finishings. Not everyone wants to pay the luxury price for it, though. That’s where the Kia Telluride came in. Buyers could get all of the top-of-the-line tech and safety features packed into a reasonably priced SUV until dealerships figured that out.

It wasn’t uncommon to see an extra $10,000 or $20,000 tacked on to the SUV price. One dealership priced a 2021 Telluride SUV at $78,995 because it was the only one around, and someone obviously bought it. Eventually, that priced many people out of the Kia Telluride segment. People looked at other Kia SUVs or other brands entirely because the Telluride was popular enough that people were willing to pay a premium for it.

Looking at reviews from companies like Consumer Reports only confirms that. The 2022 Kia Telluride already has an overall score of 97 out of 100. It is ranked first on the list of midsize SUVs with three rows. The experts gave the predicted reliability and predicted owner satisfaction perfect scores of five out of five.

Nothing can stop this Kia SUV now

When looking at the safety aspect, the Telluride is one of the better-equipped vehicles on the market. It has forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, and lane-departure warning standard. It also has blind-spot warning, rear-cross traffic warning, and a rearview camera. Add in the extremely generous Kia Warranty, and you have a winner.

Now with 2022 rolling around, will the Telluride be able to retain its popularity? If the first month of the year is any indication, this Kia SUV is here to stay. The automaker only added to the tech, safety, and features for the new year. And while the automotive industry isn’t out of the semiconductor chip shortage woods yet, it is getting there.

Plus, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) rated the Kia SUV “good” in all categories. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gave the vehicle all four or five-star ratings for its crash-worthy tests. So if the Kia Telluride was too popular before, then so be it. It gained its popularity from being a fully-loaded and safe SUV that is suitable for families of all sizes. That works for us.

RELATED: Consumer Reports Says to Avoid the 2021 Ford Explorer, Buy the 2021 Kia Telluride Instead