If enough people want it, Kia's new SUV could come with Stinger power.
The 2020 Kia Telluride is now rolling off the assembly line and onto dealer lots, where it is expected to sell in droves. With an affordable starting price of just $32,735 with destination, we expect the Telluride to attract buyers from all corners of the automotive industry. While attending the launch event for the Telluride, Kia told us the one-month-old SUV was already selling beyond expectations. In its first month of sales, the Telluride already outsold the Dodge Durango, Mazda CX-9, Volkswagen Atlas, and Nissan Pathfinder. So where are all of these sales coming from? Well, Kia has good news about what type of vehicles people are trading in for the Telluride.
Kia says it has received trade-ins from the expected range of mid-size SUV rivals but has also seen people trading in luxury vehicles from Land Rover and Audi, which speaks to the luxurious nature of the Telluride. The Korean automaker has also received emails from owners of American SUVs like the Chevy Traverse and even trucks like the Silverado, expressing their intent to trade into a Telluride. This is a big leap for Kia, a brand often be ignored by shoppers who only buy American. Since the Telluride is built in Kia's US factory in Georgia, it is actually more American than most people believe.
While Kia is happy to see luxury buyers trading in their vehicles for a Telluride, we think the brand could offer one option to attract shoppers from premium brands. After driving the Telluride at high altitude around Colorado, we thought it could benefit from more power.
The only engine available currently is a 3.8-liter V6 producing 291 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque. We asked Kia's product planners if the 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6 from the Stinger and K900 could make an appearance in the Telluride and we were told: "it was discussed."
In the Stinger and several Genesis models, the twin-turbo V6 produces 365 hp, which is a healthy bump over the naturally aspirated model. Of course, all of the cars that use this engine have a rear-wheel-drive layout, so Kia would likely have to develop a different transmission for use in the Telluride.
While Kia wouldn't commit to the inclusion of the turbo engine, we were told we "may see it in the future" if there is demand. So if you'd like to see the Telluride get more power, be sure to tell your local dealership that you would have spent more to get a turbocharged engine.