Written by Marco Carvajal
I am test driving the new 2021 model Kia Telluride SX V6 AWD. The Telluride is one of the new players in the Luxury Mid-Size SUV segment. Besides its bolt and appealing look, the Telluride is very appealing with fantastic pricing at only $32K and tons of standard features. It includes three rows of seats to bring everyone on board.
Kia’s famous “Give It Everything” spirit, produced a great SUV last year, the first edition 2020 Kia Telluride, now by the end of 2020 we can enjoy an enhanced Telluride, the 2021 Telluride.
The Telluride has been designed at Kia’s design studio in California and assembled in Georgia, US. The Telluride is the largest Kia ever made in the US. It is built with high-quality components at the KIA/Hyundai West Point Plant in Georgia, proud to be made in the US.
When car shopping from many prestigious brands, you will find that you pay a certain price for the standard version of a car, but then in order to get a decent amount of features and luxury features you will have to pay a lot of additional fees and charges for options, packages, and upgrades. But when buying a Kia Telluride, just like with other Kia models, you will find that the base model already gives you so many standard features where you don’t have to pay additional fees to get what you really want.
You can get a fully loaded Telluride without paying for additional extras, but you still can pay more and get more features and upgrades.
The generous amount of standard features, the attractive bolt design, excellent performance, and great pricing, make the Telluride one of the best choices in this segment. However, the competition is tough and there are and will be more SUVs trying to offer more value for the money.
Competition is good, and the end-buyer user will be the winner in the long run with more choices, more features, and lower prices.
The British Range Rover competitor used for decades by kings, aristocrats, and high society might have a serious upcoming competitor with the new Kia’s Telluride
You could buy two tellurides for the price of a Range Rover, and for less money and more value the Telluride might give you similar luxury and style and better long quality pain-free maintenance and repairs when compared to a Range Rover. This is what I call great value, and Kia knows how to produce and sell cars with value.
2021 Kia Telluride Highlights:
- Three seating rows
- Standard 3.8L V6 engine and 8-speed automatic transmission
- Standard up to 5000 lb. towing capability
- MPG 20 city / 26 highway
- Front-Wheel Drive (FWD) with Active On-Demand All-Wheel Drive (AWD) w/ AWD Lock and Snow Mode
- 20-inch Alloy Black Sport Wheels
- Standard one-touch sliding & folding 2nd-row seats up to 7 passenger seating
- UVO Link w/ Navigation and 10.25-inch Display
- Dual Sunroofs (1st and 2nd Row)
- Leather Seat Trim (all rows)
- 4 different drive modes: Comfort, Eco, Sport, and Smart
- Remote door lock and climate control
- Standard Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA)
- Standard Safe Exit Assist (SEA)
- Highway Driving Assist (HDA)
- Parking Assist
- Available Bluetooth connectivity for Android and Apple CarPlay
- Available wireless smartphone charger
- Smart Key with Push Button Start and Remote Start
Kia Motors America organized the National Press Introduction for the new Kia Telluride flagship SUV in March 2019 at the Gateway Canyons Resort & Spa, located on the unique mountains and canyons of Gateway, Colorado.
As a guest at the Telluride national press event for the launch of the Telluride, I had the opportunity to test drive the new Telluride, all the way from Gateway, Colorado through scenic and historic roads towards the small and picturesque ski town of Telluride, Colorado, that gave his birth name to this new SUV.
Trims and Pricing for the 2021 Kia Telluride
For the year 2021, the Telluride is available in 4 different trim models with an amazing low price starting at $31,990 going all the way up to $42,190 for the SX top of the line that I am test driving.
LX $31,990 Starting MSRP
S $34,390 Starting MSRP
EX $37,390 Starting MSRP
SX $42,190 Starting MSRP
The Telluride is the newcomer, but it is making a lot of noise, it has received a lot of awards in just one year after its birth.
“World Car of the Year’
“2020 North American Utility Vehicle of the Year from North American Car of the Year (NACTOY)”
“Triple Crown” “Winning this ‘Triple Crown’ of prizes is a spectacular achievement for the Telluride,” said Michael Cole, president, Kia Motors America (KMA), “and also for Kia Motors America. This is not just the unprecedented achievement of a terrific vehicle, but it’s also a high-water mark for the brand and places Kia at the forefront of global automakers.”
Engine and Performance
The powerful Telluride’s 3.8 L V6 engine is powered by 291 hp and 262 lb.-ft. of torque. This is more than enough power for any adventure on this mid-size SUV. The Telluride is ready for any off-road and adventure with one of my favorite features, the 4 different drive modes: Comfort, Eco, Sport, and Smart, complemented by the Front-Wheel Drive (FWD) with Active On-Demand All-Wheel Drive (AWD) w/ AWD Lock and Snow Mode.
As I was test driving the Telluride in the small ski town that gave the name to this car, the town of Telluride in Colorado, I had to drive through difficult roads full of snow, and the snow mode made a big difference. The Telluride took control over the snowy road and was able to stabilize the riding through this difficult condition.
The new Telluride is very safe, and it offers a lot of standard features. As part of this SUV smart system, Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) helps reducing skidding, while the Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) makes sure your tires are at their best.
In regions where speed limit information is available, the available Highway Driving Assist (HDA)3 can adjust the vehicle’s cruising speed to match the vehicle detected ahead as well as changing speed limits.
Standard Parking Distance Warning-Reverse (PDW-R) uses an integrated radar sensor system to help detect obstacles in the rear of your vehicle. If a hazard is detected, the system can provide an audible warning.
Built for outdoor adventure with four drive modes including snow mode, and the optional electronically controlled AWD. It includes USB ports on each of the 3 seating rows.
The Telluride includes one of the best warranties you can ever find, Kia’s 10-year or 100,000-mile warranty program. Buyers will enjoy the confidence to know their Telluride is fully covered for 10 years with a maximum of 100,000 miles.
The Muscular design of the Telluride makes it a very attractive SUV on the road. It is one of the Longest SUVs in its segment. It is a big competitor and challenge for other car automakers.
The SUV market is one of the largest growing automobile markets in the United States. Most car buyers in the U.S. want to own a nice and spacious SUV. Some of the main competitors for the Telluride are the Honda Pilot, Ford Explorer, and Volkswagen Atlas, among other SUVs. Hyundai’s brother Palisade also represents competition for the Telluride. Both cars Palisade and Telluride have a similar structure, design, and construction, but they look and feel different. Some might like more the bolt look of the Telluride, some might like more the luxurious feel of the Palisade.
More expensive premium SUVs like the Range Rover or Porch Cheyenne also could suffer some loss from car drivers switching to the Telluride, especially considering all what you get for a lower price, a much longer warranty, and the very low cost of maintenance and repairs, typical of Kia.
The Telluride is a new car and is just starting its journey in the automotive market in the U.S. with its second year of production, but it is forecast and already has demonstrated in a very short time that it is a car that has been born to stay in the long run, and to be a winner, just like many other Kia’s already successful automotive products.