Its list of honors and raves is endless. U.S. News’ Best Three-Row SUVs for families, Car and Driver’s 10 Best Trucks and SUVs, Kelley Blue Book’s Best Buy Award in the 3-Row Midsize SUV category, Insurance Institute of Highway Safety’s Top Safety Picks, SlashGear’s Best Family SUV, The Car Connection’s Best Family Car to Buy — you get the picture. Honestly, the 2023 Kia Telluride is a sensational hit.
Available in seven or eight-passenger configuration, the SUV is equipped with a sole power train: 3.8-liter V-6 engine pumping out 291 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 262 pounds-feet of torque at 5,200 rpm, more than tolerable to climb a mountainous terrain or navigate the sharp turns of a countryside road. The eight-speed auto gear box with paddle shifters is immaculate, offering instantaneous up and down moves. The SUV also is fitted with a start/stop system, which turns the engine off at a halt to save fuel.
An independent MacPherson strut front and multilink rear suspension does a particularly good job of soaking bumps and potholes with skill in this front-wheel or all-wheel-drive SUV. Also worth noting is the motor-driven power rack-and-pinion steering, effortless at higher speeds or while pulling into a parking lot. Also serving the overall efforts is 59 percent advanced high-strength steel and sound-damping materials that hold wind and road noise to a minimum.
Taking up a sizeable space up front is a radiator grille with a gloss-black insert and dark-gray surround trim, flanked by LED projector-style headlights and black bezels. It comes standard with forward-collision avoidance, safe-exit and lane-keep assists and smart cruise control; there also are 10 airbags, a driver knee airbag, four-wheel antilock brakes with brake assist, vehicle stability/traction control, front/rear crumple zones, daytime running lights and a tire pressure monitoring system.
Switch over to eco, comfort, smart and sport drive modes (snow and AWD lock for all-wheel drive) via a knob on the center console. Also offered are 10-way driver and eight-way front-passenger power seats, as well as dual 12.3-inch displays: a touch screen for infotainment system, and another for digital instrument cluster; Android Auto and Apple CarPlay; head-up display; cooled/heated front and Nappa leather seats; a dual sunroof; a surround-view monitor; a tilt/telescopic steering column; a dual auto AC; stainless-steel pedals/scuff plates; satin chrome door handles; and a 10-speaker Harman Kardon surround sound system.
Don’t be deluded into believing that the mighty 4,524-pound vehicle lacks muscle. In fact, the gas pedal releases forceful but silent acceleration to make the Telluride an elegant, pleasing and easy-riding companion. And Kia’s five-year, 60,000-mile basic and 10-year, 100,000-mile power train warranties should convince you to sign on the dotted line.