Trucks & SUVs

The Kia Telluride Might Be the Best Off-Road SUV You Can Buy Right Now

When many consumers go shopping for an off-road vehicle, it’s easy to assume that the Jeep Wrangler, the Toyota 4Runner, and the Ford Expedition are the main choices. The range of options for off-road vehicles is far more diverse than that, however.

The field is exploding, and some new SUVs like the Kia Telluride are joining the rank of options available to off-roaders. In an interesting twist, the extremely popular 2020 Kia Telluride, while not designed to go off-roading, turns out to be quite capable of hitting the trails. U.S. News even added it to its list of Best SUVs of 2020. 

There’s just something about a Telluride

The Kia Telluride is relatively new to the SUV division, but it’s already creating waves. The Telluride is getting tons of great reviews from critics, and dealers are struggling to keep them on the lot. In fact, it’s been nicknamed the Sell-U-Ride

The Telluride also received the 2020 World Car of the Year Award. That’s a huge award that is highly coveted among automakers, and it’s a huge step for Kia. So why is the Telluride garnering so much attention?

Well, it comes with a ton of standard features. The 2020 Kia Telluride comes equipped with a 3.8-liter V-6 engine and an eight-speed automatic transmission. The interior is more than comfortable, with synthetic leather seats, an 8-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth, a six-speaker audio system, remote start, cruise control, and several USB ports. You can also cram up to eight passengers into the Telluride without feeling overly squished.

Still, is it truly off-road worthy? An 8-inch screen is great, but it won’t do much to help you cross a river. 

According to U.S. News, “Front-wheel drive comes standard, but the Telluride has an all-wheel-drive system that locks to enhance grip. Underbody skid plates come standard, the better to protect the Telluride’s belly as you’re taking advantage of the eight inches of ground clearance.”

The Kia Telluride is in the middle of the pack price wise

While Kias are typically cheaper than most of their competition and have a superior range of standard features, the 2020 Kia Telluride isn’t the most affordable option for a full-size SUV. It also isn’t the highest priced full-size SUV, so it seems to be somewhere in the middle.

The demand for the Telluride is so high that Kia can’t produce enough of them. Some dealers are selling Tellurides that won’t even hit their lot until September. This high demand has given dealers the courage to jack up the price by as much as 3% over the MSRP.

The MSRP for the Telluride is $31,890 – $43,790, but most consumers are currently paying anywhere from $32,846 – $45,103. New owners don’t seem to care, however. They’re still buying the Telluride despite this rather obvious increase in price. 

The competition couldn’t be more fierce

The SUV division is blowing up, especially with the release of the Ford Bronco. Other competitors that are drawing a lot of attention are the Jeep Grand Cherokee, the Mercedes G-Wagon, and the Land Rover Range Rover. They are designed to go off-road, and look just as good as hitting the pavement as they do the boulders. 

If you want an off-road vehicle, the 2020 Kia Telluride might not be your best pick. It wasn’t designed to go off-road, and there are other SUVs like the Toyota Highlander that are superior when it comes to hitting the trails. 

U.S. News made this clear when it stated, “Sure, the Telluride won’t be able to keep up with the more hardcore SUVs on this list, but it’s got more potential for adventure than its peers in the crossover segment. It’s a comfortable family hauler on the road, as well.”

It’s all too obvious that the Telluride seems more suitable for families that hit more tame back roads on the weekend than crossing rivers. Still, that might be more than enough for some families. Some off-road vehicles like the Jeep Wrangler aren’t exactly comfortable as a daily driver and more suitable for serious off-roaders. If you’re looking for an SUV to cruise around town in, and occasionally visit some laid back trails, then the Telluride is for you.

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