The incredibly popular Kia Telluride has never had problems attracting buyers, and after showing off it’s refreshed looks and two new trim packages at the New York Auto Show, one of the most highly sought after mid-size SUVs will likely end up as even more Americans’ first Kia.
The new design elements are very 2023. Let’s compare the two: Here’s the old Telluride
And here’s the new:
See? The new one feels much more modern, even though the previous model itself only debuted in 2019 and was sold for the 2020 model year. It’s definitely more in line with the Kia K5's design language. Kia says 75 percent of Telluride buyers are new to the brand and, with sales still going strong, you should get used to see this in the rearview pretty quickly.
Tech updates on the inside are also quite in keeping with The Times: The nav screen grew from 10.3 inches to 12.3 inches, and Kia gives buyers the option to replace their rearview mirror to a Full Display Mirror with HomeLink functionality. The automaker is also offering Kia Connect, which turns the Telluride into yet another highly connected appliance:
- Digital Key: Allows use of iPhones, Apple Watches, and Samsung Galaxy smartphones as a virtual vehicle key to lock, unlock and drive. Keys can be shared with friends and family over text messages on available devices
- In-vehicle Wi-Fi Hotspot connects up to five devices to 4G LTE-based internet
- Map and Infotainment Over-The-Air (OTA) updates
- Kia Access App with smartwatch compatibility through Apple Watch and Samsung Galaxy smart watches
- Stolen vehicle tracking and immobilization capability
- Connected Routing: The server-based system calculates the optimal route by using real-time and predicted traffic information based on past information and AI that has learned the user’s preferred route.
- Smart Speaker Integration lets customers use Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant enabled smart speakers or devices to remotely control some functions (such as remote start)
The two new trim levels — X-Line and X-Pro — gives customers even more color options, beefy 20-inch wheels and more capability. These trims are definitely a play for the suburbanite who fancies themselves outdoorsy. With the X-Line you get higher ground clearance, improved approach and departure angles, tow mode for optimized trailering performance (shift logic, sway control) and an upgraded Traction Control System (TCS). The X-Pro comes with all of that, plus an additional 500 pounds of towing capacity to 5,500.
This fresh face works for me, especially on what we at Jalopnik consider a pretty pleasant SUV. Hopefully, Kia makes enough Tellurides for the U.S. this time around. The brand vastly underestimated demand for the SUV, planning to build only 60,000 a year for its first year, and then ramping up to 100,000 a year. And still they couldn’t meet demand. Of course, a global pandemic didn’t make delivering cars to customers any easier.