The mid-size three-row crossovers are flying off dealer lots at way above base price.
Starting at under $32k, Kia's new Telluride crossover – like many of its past and current models – represents a compelling value proposition. But most buyers of the new eight-passenger, mid-size crossover, it may come as little surprise, are spending more than that. Much more.
According to data published by Cox Automotive, the average transaction price on a new Telluride comes in north of $40,000. Which means that most buyers are either splurging for heavily (if not fully) loaded models rather than the more "accessible" versions.
Though the Telluride starts at $31,690 in base LX trim and can be had in S spec from $33,990, most buyers appear to be either splashing out for top-of-the-line SX model (which starts at $41,490), or ticking a lot of option boxes on the penultimate EX version (which starts at $37,090).
At upwards of $40k, a loaded Telluride starts getting pretty close to the lower end of the market for luxury-badged, mid-size, three-row crossovers like the Acura MDX, Infiniti QX60, Lexus RX L, and Volvo XC90 – though still short of higher-end models from the likes of Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz.
Not only are customers paying big bucks for the Kia Telluride, they're also snapping them up from dealer lots at considerable pace. Kia reportedly sold 6,374 Tellurides last month, compared to the 5,115 examples of the closely related Hyundai Palisade, which is just beginning to reach showrooms. As of August, Kia had sold 34,160 of them, outpacing even the 28,364 Highlanders sold through the same period by Toyota.
The biggest test of the Hyundai group's foray into the upper reaches of the crossover market, however, will come when its newly emancipated Genesis line rolls out its first crossover.