2020 Kia Telluride Three-Row Crossover Unveiled

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Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

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, Automotive Editor - September 11, 2018

Despite the auto industry's move toward small crossovers and SUVs, large eight-passenger utility vehicles are still extremely popular. Consumers looking for something that can haul a baseball field's worth of passengers will have something new to cross-shop with the Kia Telluride, which recently made an appearance at this weekend's New York Fashion Week in what appears to be production-ready form.

Kia first unveiled the wild and good-looking Telluride Concept at the 2016 Detroit Auto Show. Back then, we didn't know much about the SUV besides the fact that it would be larger than the mid-size Kia Sorento and have an upright design. We also didn't expect to see a lot of the concept's clean lines and gorgeous design elements, like the grille and taillights to make their way onto a production version, as automakers usually cut radical elements out. But Kia shocked us, and a lot of other people, with a surprise unveiling of a modified Telluride.

The Telluride SUV in New York was wearing some bespoke components that were inspired by fashion designer Brandon Maxwell and his Texas roots. On the inside, there's natural wood interior trim, as well as double-stitched leather seats, dash, door panels, and grab handles that are inspired by saddles. The same leather has been used on the exterior mirrors and door handles, too, creating an interesting look.

Speaking of the exterior, the Telluride features a dark green paint scheme that's similar to the shade we saw a few years ago at the auto show. Kia fitted the SUV with some off-roading goodies, which include heavy-duty skid plates, a custom mount for the spare tire, a wood and aluminum roof rack, a hidden winch, a snorkel, and more. Off-road tires and black alloy wheels cap off the rugged look, which is a departure from the luxury-forward design of the SUV from the auto show a few years ago.

Besides unveiling the near production-ready Telluride, Kia didn't provide a lot of information on the SUV. The automaker stated that it was “several inches longer and wider” than the Sorento and would be powered by a V6 engine. The latter is different from the concept, which featured a hybrid powertrain that consisted of a 3.5-liter V6 and an electric motor for a combined output of 400 horsepower.

2020 Kia Telluride

If you look closely at the exterior, the SUV features some small changes over the concept. The headlights have a vertical layout instead of a horizontal one, the grille has shrunk in size, the taillights have grown in width, and the rear end doesn't have as much of an upright design as before. These look like small changes, though, as the overall design that we loved so much remains mostly the same.

The interior of the Telluride ditches the futuristic dashboard layout for something a little more familiar to some of Kia's other designs. A large touchscreen sits above infotainment and climate controls. The large screen that acted as a high-tech instrument cluster was replaced by a more traditional unit with gauges and what appears to a smaller LCD screen in between.

We expect the Telluride to make its official debut next year and go on sale as a 2020 model. The large SUV will compete in the full-size SUV segment against the Nissan Armada, Toyota Sequoia, and Ford Expedition.

, Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

Follow On: Twitter

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