2023 Kia Telluride SX-Prestige X-Line - One fine SUV!

I think this was the third Telluride I've tested and I still think it is one of the nicest vehicles I've driven. The list of things I didn't like about the Telluride is very short, in fact one thing is the color, "Wolf Gray." I'd call it Invisible Gray. There are five colors available on the 2023 Telluride SX-Prestige X-Line and in my opinion Wolf Gray is not one I'd choose. I would go for either Midnight Lake Blue or Dawning Red. I like colors like I like wine - Bold!

I am continually amazed with the Telluride's fuel economy. The only engine in the Telluride is a 291 horsepower V6. The test Telluride had AWD, and it weighs around 4,500 lbs. USEPA rates it at 24-mpg on the highway and 18-mpg in the city. Very good numbers right? Well on one highway jaunt with the cruise set at 70 mph I saw 28.9-mpg! (On a totally unrelated note at 70 mph I'd say 80% of traffic was going at least 10 mph faster than 70; the posted limit was 65.)

In the realm of large SUVs the Telluride is not huge although it is at the upper limits of what I'd want. It is 196.9" long; that is about two feet shorter than one of the large SUVs. As tested there was seating for seven - 2, 2, and 3. Other versions have seating for eight - 2, 3, and 3. 

I found the Nappa leather seat color attractive, Kia calls it Terracotta. The front and middle seats were very comfy with heating or cooling depending on your wants. 

I did not try to sit in the third row seats so I can't tell you if they were comfortable or not. But there was a rather confusing problem. Like many SUVs there was a cargo cover but its placement was in the way when I went to put the rear seats in the upright position. I didn't see an alternate position for the cover.

Kia seems to have an unending number of warning systems. You're too close, you're drifting out of your lane, you're not paying attention, there's someone passing you, etc. Over the years these systems have become less intrusive. That's a good thing. I don't mind a subtle nudge but a loud sound can be unnerving. 

Standard on the test Telluride was the "Kia Drive Wise Driver-Assist Technology" that included Forward Collision Avoidance (Cyclist, Junction Turning), Blind-Spot Collision Warning, Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist, Safe Exit Assist & Highway Driving Assist 2, Parking Distance Warning - Forward/Reverse, Smart Cruise Control w/Stop & Go, and Parking Collision-Avoidance Assist - Reverse.

I particularly like the cameras that show backward beside the Telluride when you signal a turn, especially when turning right (it works on the left side as well). No need to worry about a bicycle coming along side you, you can see it.

The controls were well laid out; I only got confused once! There are steering wheel controls for cruise control, telephone, and sound system. One time when trying to hit the resume button for the cruise I changed the sound system from SiriusXM to AM. The controls are on opposite sides of the steering wheel and I just forgot which one did what. 

There is a real gear shift lever and five shift modes for the eight-speed automatic transmission. I didn't see much difference between Smart and Comfort, and I didn't use Eco or Snow. I tried Sport and found in gave more positive shifts but I wasn't racing anyone so why bother? If you find yourself in slippery or mucky conditions and you need extra traction just push the 'Lock' button.

I put a fair number of miles on the Telluride but thanks to the 18.8 gallon fuel tank I didn't need to refuel. In fact there was about 1/4 tank left when I turned it in. 

There is a lot of room inside the Telluride. Behind the rear seats there is 21 cubic feet of storage. Fold them down and it goes up to 46 cubic feet, and with the middle seats folded you get 87 cubic feet. You can tow up to 5,000 pounds. 

Kia's vehicles are not cheap anymore but they are competitively priced. If you go shopping for a vehicle the Telluride's size you will find there is just about one from every auto maker. I think that dollar for dollar, feature for feature, you cannot go wrong with the Telluride. 

The test Tellurdie SX-Prestige X-Line starts at $51,985 according to Kia's public web site (kia.com). Freight is another $1,335. The least expensive Telluride LX starts at $35,890.

If I was in the market for an SUV this size the Telluride would be on my list. If you're in the market go check one out.


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