Trucks & SUVs

The 2021 Kia Telluride Just Lost Some of Its Appeal

The 2021 Kia Telluride is a nearly flawless family SUV, and its affordable price is a huge draw. However, a recent update may hurt some of its appeal to shoppers.

The automotive industry has showered the Telluride with praise and awards since its debut in the 2020 model year. So, why is Kia messing with success?

Let’s examine the South Korean manufacturer’s latest change to its three-row SUV and see if it’s still a worthy purchase.

The 2021 Kia Telluride shows that nothing gold can stay

A black 2021 Kia Telluride Nightfall Edition driving down a city road
The 2021 Kia Telluride in action | Kia

Of course, everyone wants the best. However, most car shoppers have to stick to what they can afford. 

That was the beauty of the 2021 Kia Telluride. Many families searching for a new three-row SUV found the Telluride’s starting MSRP of $31,990 to be relatively affordable. 

Its price is lower than that of competitors like the Hyundai Palisade and Honda Pilot. Plus, the Telluride has a significantly more spacious interior than budget three-row SUVs like the Kia Sorento and Dodge Journey.

But the 2021 Kia Telluride’s price advantage is coming to a close. According to Cars Direct, Kia is increasing the Telluride’s price as of Jan. 1, 2021.

How much will it cost to buy a 2021 Kia Telluride now?

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Thankfully, Kia isn’t implementing a considerable price hike. Instead, the changes are minimal.

The manufacturer made all the 2021 Kia Telluride’s trim levels, except the range-topping SX, $200 more expensive. Meanwhile, Kia brought up the cost of the Telluride SX by $300.

That means the base 2021 Telluride now has a starting MSRP of $32,190, making it only $335 cheaper than Hyundai Palisade. Meanwhile, the value-packed S trim begins at $34,590, the premium EX starts at $37,590, and the top-tier SX begins at $42,490.

Additionally, Kia raised the 2021 Telluride’s destination charge by $55 – adding up to a total of $1,225.

Some shoppers might not notice these price increases at first glance. After all, it’s only a few hundred dollars. However, the money adds up and pushes the once budget-friendly Telluride closer in price to its more expensive counterparts.

Are there any other ripple effects for Kia?

It’s important to note that Kia isn’t just price-gouging customers based on the success of its popular SUV. The manufacturer’s pricing update impacts many other models.

Notably, Kia also raised the price of many of its other vehicles by $100. The Sorento was immune from the price hike, but that’s likely because Kia already gave it a price hike a few months ago.

The automaker also increased the destination charges for its other models. Most cars now have a $995 fee, while most of Kia’s SUVs have a $1,175 fee. Like the 2021 Kia Telluride, the Stinger sports car is an outlier. Its $1,045 destination charge is higher than the company’s other sedans.

Is the 2021 Kia Telluride still worth the money?

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It just plain sucks to pay more. And some shoppers will kick themselves that they didn’t purchase a new Telluride before the cost increase went into effect on Jan. 1.

The most significant way the price update will affect shoppers is that they now have an excuse to test-drive rival models.

However, the 2021 Kia Telluride is still one of the best-performing and most feature-packed family SUVs on the market. Plus, it’s still slightly cheaper than its biggest competitor, the award-winning Hyundai Palisade.