Crossover & Midsize

The Kia Telluride Is Quite Literally Too Popular

The 2020 Kia Telluride came out of nowhere to smash expectations, even winning the Motor Trend SUV of the Year award and the World Car of the Year award. Kia has historically produced reliable vehicles at affordable prices, but the success of the Telluride has surprised even the Korean manufacturer. Struggling to keep up with demand in a major way, Kia is barely able to keep Telluride models on dealer lots as they look forward to what could be an even more popular 2021 model. Some consumers who would normally buy new are even considering a pre-owned Telluride to get in on the craze.

What’s behind the surging Telluride sales?

It’s a combination of factors making the Telluride so wildly popular. First of all, it’s a solid car at a great price. It doesn’t always stack up favorably in every aspect against the competition but most comparisons find something to love about the Kia vehicle. The 2020 Kia Telluride’s extreme popularity is the culmination of decades of work at Kia. For a long time, Kia was seen as an unreliable, unpopular auto manufacturer. However, recent years have shown massive improvements in Kia vehicles, and the 2020 Kia Telluride is the cherry on top.

As a financial crisis potentially looms, millions of consumers may have to move away from their top-level luxury vehicles. More and more buyers are shifting to longer purchase terms to lower their monthly payments. The Kia Telluride may start getting even more attention from families used to Porsches and Lexuses.

Kia’s expectations for the model

The bottom line is that Kia certainly didn’t expect its new vehicle to perform so well and neither did the dealerships desperate to keep them on hand. The Kia “Sell-U-Ride” (as some dealerships call it) is flying off the lots and sellers can’t keep them in stock.

Is the 2020 Kia Telluride a victim of its own success? Not really. Even if the vehicle isn’t spending a lot of time on dealership lots, it’s still making money for Kia. And the Korean automaker will certainly take this model year’s popularity into effect when planning future production runs. It’s been a long time since Kia has produced a breakout hit, but its steady improvement over the years had to inevitably lead to one.

What CNN had to say about Kia’s supply issues 

RELATED: The 2021 Kia Telluride Is About to Look Even Cooler

CNN recently published an article about some of the specific issues dealers are having maintaining Telluride inventory. One of the issues addressed by the CNN article is production delays. Kia lost nearly the entire month of April 2020 to coronavirus delays but is now working around the clock to make up the deficit. 

Another interesting note from CNN is that 2020 Kia Tellurides have been consistently selling at a few percent above MSRP. Other vehicles in the class like the Toyota Highlander and Ford Explorer are generally discounted anywhere from 7-8 percent off MSRP before they move off the lot. But demand for the 2020 Kia Telluride is so high that customers are willing to pay the sticker price or more.

The future of the Telluride 

It remains to be seen whether Kia is truly transforming the industry with the 2020 Kia Telluride or if this is simply a lucky year. The 2021 version of the vehicle is highly anticipated, and fans are hoping that the production delays of Spring 2020 don’t affect next year’s vehicle. Kia believes its Tellurides are so popular because “people love the look of it.”

Additionally, it handles better than a vehicle of its size should and is fun to drive. “It’s not that extreme,” James Bell from Kia recently remarked, but still touted the “athletic feel and the visceral connection” of putting the vehicle through a turn at high speeds. Most vehicles aren’t for everyone, but the 2020 Kia Telluride has managed to please almost every section of the market.