Test Drive Notes Library
- Excellent overall. This is our current favorite three-row SUV. It does so much well, for such a reasonable price, that it’s the first one we recommend these days.
- Powertrain. Though it feels like it could be powered by a big V8, it’s actually got a 3.8 L V6 that more than does the job. It’s quiet and it works well with the 8-speed automatic transmission, which shifts more-or-less unnoticeably. The result is a powerful, quiet and smooth drivetrain. There were no driving conditions under which we felt like we needed more power. Add to that very reasonable fuel economy for a rig this size. We saw about 20 mpg in mixed driving.
- Ride. The ride is surprisingly good. We’re not sure exactly how Kia pulled it off, but it’s both comfortable and competent. The ride is on the soft side, and the Telluride leans a bit in sharp handling. But it damps out most roadway imperfections, and isolates the passengers nicely.
- Quiet and roomy. The interior is well insulated and keeps things hushed, city and highway. There’s also plenty of room in the Telluride. OK, maybe not if you’re relegated to the third row with the kids. But, in general, there’s a spacious, airy feel inside, with plenty of elbow room, leg room, and adjustability in the first two rows.
- Well laid out. Controls are straight forward and mostly easy to use. The interior looks clean and up to date. The large, central touch screen responds quickly to inputs. Wireless charging eliminates the cables (at least for the driver). The surfaces you touch and see are good quality without being either cheap or over the top.
- Visibility. The Telluride stands out in that it features big windows, which makes it easier to see out of than a number of its competitors. If you’re nostalgic for the sight lines of your youth (provided your youth was less than 15 year ago), test drive one of these.
- Looks. OK, looks are subjective. We’re as grateful for that as anybody. But we like the way the Telluride looks. To us, it appears to be up to date without trying too hard to be edgy. It looks clean and rugged, to us, and looks particularly good in the blue-gray "Everlasting Silver" paint job on our tester.
- Value. Our test Telluride SX with all wheel drive lists for $44,000, and went out the door at a little under $49,000. For that price, we got pretty much every conceivable option. All the important safety stuff, heated, cooled, and reclining front and rear leather seats, huge sunroof, Harmon/Kardon stereo, head up display, and more. If you’re willing to drop down a notch, the EX is also well equipped for about $5,000 less. But our impression was that — just with the basics of the drivetrain, suspension, and design — we got a lot of car for the money.
Test Drive Notes Library
- There’s not much to dislike about the Telluride.
- Body lean. The suspension is tuned for comfort, so we did notice some body lean on curvy roads. But honestly, it didn’t effect the vehicle’s competence. It just felt a little soft in the corners.
- Cargo behind third row. With the third row in use, there’s not a lot of storage room in the back. Fold down the third row, and it should swallow anything you feed it.
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