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Who doesn’t want one of the best midsize SUVs? Everybody wants something that’s not only stylish and reliable but also safe. If you have a family, you may be especially concerned about things like safety ratings. That’s exactly why you might want to overlook the 2022 Kia Telluride if you’re in the market for a new midsize SUV. Instead, take a look at the 2022 Toyota Highlander and the 2022 Hyundai Palisade.

2022 Toyota Highlander Hybrid
2022 Toyota Highlander Hybrid

Which of the best midsize SUVs is the safest?

Consumer Reports ranks the 2022 Kia Telluride as the number 1 midsize SUV, followed by the 2022 Toyota Highlander and the 2022 Hyundai Palisade, but does that mean that the Telluride is the safest? Actually, no, or at least according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). While the Telluride does have a pretty high safety rating from the IIHS, it only receives the non-profit organization’s second-highest award, the Top Safety Pick.

On the other hand, both the 2022 Toyota Highlander and the 2022 Hyundai Palisade received the IIHS’ very top award, the Top Safety Pick+ award. Top Safety+ Pick winners must get good ratings in all of the IIHS’ crash test categories. These include driver-side small overlap front, passenger-side small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraint tests. 

What’s wrong with the 2022 Kia Telluride?

Even though the Telluride is one of the best midsize SUVs, it has a flaw. It’s not so much that there’s something wrong with the Kia Telluride as that there’s something sort of lacking. You see, the major difference between the IIHS’ Top Safety Pick and Top Safety Pick+ awards is headlights. To be a Top Safety Pick+ award, a vehicle has to have acceptable or good headlights standard. On the other hand, the Top Safety Pick award winners just have to have acceptable or good headlights available.

The 2022 Kia Telluride has acceptable headlights available, though headlights on some trim levels are poor. That means that if you’re unaware of the difference in headlight ratings from trim level to trim level, you could end up with headlights that don’t do a whole lot.

Good headlights are incredibly important

You might be wondering why this is a big deal. After all, so many cars have average or worse headlights. If you’ve ever driven a vehicle with the kind of headlights that make you turn them off and back on just to make them working, you may already have a sense of why strong, effective headlights are so important.

About half of deadly car accidents happen in the dark. People are three times more likely to die in a car accident at night than they are during the day. Having excellent headlights can help reduce that risk as not only can you see the road in front of you more easily, but other vehicles will be able to see you more easily as well.

While the 2022 Kia Telluride is certainly not a bad vehicle – it’s pretty great in most ways – poor headlights are definitely something you want to avoid. If you’re looking for the best and safest SUV, you may want to bypass the Telluride and opt for the 2022 Toyota Highlander or 2022 Hyundai Palisade instead. If you still want the Telluride, make sure you get the best headlights you can, and be sure to check the IIHS website to be certain of what your trim level’s headlight ratings are.


3 Great Alternatives to the 2022 Kia Telluride