In this comparison of engine specs, dimensions, pricing and photos, we'll take a look at the 2020 Telluride versus the Honda Pilot, Subaru Ascent, Toyota Highlander, the all-new 2020 Ford Explorer, and the Telluride's mechanically related cousin, the equally new 2020 Hyundai Palisade. Of course, those just represent one corner of an iceberg that also includes the Mazda CX-9, Chevrolet Traverse, GMC Acadia and Dodge Durango.
Passenger spaceLike most other entries in the three-row segment, the Telluride offers seven- or eight-passenger capacity. The difference is determined by whether you get second-row captain's chairs. Judging by the Telluride's 55.3 inches of third-row shoulder room, it looks like it won't be quite as spacious with three kids across back there as it would be in the Pilot or Ascent. Two inches can make a big difference in this regard. Third-row legroom is very competitive, however, and if it's indeed just as spacious back there as the Pilot and Ascent, two full-sized adults should be able to fit quite comfortably. Its third-row headroom is also quite good, one of the areas in which the Telluride surpasses its otherwise comparably sized Palisade cousin.
If you're wondering about second-row space, there's really nothing outstanding to glean from these specs. As expected for this segment, it's huge, with abundant leg- and headroom. There should be no problem fitting child seats.
Cargo spaceThe Telluride would seem to have class-leading space behind its raised third-row seat. If we were to guess, this is the result of its rather boxy tailgate and roofline design. This should also help explain why it has more maximum space than all but the Explorer. Space with the third row lowered is middle of the pack, but when you're talking about vehicles this size, the differences in cubic feet behind the second-row ultimately don't matter much.
Performance and Fuel EconomyThe Kia Telluride has the same powertrain as the Hyundai Palisade, although their tuning and consequent driving experience may differ even if their specs are seemingly the same. That's something we'll discover once we get to drive both here in the United States. In terms of output, its 291 horsepower is among the strongest in the segment, and with one of the lowest base curb weights, acceleration should be as well.
The EPA estimates that the front-wheel-drive Telluride will get 20 mpg city, 26 mpg highway, and 23 mpg combined, while all-wheel drive reduces estimates 19 mpg city, 24 highway, and 21 combined. As you can see, this puts it inline with the segment norm.
Pricing and featuresAlthough we're still waiting on some final specs for the 2020 Kia Telluride, we do know how much it will cost after pricing was announced during the Chicago Auto Show. The base, two-wheel-drive LX trim levels starts at $32,735, including the $1,045 destination charge. That's $240 more than the Pilot, but $155 less than the Ascent (which comes standard with all-wheel drive) and a whopping $1,740 less than a base V6-powered Highlander. Explorer and Palisade pricing were not released at the time of this writing. Also, if you're wondering, a Sorento LX would be $5,400 less.
Importantly, standard equipment seems comparable, if just a bit better thanks to standard simulated leather upholstery (versus cloth) and an 8-inch touchscreen (versus the smaller standard screens of competitors. Like all of the above competitors, the Telluride comes standard with accident avoidance tech features like forward collision warning, emergency automatic braking and lane-keeping assist. Adaptive cruise control is also standard along with USB charge ports in all rows, rear parking sensors and proximity entry with push-button start.
From there, the Telluride is offered in S ($35,035), EX ($38,135) and range-topping SX ($42,535) trims. A loaded Telluride will cost $46,935, which actually isn't that much since certain three-row models (and even some two-row ones) can top $50,000.
How they compare in pictures
2020 Kia Telluride
2020 Ford Explorer
2019 Honda Pilot
2020 Hyundai Palisade
2019 Subaru Ascent
2019 Toyota Highlander