2024 Kia Telluride moving through the SUV pack

James Raia

The Kia Telluride, a three-row sport utility vehicle, was introduced in early 2019 as a 2020 model. It quickly found success in the midsize segment and has maintained its popularity while infiltrating the sales of long-tenured competitors.

The Telluride followed the Ford Explorer (1990 debut), Toyota Highlander (2000), Subaru Outback (1994), Hyundai Santa Fe (2000) and Ford Bronco (1965–1996, 2021–present) in sales in 2022.

The 2024 Kia Telluride improves upon the SUV's quickly rising popularity.
The 2024 Kia Telluride improves upon the SUV’s quickly rising popularity. All images courtesy of the manufacturer.

Selected as 2020 World Car of the Year by more than 100 automotive journalists in 30 countries, the Telluride continues the South Korean manufacturer’s new status. Its reputation for making shoddy vehicles is long gone.

With its extensive changes in 2023, the 2024 Kia Telluride only has a few updates but remains part of the vehicle’s first generation.

Available in LX, S, EX, SX and SX Prestige trims, the SUV is further diverse with off-road leaning X-Line and X-Pro versions of the SX and SX-Prestige. All offerings are equipped standard with a 3.8-liter V6 (291 horsepower, 262 lb-ft of torque) engines matched with eight-speed automatic transmissions. Front-wheel drive is standard, with all-wheel drive optional on all trims except its standard status on the SX-Prestige.

Assembled in the United States and the carmaker’s largest vehicle outside of its native country, Telluride sales increased every year through 2022, nearly reaching 100,000. The SUV’s popularity and sometimes lengthy buying delays are easy to understand.

The interior of the 2024 Kia Telluride, especially in the top-level trims, is near luxury.
The interior of the 2024 Kia Telluride, especially in the top-level trims, is near luxury.

Named after the mountain city of the same name in Colorado, the Telluride is all about versatility. It’s an SUV with three usable rows, an industry rarity. It has a strong exterior presence and a quiet, smooth ride.

Kia and its close carmaker relative Hyundai have also greatly improved their reputation with high-quality interior materials. Both have vast lists of standard features and the carmakers’ industry-best 10-year, 100,000-mile powertrain warranties.

Technology features include an infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, an available heads-up display, and multiple USB ports. A suite of advanced safety features comes standard, from adaptive cruise control to lane-keeping assist to automatic emergency braking.

The reviewed Telluride SX-Prestige X-Line, incorporates much of the lower trims’ equipment and features an off-road persona and luxury leanings. It has standard all-wheel drive, a slightly lifted suspension for higher roof rails, an upgraded grille design, 20-inch wheels with all-season tires, an upgraded traction control system and a gloss-black exterior trim.

Even the entry-level LX has a substantial standard features list: LED headlights, keyless entry and push-button start, dual-zone automatic climate control, rear-passenger automatic climate control, a 12.3-inch touchscreen with navigation, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration and six-speaker audio system.

An aggressive front grille helps give the 2024 Kia Telluride an off-road exterior persona.
An aggressive front grille helps give the 2024 Kia Telluride an off-road exterior persona.

Safety features include adaptive cruise control, blind-spot warning, forward collision mitigation and lane-keeping assistance.

Of course, as trim levels advance, more is standard — a sunroof to second-row captain’s chairs and a wireless phone charger to folding outside mirrors. A hands-free liftgate, leather seating, second-row sunshades, a sound-absorbing front door window glass and an auto-dimming rearview mirror further add to the vehicle’s appeal.

The SX trim and SX Prestige get top treatment. The former adds a dual sunroof, a 10-speaker Harman Kardon audio system and a 12.3-inch instrument cluster display. The latter features premium leather upholstery, a head-up display, heated and ventilated second-row seats, a heated steering wheel, a 110-volt household-style power outlet and customizable ambient interior lighting. An optional towing package is available for the EX and SX trims.

Mediocre gas mileage — 18 miles per gallon in city driving, 24 mpg on the freeway — is the Telluride’s biggest downside. The combined 20 mpg shouldn’t be acceptable. Acceleration from 0-to-60 miles per hour takes 7.5 seconds, with the performance seemingly quicker.

With its various accessory charges and taxes, the 2024 Telluride SX-Prestige X-Line costs $54,540.00. The tally could discourage potential buyers, but getting what you pay for doesn’t always equate into a bargain.

Article Last Updated: December 1, 2023.

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