Trucks & SUVs

The 2021 Kia Telluride Killed the 2021 Lincoln Aviator on Consumer Reports

As far a midsized SUVs go, the 2021 Kia Telluride is hard to beat. With plenty of standard tech, safety features, space, and sharp aesthetics, the Telluride is a segment favorite. However, a recent Consumer Reports study looks at how satisfied owners of the SUV truly are.

Consumer Reports asked buyers if they would repurchase their vehicle to generate a score to gauge owner satisfaction. Let’s see how the affordable Kia stacks up to an excellent luxury contender like the 2021 Lincoln Aviator.

Why do consumers love the 2021 Kia Telluride?

While the 2021 Kia Telluride offers plenty of great features on paper, living with it could change consumer opinions. However, this doesn’t seem to be the case seeing as 91 percent of owners claimed they would repurchase the SUV. As a result, this makes the Telluride the second most satisfying 2021 model on sale. The first place spot goes to the 2021 Tesla Model 3 despite its questionable reliability ratings.

Speaking of reliability, that is likely one reason why consumers love the 2021 Kia Telluride so much. According to Consumer Reports, the Kia received excellent predicted reliability scores with no major issues reported for the 2020 or 2021 model. As a result of this trouble-free experience, it seems consumers have taken a serious liking to the SUV.

Part of what also makes the 2021 Kia Telluride so appealing has to do with its road-test score. According to Consumer Reports, the three-row SUV excelled in all major categories such as acceleration, transmission, braking, and comfort. However, the SUV struggled in the fuel economy category consuming 14 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway during Consumer Reports’ tests.

How does the luxurious 2021 Lincoln Aviator stack up?

RELATED: The 2021 Toyota Venza Just Doesn’t Stop as Well as the 2021 Kia Telluride

If your budget allows, you can walk past the 2021 Kia Telluride’s $32,190 base price and jump into some more luxurious options. One of the most appealing is the 2021 Lincoln Aviator, which starts at $51,100. As you might expect, the Aviator also landed on Consumer Reports’ list for the most satisfying brand new cars. 83 percent of owners claimed they would repurchase the luxury midsize SUV.

What makes the comparison of these two midsized SUVs interesting is how they manage to reach these ownership satisfaction scores. Unlike the 2021 Kia Telluride, the 2021 Lincoln Aviator received an abysmal reliability rating. According to Consumer Reports, this rating comes down to major issues with the Aviators body integrity, body hardware, in-car electronics, drive system, and power equipment.

Despite this, the Aviator managed to impress Consumer Reports during the road test, acing all major categories. As a result, the driving experience was enough to win consumers over to fall in love with this midsized SUV.

Which should you buy?

A dark-colored 2020 Kia Telluride drives on a paved road through a desert
2020 Kia Telluride | Kia

Since there is nearly a $19,000 price gap between the 2021 Kia Telluride and the 2021 Lincoln Aviator, the question remains if it is worth splurging on the luxury model. If you plan to purchase and keep your SUV long-term, you’ll be better off with the Kia, given its excellent reliability ratings. Additionally, you can option the Telluride with plenty of the luxury options the Aviator offers for less money.

However, the only case in which the Aviator makes sense is when considering short-term ownership, such as with a lease. Regardless, Consumer Reports found that you’ll be plenty satisfied with whichever option you choose.