Not bad for a large SUV.
At this year's Detroit Auto Show, Kia finally showed off its bold three-row SUV, the Telluride. The Telluride sits atop Kia's SUV lineup as the largest model currently offered. We already know the Telluride comes powered by a 3.8-liter V6 producing 291 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque going out to front- or all-wheel-drive via an eight-speed automatic. No other engine or transmission options have been announced thus far.
New details about the Telluride have been trickling out, including an affordable $32,735 starting price. Now, the EPA has revealed the Telluride's fuel economy figures, which are commendable but not excellent for the segment.
FWD Telluride models are rated at 20 mpg in the city, 26 mpg on the highway, and 23 mpg on the combined cycle. Opting for AWD drops these figures to 19-mpg city, 24-mpg highway, and 21-mpg combined. Looking around at other three-row crossovers, the Telluride sits neither and the top nor the bottom in terms of fuel economy. It bests the V6-powered Chevy Traverse and Volkswagen Atlas, which are rated at 18/27/21 and 17/24/19 city/highway/combined respectively.
However, Kia's three-row SUV isn't able to match the fuel economy of the Honda Pilot, Subaru Ascent and Toyota Highlander (with the V6), rated at 17/24/19, 21/27/23, and 21/27/23 mpg city/highway/combined respectively, though it does match the turbocharged four-cylinder Mazda CX-9.
Styling, interior quality, and value may be good reasons to buy a Kia Telluride but it looks like fuel efficiency won't be a major selling point. We'd love to see Kia create a plug-in hybrid version with improved fuel economy or ditch efficiency altogether by dropping in the 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6 from the Stinger and K900. The Telluride will arrive in dealerships starting this spring and Hyundai's version, the Palisade, should arrive soon after. The EPA hasn't released fuel economy figures for the Palisade but we expect it to be close to the Telluride's numbers.