Trucks & SUVs

The Kia Telluride and RV Crossover You Didn’t Know You Needed

Looking to buy an SUV with plans of towing a trailer? The Kia Telluride is one of the few midsize SUVs capable of towing 5,000 lbs. Most affordable SUVs like the Subaru Outback XT only have a towing capacity of around 3,500 lbs. For anything above that, many reviewers list models such as the Mercedes-Benz GLE and BMW X7. But for a decent RV, there is no need to spend nearly $74,000 just to tow your travel trailer. Here’s the Telluride-RV crossover content you didn’t expect but might need.

Comparing the competition against the Kia Telluride

It’s important to know that fewer late-model SUVs are built on truck-frame platforms. This is because many SUVs are being built on auto platforms since buyers desire comfort and space over towing. This is why many SUVs don’t have a towing capacity of over 3,500 lbs. For example, the Chevrolet Traverse has a towing capacity of only 1,500 lbs. Of course, the AWD High Country model can tow 5,000 lbs, but also costs over $20,000 more than the Telluride.

The 2020 Kia Telluride has a 3.8-liter Lambda V6 engine that serves 291 horsepower and 262 lb-ft torque. For the average user, this may be slightly more than they require in a midsize SUV. But it’s that torque that gives the Kia Telluride its towing capacity of around 5,000 lbs which makes it perfect for towing a small travel trailer.

One MotorTrend reviewer’s experience with the 2020 Telluride

A reviewer with MotorTrend took the 2020 Kia Telluride for a 1,297-mile adventure while pulling a Mammoth White HC1. The HC1 weighs approximately 1,800 lbs dry with a tongue weight of around 220 lbs. Tongue weight is defined as the weight that a fully loaded trailer exerts downward on the hitch ball of the tow vehicle. In theory, the HC1 shouldn’t exceed the Telluride’s 5,000-lb tow capacity.

As the reviewer wrote, “Just because you can tow 5,000 pounds (2.27 ton), though, doesn’t mean you should.” When you come close to any vehicle’s payload or towing capability, the risk of adversely affecting its performance and safety increases exponentially. 

They also wrote that the Telluride is only outfitted with a four-pin connector for the trailer electronics rather than a seven-blade connector. This means that you won’t have direct power going to your trailer to charge the onboard batteries, nor a trailer brake connection. But as long as you don’t tow something larger than what’s mentioned in the article, it should be fine. The good news for 2021 Kia Telluride owners is that its tow package will come equipped with a seven-blade connector.

An overview of the 2020 Kia Telluride

RELATED: The 2020 Kia Telluride Does Have a Design Flaw, but It Isn’t a Dealbreaker

The 2020 Kia Telluride was manufactured in America for Americans. It’s a strong yet comfortable third-row SUV with plenty of room for families. It’s a decent contender against other midsize SUVs that are $10,000 to $15,000 more expensive. For example, the base Telluride LX trim starts at around $32,800. For that price, you get some cool 18-inch alloy wheels, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Kia’s 8.0-inch touchscreen, a UVO infotainment system interface, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and five USB ports. It’s a perfect choice if you’re merely looking for a sturdy RV crossover to pull something like the HC1.

The Kia Telluride is the Korean’s largest SUV thus far and is nearly eight inches longer than the Sorento. With a 4.8-inch wheelbase, it’s also larger than the 2020 Toyota Highlander and Honda Pilot. While the Telluride is a tad bit shorter than the new Ford Explorer, reviewers say that it feels roomy inside.

The base model also features a full suite of driver assistance aids, such as smart cruise control, rear cross-traffic alert, lane keep assist, and including forward collision warning. The $42,600 Telluride SX is the top-of-the-range trim and is still priced competitively. The SX trim upgrades you to 20-inch wheels, a 12-way adjustable driver’s seat with memory, dual sunroofs, and a premium Harman Kardon audio system. MotorTrend wrote that the Telluride gives the Lincoln Navigator and Cadillac Escalade a run for their money.