2022 Kia Telluride SX V6 AWD

June 27th, 2022 at 3:12pm

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Kia hit a home run with the Telluride and is well on the way towards changing public opinion about the brand. Only a decade ago Kia was synonymous with “cheap and cheerful,” with an extra emphasis on “cheap.” Not anymore. Even though the brand image has not exactly caught up to Honda or Toyota, the transformation is beginning to happen.

The Telluride will smash any “cheap and cheerful” preconceptions you may have had about the Kia brand. It’s a large, handsome, 3-row SUV, with a very upscale looking interior. It’s big 3.8 liter V6 provides plenty of get-up-and-go as well as a decent 5,000 pound tow rating. The EPA rates the all-wheel-drive version at 21 mpg. Not great, but about par for the segment.

As with all Kias, customers get a lot of value for their money. The Telluride comes standard with almost all the latest safety equipment. Though it does have automated emergency braking, it does not include pedestrian detection, which other brands are bragging about.

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Inside, you get a large 10.25” display screen with crisp graphics and good fingertip touch response It is up to date with the latest connectivity options including Apple Car Play, Android Auto, and what Kia used to call UVO link, but now calls Kia Connect. That allows owners to use a phone app to locate their car, lock and unlock the doors, and remotely set the cabin temperature, along with other features.

The SX trim line adds more and better equipment including a very good Harman/Kardon sound system, second row captain’s chairs, a rear sunroof, HomeLink and 20-inch wheels, to name a few. The test version I drove also included a head-up display, and a towing package. Put it all together and the MSRP came to $49,235, including destination charges.

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A decade ago everyone would have laughed at the idea of a Kia costing $50,000. Today, it doesn’t sound far fetched at all. The Telluride is now the third best selling model in Kia’s lineup and undoubtedly the most profitable. Kia achieved that with terrific styling, excellent build quality, and some of the latest automotive technology available. And all that represents a giant step forward for the brand.

By: John McElroy

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