Crossover & Midsize

The Best SUVs to Buy If You Don’t Want a Kia Telluride

The Kia Telluride is a solid choice when it comes to a quality SUV. With so many options in a crowded market segment, it’s often hard to decide which vehicle is right for you. Some of the best SUVs challenge the Telluride in both price and performance. While the family-friendly Kia is among the best-selling vehicles, there are plenty of other comparable options available.

Whether it’s driving the kids around town, hauling cargo, offroading, or commuting, there is an SUV that fits the needs of most drivers. Finding the one that meets the demands of your daily life will make owning an SUV an enjoyable experience.

The Kia Telluride SUV

Consumer Reports ranks the 2020 Kia Telluride No. 1 in the Midsize Sport-Utility Vehicle category. The three-row SUV offers user-friendly controls, enormous cargo space, and features that help to refine the overall driving experience.

While Consumer Reports doesn’t think the Telluride offers a lot of “wow factor,” they were impressed with the amount of standard equipment included for the price. The 2020 Kia Telluride has an MSRP of $32,735.

U.S. News found the price appealing compared to competitors. With room for seven or eight adult-sized passengers, the roomy cabin is hard to beat.

Good alternatives to the Kia Telluride

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Even though the Kia Telluride is a great vehicle, it isn’t perfect. Consumers have different needs, and SUVs are typically not “one size fits all.”

The Hyundai Palisade is a worthy competitor with similar value, generous cargo-carrying capacity, and impressive performance capabilities. Utilizing the same 291-hp V6 engine found in the Telluride, this spacious SUV is almost identical to its counterpart. Both models offer a luxurious interior and share the same chassis. You really can’t go wrong with either vehicle.

The Chevy Traverse is the perfect option for those who need extra space for cargo. There are 23 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats, even when the third row has passengers, which is two cubic feet more than the Telluride.

Although roomy, the Traverse can’t compare to the luxurious interior offered by Kia. Where it does stand out is in fuel economy and the quick acceleration rate. The MSRP of $29,800 is also an attractive selling point for consumers looking to get into a new luxury SUV at less than $30,000.

The Dodge Durango checks the boxes for those looking for the performance of a muscle car. The powerful 360-hp 5.7-liter V8 or 475-hp 6.4-liter V8 engine options are sure to entice drivers that feel the need for speed. The Durango can push from 0 to 60 mph in only 4.4 seconds, rivaling the beloved Ford Mustang. All this while still providing the space and convenience of a luxury SUV.

For those missing their “Glory Days” of driving a convertible, the Mazda CX-9 is the answer. U.S. News calls it a “Mazda Miata that happens to have room for seven onboard.” The unique SUV is for drivers who love adventure without compromising comfort. The controlled ride offers smooth acceleration, plenty of third-row legroom, and a nicely appointed cabin. The standard safety features round out the total package.

The 2020 SUV of the Year

The Kia Telluride received the 2020 SUV of the Year award from MotorTrend. The auto expert says, “this award is the deserved recognition that today’s Korean auto industry has evolved to possess the skill and talent to design, engineer, and manufacture world-class vehicles.”

In determining the best SUV, MotorTrend evaluated six key criteria. The well-rounded 2020 Kia Telluride attained high scores in all areas. Seven out of 11 judges voted this year for the Telluride, citing the way it looks, drives, and “effortlessly copes with the modern American family’s needs.”