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Car Reviews
2022 Review: Kia Telluride SX

Common wisdom has long held that you need some burly old-school SUV to tackle winter weather. The Kia Telluride illustrates that’s not so.

In fact, this midsize crossover is the antithesis of that outdated notion. For starters, the Telluride’s standard 291 horsepower, 3.8-liter V6 provides plentiful acceleration. Front-wheel drive is standard, but my test model came with an available all-wheel-drive system that can handle bad weather and even some light off-roading.  Towing capacity is a useful 5,500 pounds, enough to pull a small boat or camping trailer. 

The nicely tuned suspension delivers confident handling you might not expect from a three-row crossover. The ride quality is a bit on the firm side, but it’s by no means objectionable. The whole package makes it an excellent road-trip companion.

The freshly redesigned exterior ditches the whole “truck” vibe for sleek lines and classy styling. Unlike many traditional four-wheel drives, this new Telluride would fit right in at any valet stand.  

Inside, the eight-passenger cabin (capacity drops to seven with the available second-row captain’s chairs) is done up in unexpectedly high-quality materials. In fact, top trim levels like the SX model I drove are nice enough to hold their own against luxury crossovers costing thousands more. 

Second-row seats offer adult-size comfort, and even the third row is habitable for grownups. Folding down those rear seats gets you up to 87 cubic feet of cargo room. There’s even a fair amount of space for luggage or whatnot with the third row in use.

Beyond seating, the interior is filled with an impressive list of standard features, even on base models. My test SX version included push-button starting, a digital gauge display, a 12.3-inch touch-screen infotainment system with navigation, Apple Car Play and Android Auto smartphone integration, a wireless phone charging pad, heated/ventilated front- and second-row seats, LED headlights, power-folding outside mirrors and a power rear liftgate. And if that weren’t enough, you can even choose your interior lighting scheme from one of 64 available colors.

Besides creature comforts, the Telluride comes with a slew of advanced safety features, including automatic emergency braking. One of the most useful is what Kia dubs the Blind Spot View Monitor, which displays a camera image in the gauge cluster when a turn signal is activated. Another slick feature is Driver Talk, which allows you to push a button and project your voice through the rear speakers. 

Figure in strong scores in government crash tests, and you have a thoroughly modern crossover SUV that will likely change your mind about winter transportation. 

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  • Long list of standard features, even on lower trim levels
  • Sophisticated styling doesn’t scream “SUV!”




  • Not quite as fuel-efficient as some competitors
  • Climbing into the third row is best left to the young/nimble.



  • The ability to go in the snow without the typical truckish vibe



  • NHTSA Overall: 5 Stars (out of 5)



  • 19 city/24 highway (AWD)



  • MSRP: $35,090
  • As Tested: $47,895


*Prices listed include All Wheel Drive; destination charges, taxes and fees not included.