2021 Kia Telluride

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2021 Kia Telluride Review: The Creme de la Creme of Family SUVs

by Aiden Eksteen

Admiration for the 2021 Kia Telluride continues to burgeon throughout the USA after a very prosperous debut in 2020. With its suave and contemporary design, strapping and efficient powertrain, and its impressively commodious and ergonomic cabin, the 2021 Telluride receives very few enhancements and alterations, being an already exceptionally successful offering. Under its stylish, girthy hood is a 291-horsepower 6-cylinder engine that moves the hefty cruiser with gusto. Kia has also managed to deliver a surprisingly commodious and ergonomic cabin that can be configured to seat up to eight people. All-in-all, the 5-door SUV is beloved for its attractive styling, balanced performance, and truly versatile interior. Those qualities along with its excellent crashworthiness, reliability ratings, and impressive basic warranty coverage have the Telluride contrast favorably against its main competitors - the Toyota Highlander, Mazda CX-9, and Honda Pilot.

Read in this review:

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2021 Kia Telluride Changes: What’s The Difference vs The 2020 Kia Telluride?

Still fresh and shiny off its debut last year, the 2021 Kia Telluride SUV sees almost no noticeable changes. A few new colors are added to the palette: Black Copper is available from the S upwards, while Sangria is now no longer withheld from the SX. The top two trims also gain access to the Nightfall Edition Package, which gives the exterior a bolder overhaul with larger wheels and package-specific exterior elements, including front and rear bumpers and the exclusive Wolf Gray paint. Less obvious changes to the new Kia Telluride SUV include adding a remote engine start button to the key fob and an upgrade to the trailer towing harness from four to seven pins.

Pros and Cons

  • Strapping and efficient V6 engine
  • All three-rows of seating are spacious
  • Expansive in-trunk cargo capacity
  • Many driver assists and safety features
  • Good safety rating and reliability
  • Can feel a little ungainly around bends
  • Customization options are minimal
  • Could have done with a turbo engine

What's the Price of the 2021 Kia Telluride?

Best Deals on 2021 Kia Telluride

2021 Kia Telluride Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
3.8L V6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
3.8L V6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
3.8L V6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
3.8L V6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
See All 2021 Kia Telluride Trims and Specs

2021 Telluride Exterior

2021 Kia Telluride Front View CarBuzz
2021 Kia Telluride Rear View CarBuzz
2021 Kia Telluride Front Angle View CarBuzz
See All 2021 Kia Telluride Exterior Photos


  • Length 196.9 in
  • Wheelbase 114.2 in
  • Height 68.9 in
  • Max Width 78.3 in
  • Front Width 67.2 in
  • Rear Width 67.6 in
  • Curb Weight 4,112.0 lbs

Exterior Colors

  • Glacier White Pearl, Late Availability +$495
  • Snow White Pearl, Build Out: 07/31/2020 +$495
  • Ebony Black +$495
  • Sangria +$495
  • Black Copper +$495
  • Wolf Gray, Late Availability +$495
  • Gravity Gray
  • Dark Moss
  • Everlasting Silver

2021 Telluride Performance

2021 Kia Telluride Front Angle View 1 CarBuzz
2021 Kia Telluride Rear Angle View CarBuzz
2021 Kia Telluride Wheel CarBuzz

Engine and Transmission

  • Engine
    3.8L V6 Gas
  • Transmission
    8-Speed Automatic
  • Drivetrains
    AWD, FWD

2021 Telluride Interior

2021 Kia Telluride Central Console CarBuzz
2021 Kia Telluride Infotainment System CarBuzz
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Seating and Interior Space

  • Seating capacity
  • Front Leg Room 41.4 in
  • Front Head Room 40.9 in
  • Rear Leg Room 42.4 in
  • Rear Head Room 40.2 in

2021 Telluride Trunk and Cargo Space

2021 Kia Telluride Front Seats CarBuzz
2021 Kia Telluride Seat Details CarBuzz
2021 Kia Telluride Trunk Space CarBuzz

2021 Telluride Safety and Reliability


  • Basic:
    5 Years \ 60,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain:
    10 Years \ 100,000 Miles
  • Corrosion:
    5 Years \ 100,000 Miles
  • Roadside Assistance:
    5 Years \ 60,000 Miles

US NHTSA Crash Test Result

  • Overall Rating
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
  • Side Crash Rating
  • Rollover Rating

Verdict: Is the 2021 Kia Telluride A Good SUV?

There are very few cars that are as well-rounded and as rich in value as the 2021 Kia Telluride SUV at its price, which comes in at just $31,990. The V6 engine, which is standard-fit across the board, is both sturdy and reasonably fuel efficient. With that said, we still feel the Kia would benefit from a more modern and refined turbocharged small-capacity motor. Nevertheless, performance remains a strong point for the Korean SUV, along with a modern and genuinely stylish exterior design and surprisingly commodious interior. There's plenty of stretch room for all of the Telluride's passengers from the front through to the third-row of seating, with space left over in the trunk for cargo. Even the entry-spec Telluride comes comprehensively outfitted with advanced driver assists and other up-to-the-minute features. If you take into account the NHTSA and IIHS's exceptiional safety review of the 2021 Kia Telluride, along with its extensive standard warranty plan, it's easy to see why it is so popular.

What Kia Telluride Model Should I Buy?

Every first-gen Telluride model will provide you with plenty of value for the money. The base LX trim comes standard with a comprehensive selection of advanced creature comforts, conveniences, and technology, but it also comes with the five-inch infotainment touchscreen and six cabin speakers. This makes the EX a better pick, as it gets a larger eight-inch infotainment touchscreen along with an extensive list of other desirable features such as heated front seats, tri-zone automatic climate control, a wireless charging pad, and leather seating upholstery.

2021 Kia Telluride Popular Comparisons

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