2022 Kia Telluride

By November 3, 2021

The Kia Telluride was new for 2020, and instantly became a favorite among three-row family SUVs. For 2022 it doesn’t change its winning ways, but it does add a few more bits of standard gear: a 10.3-inch touchscreen and automatic climate control become standard equipment, while the LX and S get adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go control.

The Telluride uses a 291-hp 3.8-liter V-6, mated to an 8-speed automatic, and they work well together. There’s ample acceleration in front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. It isn’t quick, but it has a serene ride, as the suspension quietly smothers bumps and road seams. It can tow 5,000 pounds.

Since there is no Telluride hybrid, the EPA ratings aren’t strong. The front-drive Telluride earns 20 mpg city, 26 highway, 23 combined; while the AWD version gets 19/24/21 mpg.

The NHTSA gives the Telluride five stars overall, with four-star for frontal protection. The IIHS calls the models with LED headlights a Top Safety Pick.

All Tellurides get standard automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitors, adaptive cruise control, and active lane control.

Model Lineup

The base $34,015 Telluride LX comes with seating for eight, manually-adjustable front seats with synthetic leather, power features, the 10.3-inch touchscreen, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, keyless start. All-wheel drive is available for $2,000.

The $36,515 Telluride S adds heated front seats, a power driver seat, 20-inch wheels, and second-row captain’s chairs.

The $39,015 Telluride EX has leather upholstery, power tailgate, sunroof, cooled front seats, and wireless smartphone charging.

The $43,915 Telluride SX has Harman Kardon audio, nappa leather, a head-up display, heated and cooled second-row seats, a heated steering wheel, automatic high-beam headlights, front parking sensors, surround-view camera system; a head-up display is available.


The Telluride’s shape slips between rugged and urbane. It’s sleek with the right balance of angles and curves. It has a purposeful but chunky look that’s appealing from nearly every angle.

Narrow, upright headlights and a substantial grille lay out a hefty stance. It looks like a sharp family wagon, especially with the 20-inch wheels. The SX Nightfall version carries blacked-out trim.


The Telluride’s cabin trim varies from very good to spectacular. Base versions wear plain beige or black trim, while the SX carries the available nappa leather and wood trim like a mountain resort—or, in off-white, it could be a Caribbean resort.

The wide and low dash sits under a billboard-style 10.3-inch infotainment touchscreen. The driving position and space surrounding front passengers is impressive, as is the small-item storage.

With a 114.2-inch wheelbase and overall length of 196.9 inches, it’s easy to fit eight passengers. The second row can be a bench seat or two captain’s chairs. The rear seat folds and slides forward to better reach the third-row seat, where there is enough room for adults on short trips. There’s as much room in the back as some minivans.

There’s 21 cubic feet of cargo space behind the third row, and 46 cubic feet when the third row is folded. The cargo space blooms to 87 cubic feet when the second row is folded.

Driving Impressions

The Telluride uses 291-hp, 3.8-liter V-6 engine and 8-speed automatic transmission, with front- or all-wheel drive. It weighs about 4,500 pounds, so the forward motion is far from fierce. The transmission kicks down quick and clean, when a burst of speed is needed. There’s a Sport driving mode.

With all-wheel drive, the Telluride can tow up to 5,000 lb. Locked in a 50:50 power split at speeds of up to 40 mph, it’s a good tool to carve up wintry roads when necessary.

The steering gains weight in some drive modes, while losing feedback.

The Telluride’s ride is admirable, even on its 20-inch wheels. We haven’t driven the base versions, but the EX and SX models damp pavement ripples with ease—composed and mostly unbothered.

Final Word

The Telluride ticks every box except fuel economy. It’s been called an “amazing value,” and that holds true, especially when you compare it to rivals. Topping it all off: That sterling Kia warranty.


—by Sam Moses with driving impressions by The Car Connection

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