The 2021 Kia Telluride Isn’t the Best SUV With 3 Rows

The 2021 Kia Telluride is an acclaimed family SUV. But is the Telluride the best SUV with three rows? U.S. News and World Report says no. It’s just one of the best crossover SUVs with third-row seats.

A silver 2021 Kia Telluride in the desert
2021 Kia Telluride | Kia

There’s no denying that the popular Telluride is a great SUV. The 2021 Kia Telluride has already won several awards, such as the Car and Driver 10Best Award. However, when it comes to the best SUV with three-rows, U.S. News bestowed first place upon a different Kia SUV.

What’s the best SUV with three rows?

According to U.S. News and World Report, it’s the 2021 Kia Sorento. In fact, both the 2020 Ford Expedition and the 2021 Hyundai Palisade are listed above the 2021 Kia Telluride on the U.S. News ranking. The 2021 Kia Sorento also won the Best Large SUV of the Year award at the 2021 What Car? Car of the Year Awards.

The 2021 Kia Sorento X-Line parked in front of mountains
2021 Kia Sorento X-Line | Kia

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So it’s not just the folks at U.S. News that think the Sorento rules the roost over its Telluride sibling. But what makes this crossover SUV with third-row seats so great? So far, its earned high praise for its fuel economy––the Sorento now offers a hybrid powertrain while the 2021 Kia Telluride does not. In addition, critics like the Sorento’s driving dynamics and wide range of options that allow for some very upscale interior materials in top trims.

The Kia Telluride is certainly a great SUV, but it may not actually be the best three-row SUV out there. Especially not when Kia’s new Sorento is bringing the heat with its new redesign. Starting at $29,390 the 2021 Kia Sorento brings a ton of value into play. The Telluride is highly competitive, but it starts at $32,190.

The 2020 Ford Expedition almost beats the Telluride too

The 2020 Ford Expedition sits just above the Kia Telluride in the No. 2 spot. However, it didn’t quite beat the new Kia SUV. They actually tied for second place––along with the Telluride’s corporate cousin, the 2021 Hyundai Palisade. The Expedition isn’t a crossover SUV, but it is one of the best SUVs with three rows.

Ford Expedition towing a camper trailer
2020 Ford Expedition | Ford

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The 2020 Ford Expedition is a wonderful large SUV for families. It offers three rows of seating and brawny hauling and towing abilities. That said, it doesn’t compare the the 2021 Hyundai Palisade, the 2021 Kia Telluride or the 2021 Kia Sorento in terms of value. The 2020 Ford Expedition starts much higher than the others around $50 grand.

The 2021 Hyundai Palisade is a worthy opponent built on the same platform as its Kia cousin

U.S. News calls the Telluride “sleek,” while the Palisade earns the term “stately.” While they share components and the same V6 powertrain, they are in fact quite different. Some people will choose the 2021 Palisade while other buyers will feel far more drawn to the 2021 Kia Telluride.

Hyundai Palisade towing a boat
2021 Hyundai Palisade Calligraphy Trim | Hyundai

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Regardless, these two also tied for second as the best SUV with three rows. If you want a crossover SUV with third-row seats, the Palisade, Telluride are great options. If three rows fits the bill but you want a body-on-frame, the 2020 Ford Expedition is a great one to check out. According to U.S. News, the 2021 Kia Telluride isn’t the best SUV with three rows. It’s actually the smaller 2021 Kia Sorento.