2022 Kia Telluride

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2022 Kia Telluride Test Drive Review: The Three-Row SUV King

Big, bold, and still the best three-row family SUV you can find for under $50k, the Kia Telluride is back for the third year of dominance in the American market. After debuting to rapturous success in 2020, little has changed from a winning recipe in the three-row midsize segment. Utilizing a unibody construction, it handles like a car but has all the space needed for a large family, with room for up to eight occupants, a large cargo hold, oodles of technology, and of course, the automaker's penchant for reliability and style.

The Telluride does all this and more, thanks to its 291-horsepower V6 engine, comfortable cabin, and long list of available tech and safety features. With a modest price tag and competitive fuel economy figures, it is no wonder that the Kia Telluride SUV is among the most popular family cars in the USA, regularly beating out the competition in the form of the Honda Pilot, Toyota Highlander, and Mazda CX-9. In fact only its corporate sibling, the Hyundai Palisade, comes close to matching it. After spending a week in the top SX Prestige model, we learned that the Telluride is still in a great position heading into 2022.

Read in this review:

  • Exterior Design 10 /10
  • Performance 7 /10
  • Fuel Economy 7 /10
  • Interior & Cargo 10 /10
  • Infotainment & Features 10 /10
  • Reliability 9 /10
  • Safety 9 /10
  • Value For Money 10 /10
9.0
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2022 Kia Telluride Changes: 🚙What’s the difference vs the 2021 Kia Telluride?

It's only been launched two years ago, but Kia isn't resting on its laurels. For the 2022 model year, the most noticeable exterior changes are a mildly restyled front grille and the new-age Kia logo that replaces the old oval one. The bottom two trims are also upgraded and both benefit from a new 10.25-inch split-screen infotainment display to replace the old eight-inch item. The LX and S trims also additionally gains climate control with automatic temperature control for the rear passengers and more safety features, such as navigation-based adaptive cruise control that can slow down for curves. The S trim also gets a wireless phone charger. Navigation now becomes standard equipment on all trims.

Pros and Cons

  • Capable and efficient V6
  • Loads of space across three rows
  • Respectable cargo capacity
  • Comprehensive list of safety equipment
  • Excellent warranty plan
  • Very few customization options
  • No hybrid option
  • Turbocharged rivals offer better fuel economy
  • Dealer markups

Best Deals on 2022 Kia Telluride

2022 Kia Telluride Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
LX
3.8L V6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$33,390
S
3.8L V6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$35,890
EX
3.8L V6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$38,390
SX
3.8L V6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$43,290
See All 2022 Kia Telluride Trims and Specs

Handling and Driving Impressions

While it may be designed to haul the family around town or cross-country safely, the Telluride is no slouch on the road. Light steering in Comfort mode lends the crossover to city living, but flip the switch to Sport, and it tightens up a bit to give a bit more feel. Regardless of the setting, it delivers a smooth ride, with most minor road abrasions going unnoticed by passengers. Kia didn't design the Telluride as a backroad barnstormer, but when the road gets twisty, the Telluride exhibits more composure than its rivals. It can even handle some light off-roading when necessary while still retaining much of its poise.

The Telluride never feels its size, handling remarkably gracefully despite its large dimensions. Still, it's no sports ute, and driving enthusiasts will have slightly more fun behind the wheel of a Mazda CX-9. The engineers definitely had a goal in mind when they designed the Telluride: to deliver a comfortable driving and riding experience for the entire family. And it certainly delivers on that, feeling smaller than its bulk would imply.

Verdict: 🏁Is the 2022 Kia Telluride a Good SUV?

The Kia Telluride certainly made a splash in 2020, and we do not expect the ripples to die down any time soon, as-evidenced by the sky-high transaction prices. Every aspect of this midsize SUV comes together to deliver a near-flawless package at a very reasonable cost. You get a capable V6 engine that still manages to be economical, plenty of passenger and cargo space, a decent list of standard features, and plenty of driver-assist tech, even more so this year on the base configurations. Plus, the Telluride combines a rugged exterior with a near-luxury interior. When you factor in Kia's appealing warranty plan and impressive ratings, it is not hard to see why the Telluride is so popular.

If you want luxury comfort and style at an affordable price, even the top-tier Telluride trims come in well below more premium options from Acura, Lexus, and Infiniti. We'd easily recommend it over anything else in the class with the possible exception of the mechanically identical Hyundai Palisade. If you need more space, the Chevy Traverse offers it, but aside from those two exceptions, the 2022 Kia Telluride remains the king of its segment.

2022 Kia Telluride Comparisons

Hyundai Palisade CarBuzz
Honda Pilot Honda

2022 Kia Telluride vs Hyundai Palisade

Neither the Telluride nor its cousin, the Hyundai Palisade, have seen any extensive changes for the new model year, so what was true last year remains the same. The Palisade even shares similar pricing to the Kia Telluride. The Kia is slightly more practical with marginally more trunk space, more passenger room, and better fuel economy, despite sharing an engine with the Palisade. It's also a little more affordable, since the Hyundai puts more focus on delivering a more opulent interior with better standard features. But, to be honest, there is not much separating these two cars, and which one you pick will primarily come down to taste and brand loyalty. Neither offers a genuine 4x4 system, but all-wheel-drive is available on both. Overall, the Telluride is slightly better value for money, in our opinion.

See Hyundai Palisade Review

2022 Kia Telluride vs Honda Pilot

Before the Kia SUV came along, the Honda Pilot was the cool kid on the block. Two years ago, Honda saw its market dominance challenged, and it has not made much of an effort to regain its advantage. If anything, it has only made a few changes to bring itself more in line with the Telluride rather than surpass it in terms of value. With the loss of the base LX and EX trims for 2022 and no sign yet of the mooted new base model, the Honda is significantly pricier at a $39,060 starting price, yet it provides a relatively small 16.5-cubic-foot trunk compared to the Hyundai's 21 cubes. It has a lot of standard features, though, and gets nearly equal ratings as the Telluride. So, what it really comes down to is which vehicle ticks more boxes as a family car. If you're looking for the perfect family vehicle, the Kia Telluride remains the SUV to beat, thanks to its superior levels of real estate for both passengers and their things.

See Honda Pilot Review

2022 Kia Telluride Popular Comparisons

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2022 Kia Telluride Video Reviews

Check out some informative Kia Telluride video reviews below.

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