Kia and it’s sister brand Hyundai have established themselves as brands that offer great value for money. And with the introduction of the Kia Telluride (and it’s Hyundai Palisade counterpart), the company is giving luxury car brands a run for their money.

I tested the 2020 Kia Telluride SX Limited AWD for about a week and overall it’s a great vehicle with lots of tech.

Design

With its boxy exterior, the Kia Telluride is a fairly large vehicle. That’s because it can fit up to seven passengers with two seats in the middle and three in the third row.

The outside of the Telluride takes some styling cues from previous Hyundai and Kia vehicles. When I was testing the Telluride, I had a few people compliment how great the vehicle looked and most were surprised that it was a Kia and that it starts at under $50K in Canada.

When the third row is up, the trunk area is fairly small but it improves when the third-row seats are folded. Even the second-row captain chairs are folded for a flat cargo area.

The materials used inside are a combination of wood, leather and plastic that helps make the vehicle feel more luxurious. The seats are very comfortable, even in the rear seats with plenty of head and legroom. If you’ve been in a Kia or Hyundai vehicle in the past few years, some of the button layouts will look and feel familiar.

There are plenty of USB-ports to be found in the Telluride from the front seats to the third-row seats. The Harmon/Kardon Premium speakers in the Telluride sounded great and could get fairly loud.

The Telluride used a 3.8L V6 GI engine with an 8-speed automatic. The Telluride’s drive is fairly smooth despite being a large vehicle. The other nice thing is that the vehicle has all-wheel drive for off-road conditions.

In front of the driver is a 7-inch display for the instrument cluster. The main infotainment screen is a 10.25-inch display powered by Kia’s UVO system.

The 360 camera featured in the Telluride worked well and is a split-screen option to show both the backup camera and 360 views. There’s also a wireless charging pad for compatible devices.

In terms of driver assistance technology, the Telluride came with the following:

  • 360-Degree Camera
  • Heads-Up Display
  • Front Parking Sensors
  • Rear Parking Sensors
  • Smart Cruise Control (Stop & Go)
  • Highway Drive Assist (HDA)
  • Blind Spot Detection
  • Blind View Monitor
  • Safe Exit Assist System
  • Blind Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist – Rear (BCA-R)
  • Rear Cross-Traffic Avoidance Assist (RCCA )
  • Rear-View Monitor
  • Rear Seat Reminder System

One of my favourite features of the Telluride was the Blind View Monitor. Basically, when you put your signal on, the video feed from the mirror on that side will show up on the driver’s display, so you can see who is in your blind spot.

This feature was in addition to the blind-spot monitoring which has a light on the side mirrors that blink and also beeps at you, warning not to change lanes yet.

The 2020 Kia Telluride starts at $44,995 CAD but the SX Limited model I tested was $53,995 CAD after taxes and fees.

Software

The 2020 Kia Telluride features a 10.25-inch touchscreen with its UVO infotainment platform. I’ve used UVO in the past and Hyundai’s BlueLink counterpart and both versions are great and easy to use with large menu buttons.

The screen in the Telluride is easy to read and the maps are fairly crisp. Like other Kia vehicles, the Telluride supports both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Just plug in your phone with its cable and it will give you prompt to launch the phone projection mode.

Android Auto gives you access to Google Maps, make phone calls, a whole host of media apps like Spotify, Pocket Casts, Google Play Music and more. You can also talk to the Google Assistant to send and read out messages or ask what the weather is.

The UVO system also lets you remotely control your vehicle using the UVO app on Android or iOS. I wasn’t able to test it out with the Telluride but here’s how it works for the 2018 Kia Rio 5.

The only gripe I had when using Android Auto on the Telluride was that the whole screen wasn’t used. The Android Auto interface would only use only two-thirds of the screen with the rest featuring an Android Auto logo and your current connected device.

Final Thoughts

The 2020 Kia Telluride is a welcome addition to the company’s SUV lineup and has lots of cool tech and safety features.

Pros

  • Smooth ride
  • The big infotainment screen that is easy to use
  • Come with Android Auto & Apple CarPlay
  • Plenty of cargo space
  • Blind View Monitor works well
  • Lots of room in the rear seats (both head and legroom)

Cons

  • The Telluride is a fairly large vehicle

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