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When a car company develops a bad reputation like Kia did in the early 2000s, it can often be a death sentence for the company. Automakers such as LaSalle, De Soto, and Isuzu are all but forgotten despite once being powerhouses in the auto world. Poor quality, brand mismanagement, and inability to keep up with the competition had a lot to do with the falls from grace, and for a while, it appeared that Kia was set to join that crew.

Realizing this, Kia stepped up its game, and began to focus on producing higher-quality vehicles. Kia’s efforts paid off when JD Power and Consumer Reports took notice and started to give Kia more positive reviews and it began to wrack up rewards.  

The Kia Telluride, Kia’s newest midsize SUV, is helping Kia continue to rebuild its reputation with both consumers and critics.

The Straight Pipes review 

Drivers for the Straight Pipe seemed excited as they jumped behind the driver seat of the new Telluride to see if it merits the rave reviews it’s been receiving, and they weren’t disappointed.

Right from the get-go, they were impressed with the smooth ride and the incredible ease with which the Telluride stayed in its lane even when they let go of the wheel. While they don’t give vehicles a score, their review was highly positive and both drivers agreed that they would gladly take the Telluride over its higher luxury competitor the BMW X7.

Telluride specs

The Kia Telluride may be getting great reviews, but if you’re looking for speed, the Telluride doesn’t have it. With only 291 hp and 262 lb-ft torque, the Telluride will get you where you want to go, but you aren’t going to be winning any drag races in it.

That being said, if you’re looking for a family vehicle, it’s got some great features that more than make up for the lack of speed.  


The first thing that really stands out about the Telluride is the amber headlights. No other vehicle to date has anything like them, although it’s possible that other automakers may try something similar in the future.

With so many SUVs on the road that have a similar design, it can be hard to identify the make and model at a glance. That’s not the case with the Telluride. Thanks to its unique headlight design, everyone will easily recognize it, even from a distance.

Since Kia is trying to repair old reputations and stand out from the crowd, this one small detail will go far towards meeting that goal.

The next feature that really jumps out is the tiger-nose grille. It takes up a large portion of the front and makes the Telluride look incredibly tough. It’s obvious that a lot of thought went into the grill design. Thus further showing that Kia is going the extra mile. 

The side views are similar to competitor models such as the Subaru Ascent and Ford Explorer, but you can only redesign the wheel so many times before it looks like just another variation. The Telluride still looks like a dream driving, however, and Motor 1 reports that it holds it on against the competition quite well. 

Driving the Telluride

The fuel economy for the Telluride is 20 mpg city, 26 highway, and 23 combined. For a three-row SUV, that’s highly impressive. Speaking of three-row seats, each row has plenty of room.

The dreaded third row is notorious for being a nightmare for tall individuals, but the Telluride offers plenty of room for longer legs. It’s also easily accessed. A mere press of a button folds the second-row seat forward and it’s easily pulled back into place once everyone is comfortably seated. This means no more torn fingernails as you scramble to find straps. 

Highway lane assist runs like a dream on the Telluride and can be cut off with a light of the steering wheel. Drivers for Straight Pipes said the lane assist was even better than luxury brands like Tesla and BMW. 

The Telluride offers four different driving modes: Comfort, economy, sport, and smart. For those days when you just want to go off-roading or have to get out in bad weather, you can switch to snow, mud, or sand modes with a mere turn of a dial. 

As for the ride, Straight Pipes reports that it is smooth and quiet, making it their favorite midsize vehicle to date.