Now in its second year, the 2021 Kia Telluride gains a Nightfall Edition. The new special edition features stealth-black trim for a more aggressive look.
The rest of the lineup sees minimal changes outside of the usual trim shuffling, the most notable being the addition of a remote start button on the key fob.
Choosing Your Kia Telluride
The Kia Telluride is available in four trims: LX, S, EX, and SX. Pricing starts at $33,160 including destination for the base model and reaches $43,360 for the SX.
The Telluride comes with a 3.8-liter V6 engine that develops 291 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. Power is routed to the front wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission. All-wheel drive is available for $2,000 across the lineup ($1,900 on the SX).
The Telluride achieves 20 miles per gallon city, 26 mpg highway, and 23 combined, according to the EPA. Choose AWD, and the numbers drop to 19/24/21 mpg (city/highway/combined).
This SUV has a 5,000-pound tow rating when equipped with the available Tow Package ($795).
Passenger and Cargo Capacity
The Kia Telluride is three-row utility vehicle that seats eight in its standard configuration. The seats are covered in imitation leather on the lower trims and wrapped in real hides at the top trim.
The first two rows offer roomy and well-padded seats, while the third row is best left to children. In the second row, captain’s chairs replace the bench seat in the S and SX trims, thereby reducing passenger capacity to seven.
When it comes to cargo space, the Telluride offers a standard 21 cubic feet. Fold down the third row and space expands to 46 cubes. With the second and third rows folded, cargo capacity measures 87 cubic feet.
Kia supplies the Telluride with a generous list of standard driver assistance safety features. These include adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, lane keeping assist, lane departure warning, rear parking sensors, and a driver attention monitor. The Telluride’s list of standard safety features is unmatched by most competitors, excluding the Toyota Highlander.
A few safety features are exclusive to the SX trim: a surround-view camera system, front parking sensors, a blind-spot monitor, and automatic high beams.
Kia equips the Telluride with an 8-inch touchscreen display, Bluetooth, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone compatibility, Sir Eyes Free, five USB ports, and a six-speaker audio system.
Moving up to the EX trim brings a 10.25-inch touchsreen, another USB port, and a wireless charger. The range-topping SX gets a 10-speaker Harman Kardon audio system.
A rear-entertainment system is a $1,500 upgrade across the model line. A head-up display is an option on the SX only.
The standard LX comes with automatic projector-beam headlights, 18-inch alloy wheels, remote start, keyless entry, push-button start, a tilt-and-telescopic steering column, and seats wrapped in imitation leather.
The second row features a 60/40 split fold-down bench seat. The third row also has a 60/40 split-fold down bench seat; this one comes with a reclining feature.
Kia equips the S trim with 20-inch alloy wheels, roof rails, and a sunroof. Additionally, this model features a 10-way power driver’s seat with lumbar support, heated front seats, and second-row captain’s chairs.
The EX adds multiple upgrades, including 18-inch machine-finished alloy wheels, LED taillgihts, and a power liftgate. This trim also includes the 10.25-inch touchscreen, a wireless phone charger, an additional USB port, leather upholstery, woodgrain trim, dual-zone climate control, ventilated front seats, and second-row window shades.
An available EX Nightfall Edition ($1,295) includes a special grille, wheels, roof rails, badging, and moulding embellishments, as well as fog lights. Also available is an EX Premium Package ($1,695) with LED headlights, 20-inch machine-finished wheels, and seven-seat passenger capacity with the second-row captain’s chairs replacing the standard bench seat.
The top-of-the-line SX pulls out all the stops with chrome exterior embellishments, LED headlights, fog lights, black 20-inch alloy wheels, and a dual-panel sunroof. Inside, the SX features stainless-steel door sill scuff trim and stainless-steel pedals, an upgraded instrument panel, ambient lighting, a 12-way power driver's seat with memory settings, a Harman Kardon audio system, a 7-inch gauge cluster, and the remaining available safety features.
The Nightfall Package is also available here. A Prestige Package ($2,300) adds features not available anywhere else, including automatic rain-sensing windshield wipers, a 110-volt power inverter, upgraded leather seats, a premium headliner, a head-up display, and heated and ventilated second-row seats.
Compare Telluride Trims Side-By-Side
We think the EX offers the best value in the 2021 Kia Telluride lineup, as it includes many of the features families want. The two package upgrades allow for customization, but the standard 18-inch wheels supply a better ride than the available 20-inch wheels. All told, you’ll get a family SUV for under $40,000 that comes better equipped than competing models that cost more.