Kia’s largest crossover arrives later this year
Kia took the wraps off the 2020 Telluride at the 2019 Detroit auto show. Slotting above the Sorento, the Telluride saw minimal changes in its journey from concept to New York Fashion Week prototype to production. The Telluride will be the largest vehicle in Kia’s lineup, featuring seating for up to eight passengers.
Riding on the same platform as the recently revealed Hyundai Palisade, the 2020 Kia Telluride will come with an Atkinson-cycle 3.8-liter V-6 good for 291 hp and 262 lb-ft of torque paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive comes standard while all-wheel drive with a lock feature and Snow mode is optional. The 2020 Kia Telluride is rated to tow up to 5,000 pounds (2,268 kg), and will be available with a self-leveling rear suspension on the EX and SX grades.
Four driving modes, including Smart, Eco, Sport, and Comfort, can be selected to change how the all-wheel drive system distributes power. Eco and Smart both commit 100 percent to the front wheels, while Comfort and Snow allocate 80 percent to the front and 20 percent to the rear. Sport mode sends the most power to the rear axle but is still front-biased at 65 percent front and 35 percent rear.
Inside, Kia’s minimalist interior design language gets mixed with new cues like grab handles on the center console, which give the impression of off-road capability even if most Tellurides won’t venture off the pavement. The crossover will be offered with a long list of features, including Kia’s UVO3 infotainment system with an optional 10.3-inch touchscreen, a 10-speaker Harman Kardon audio system, up to six USB ports, heated and ventilated first- and second-row seats, Nappa leather upholstery, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration. Kia’s Drive Wise driver assistance suite will also be offered and includes adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, front and rear automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, lane keeping assist, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert.
Kia will also introduce a number of new features, including a Quiet mode for the audio system, which cuts audio in the second and third rows, and Driver Talk, a system that allows front passengers to speak to those in the back via the a microphone. Lane follow assist, which is only active when the adaptive cruise control system is on, helps keep the Telluride stay centered in its lane. Blind spot collision avoidance-rear uses a camera and the brakes to bring the vehicle back if an object is detected while making a lane change.
Designed at Kia’s California studio, the 2020 Telluride will be the third Kia vehicle to be manufactured in the United States. It will be built alongside the Optima and Sorento at the automaker’s West Point, Georgia, assembly plant. The crossover is scheduled to go on sale later this year and will be available in four grades: LX, S, EX, and SX. Pricing will be announced closer to launch.