You may not apprehend it – I had to admonish myself at aboriginal – but Kia has absolutely had a three-row SUV for absolutely some time, now, and no, we’re not talking about the brief V8-powered Borrego. I’m talking about one of the South Korean brand’s bread-and-butter models, the Sorento. It has a third row, but it’s not the best attainable in the biz and a attending at the line-ups of appealing abundant every one of Kia’s competitors shows that they about all accept able three-row options.
The affidavit for this are manyfold, but one in accurate is crystal-clear: the three-row SUV has replaced the minivan aback it comes to bodies moving, and Kia bare to footfall up to the plate.
Which they accept done, and it absolutely amazing fashion, for the all-new Telluride is far from your boilerplate three-rower; it’s got that, but with a cast of affluence in a appearance of a trend started at Kia by the Stinger sports sedan.
You can’t absolutely acquaint from attractive at it, though, as the exoteric doesn’t move the aggravate all that abundant in the administration department; that’s apparently why they gussied up so abounding of these with all address of customization and overlanding accessory on the auto appearance ambit this year. Adulation the wheels, though, and the paint, to me, aloof screams “rooooaaaad trip!”
Inside, though, the Telluride is a amazing abode in which to sit. All the abstracts are top notch, the aluminum accents begin on capacity like the agent start/stop button, the media controls and on the council caster are altogether appointed and my tester’s Espresso Brown covering autogenous aloof oozes class. Alike the argument and lighting ‘round the drive approach ambassador appears laser cut into the base; they’ve absolutely hit the account on the head, here.
Being the second-tier SX V6 model, my tester had appealing abundant aggregate Kia offers on the Telluride except for Nappa leather, self-levelling suspension, 50/50 breach folding third row seats, heads-up affectation and heated/cooled additional row captain’s chairs. Instead, the additional row is a three-person bank but the way anniversary ancillary can accelerate ahead and aft on its own agency you get affectionate of a quasi-captain’s armchair feel.
Content-wise, aback my tester’s alone advantage was its Dark Moss paint, it had it all: acrimonious advanced seats, acrimonious council wheel, absolute copse atom trim, USB ports in all three rows, Harman Kardon audio, tri-zone altitude control, dual-panel sunroof, 20” wheels; it goes on, and on and on and added than acrimonious second-row seats, I absolutely don’t anticipate I’d be missing all that abundant as an owner.
Kia’s UVO infotainment system, meanwhile, is a acceptable one. There’s a 10.25” awning and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. It’s a big, crisp, apple-pie activity with a tiled affectation that (thankfully) doesn’t force you to use it for banal actuality like adjusting your altitude control; there are a set of buttons beneath it for that.
The barometer array is additionally added acceptable in that it’s alternation as against to digital, admitting it does get a 7” affectation at its centre. And what a anatomic allotment it is, acceptable a blind-spot camera for both your right- and left-hand ancillary dark spots already the about-face indicator is flipped. A advancement cam wouldn’t absolutely assignment there because the bulk of council lock appropriate would arrest it, which isn’t absolutely an affair with a dark atom camera. I’m additionally a fan of the drive baddest system, which operates in two parts: on the appropriate of the system’s controller, you’ll acquisition the assorted area modes – snow, mud and sand. On the left, you’ll acquisition the powertrain modes – comfort, eco, action and smart. You toggle amid which settings you’re adjusting by acute on the wheel, thereby eliminating the charge for a additional set of controls.
The adeptness advanced seats acclimatize eight agency for the disciplinarian and six for the passenger, and they are beefy after blame the occupants out. It additionally feels like a big amplitude – the 5,040 L of commuter aggregate it provides is no antic – and this is conceivably best embodied in the third row. In accession to actuality attainable to access, it’s not a bad abode to sit at all if the second-row occupants are accommodating to accelerate their seats advanced a bit. To accomplish it alike added attainable aback there, there are cupholders and USB ports. The Telluride additionally gets article alleged “Driver Talk” that absolutely uses microphones to advertisement what you’re adage to the bodies abaft you. It sounds a little echoey, but it works and is a abundant way to accumulate the ancestors in-check, and your eyes on the alley as you don’t accept to about-face about for the aback bench occupants to bigger apprehend you.
Losing the second-row captain’s chairs agency you additionally lose the adeptness to footfall amid them to admission the third row. It’s not as austere an answerability here, though, as the way the additional row tilts and slides with a distinct button columnist agency a appealing attainable access rearwards. The third row, meanwhile, folds into the attic with a columnist of a button army in the burden wall, accouterment 1,303 L of accumulator space, bottomward a little on what offered by the Honda Pilot and Nissan Pathfinder. That shrinks to 595 with the third row up, but there’s nice underfloor accumulator to accord you aloof that abundant added allowance to breathe aback there and added allowance than there is in either the Nissan or Honda. The tailgate, meanwhile, opens as anon as you angle abreast it with a keyfob in your pocket; no charge to accomplish a Russian-style ball beneath the rear bonanza to actuate it.
Power is provided by a naturally-aspirated V6 (to the tune of 291 hp and 262 lb-ft), which will be added than abundant for most. It’s bland and works able-bodied in concert with the accepted 8-speed automated to move you confidently forward.
The torque and adeptness anatomy to their corresponding peaks in bland fashion, if not one that I’d call as “sprightly”. I do like how there’s about consistently adeptness on-tap, however, authoritative for attainable freeway passing. I acquisition it adamantine not to brainstorm what the Telluride would feel like if Kia managed to acquisition a way to arise the twin-turbo V6 from the Stinger, though. It makes added adeptness and torque, and it’d be absorbing to see how that translates to hauling.
The Telluride’s ride and administration are a standout in the category. The autogenous administration suggests that it should ride absolutely calmly and that it does, rarely accepting active by your accustomed alley imperfections. There will be a little bit of anatomy cycle as the weight – that’s about two tonnes of Korean pig adamant – begins to transfer, though. The self-levelling abeyance begin on the Limited trim could help, but it wasn’t so bad on my tester that I took absolute affair with it. Instead, I aloof laid aback and let the acknowledging council and anatomy waft me to my destination. The ancestors will adulation it.
We talked about the dark atom ecology system, but that’s aloof the alpha of it aback it comes to the Telluride. Adaptive cruise, lane-keep assist, dark atom blow avoidance, forward-collision abetment and rear-traffic abetment all appear as standard. The alone assurance options are said dark atom ecology arrangement and advanced parking sensors. The alone acumen why you’re not seeing a ten actuality is that there’s no auto-parking arrangement to allege of and in a agent this new, there care to be one. The VW Atlas gets it, as will the all-new 2020 Explorer as we alpha to see added and added that systems like this are no best aloof for top-spec affluence models.
For best of our time in the city, we kept it in “eco” mode, while “sport” was the adopted best while on the artery as it sharpens the burke response, directs added adeptness to the rear arbor and adds weight to the steering; combined, we saw 12.4 L/100 km, which is about what Kia’s claiming for the Telluride.
Put simply, what you accept actuality is one of the best ethics in the three-row SUV market. Our trim – the second-best SX V6 with all that actuality we talked about – starts at beneath 50 grand, while the Atlas, the Pilot, the Highlander and so on will run you over 50 admirable and into the 55-grand akin after breaking a diaphoresis aback analogously equipped. I adulation how common the Telluride affairs acquaintance is, too; there are basically no advantage bales – aloof aces your trim, aces your colour, and go. There’s article to be said for that.