The competent full-size SUV is set to get even better courtesy of sharper styling, enhanced tech and more choice.
We're big fans of the near-flawless Kia Telluride. It's one of the finest SUVs in the mid-size segment, so when Kia teased an updated model, we were keen to see what changes would be made. The wait is over; the Korean carmaker has unveiled the 2023 Telluride at the New York Auto Show with a host of revisions to make the best even better.
The handsome styling remains, but has been uplifted by several appealing enhancements. A new front bumper design, LED headlights, and restyled Tiger Nose grille lend the SUV a more rugged look. Most of the aesthetic changes have taken place at the rear, where you'll find stylish new taillamps. The shape remains unchanged, but the cluster design looks far more contemporary than before.
The rear facia also benefits from revised trims, as well as the doors, with reworked side sills. All trim levels gain new wheel designs and three new colors have been added to the palette; Midnight Lake Blue, Dawning Red, and Jungle Wood Green.
The capacious interior has received its share of improvements. Aside from new color options and a redesigned steering wheel, the 2023 Telluride gains a reworked dashboard with redesigned trim panels and HVAC vents. Together with the curved 12.3-inch (previously 10.3 inches) screens, the Telluride now has a more modern cabin.
The Telluride lineup will also grow for the 2023 model year, thanks to the addition of two new trim levels. X-Line and X-Pro are marketed to more adventure-minded customers and offer exclusive enhancements over other trims. The X-Line supplants the Nightfall Edition. To help it stand out is a unique grille design and 20-inch wheels, along with X-Line badging. Body-colored door handles and bridge-type roof rails also mark it out as the more rugged variant.
Inside, the X-Line is privy to model-specific color packages and features X-Line embossing on the front seats. Furthermore, ground clearance has increased by 0.4 inches, improving approach and departure angles. An upgraded traction control system and optimized Tow mode round off the changes.
X-Pro models receive smaller 18-inch black-painted wheels wrapped in all-terrain tires and unique badging. Inside, the more focused Telluride also receives interior embossing and a 110-volt inverter outlet in the cargo area. What's more, the towing limit has been increased to 5,500 lbs; an increase of 500 lbs thanks to the new Tow Mode function.
Under the hood, the Telluride remains unchanged, retaining the 3.8-liter V6, which sends 291 horsepower/262 lb-ft of torque to the wheels via an eight-speed automatic gearbox. That's not to say the Telluride hasn't gained any updates to make life easier for the driver. Downhill Brake Control has been added to the full-size SUV and optional convenience features such as a Full Display Mirror and a powered tailgate with auto-closing functionality are now available.
Already available on models such as the EV6, the 2023 Telluride features Kia Connect. A few of the myriad functionalities include an in-vehicle Wi-Fi hotspot, over-the-air updates, and a digital key. Owners can use their smartphone or smartwatch to lock, unlock and drive the vehicle.
Already packed full of safety features, the 2023 Telluride sees its ADAS suite grow with the inclusion of Intelligent Speed Limit Assist and Forward Collision Assist - Junction Turning. Depending on settings, the former can alert the driver to speed restrictions and even limit vehicle speed. The latter can detect potential collisions while turning left at an intersection, by applying the brakes to stop the car. Both are fitted as standard.
Several other systems such as Forward Collision Warning and Lane Keep Assist are also standard, but buyers have the choice to add numerous optional safety features as well. Pricing for the 2023 Telluride is yet to be announced, but we don't expect it to stray too far from the current value-minded prices (2022 models start from $33,090).
The comprehensive updates will aid Kia in staying ahead of the competition, with more choice, convenience, and style bolstering the Telluride's appeal.