2023 Kia Telluride: First Look at Hot SUV with Off-Road Trims

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Kia Telluride

Want a Kia Telluride? Good luck with your search. It will likely include some combination of dealer markups and scarce inventory on Kia lots.

The Telluride, now in its third model year, will be easier and more affordable to buy. The enthusiasm is surrounding Kia’s SUV, which won the 2020 SUV Of the Year award, is only going to worsen. It is currently being upgraded with better looks and cooler in-cabin tech. This could lead to families using strollers and folding chairs to grab one.

More is better

Kia has found a way for Telluride to be even more appealing for 2023. They have improved the exterior styling and added new X-Line & X-Pro trims for a bit more rugged energy. So, what’s different? New features include new headlight and taillight interiors, front and back bumpers, lower bodyside cladding, and more elaborate detailing to give it a more elegant look. This is in an SUV already visually striking well above its cost.

Three new paint colors have been added to the lineup: Midnight Lake Blue and Dawning Red. All trim levels have new wheel designs. The interior of the three-row, the eight-seat vehicle takes a moderate leap forward with a refreshed dashboard, new air vents and a new steering wheel.

Made up of two 12.3-inch displays, the massive new screen unit resembles those in Mercedes-Benzes–and, closer to home, the futuristic layout in the new Kia EV6 electric crossover. We don’t know what other Tellurides might look like. Still, it is possible to expect a traditional gauge cluster with a separate central touchscreen, similar to what the Telluride has today. The ’23 Telluride has a standard WiFi hotspot, regardless of the display option. As before, buyers can upgrade to a larger head-up display. A digital key allows you to use your iPhone or Apple Watch to get into the vehicle.

With its smaller central vents, edgier detailing and thinner dashboard, the new dashboard has the same effect as the exterior. It just enhances Telluride’s already beautiful setup. This is a sub-$50,000, mainstream three-row SUV. It is priced at MSRP. Who knows what it will take to convince a dealer that you want one?. It looks and feels this way is why so many people are fighting for it.

There are also Off-Road models available.

 Kia Telluride

The Telluride family welcomes two new trim levels in 2023: the X-Line (with a beefier look) and the X-Pro (with a more adventurous style). The X-Pro is the only one that takes a shot at improving Kia’s off-road capabilities. It adds Continental all-terrain tires and black-painted 18-inch wheels. The Telluride’s maximum towing weight is increased by 500 pounds to 5,500, the X-Pro adds a 110-volt household outlet to its cargo hold, and the front seats get X-Pro branding and labels. Kia also installs rear and front bumpers to increase Telluride’s departure and approach angles. It also recalibrates its traction control setup and installs a stronger roof rack. The suspension is lifted by 0.4 inches.

The X-Line receives the same gear, except that it has the upgraded towing package and tires. The X-Line also replaces the Pro’s 18-inch wheels with the 20s on normal tires and uses the X-Pro labelling to give it the X-Line badge. All-wheel drive is standard on both X-trim Tellurides, but all Tellurides are powered by the same 291 horsepower 3.8-liter V-6 engines and use the same eight-speed automatic. We have bad news for the 2022-and prior Telluride Nightfall Edition, a special-edition trim that has been blacked out.

Kia has increased Telluride’s safety quotient for customers and made a smart move to capitalize on America’s obsession with outdoor vehicles with the X-Line/X-Pro. Kia’s standard functions now include forward-collision warning with pedestrian detection and lane-keep assistance, Highway Driving Assist 1.5 adaptive brake control, lane departure warning, and blind-spot monitoring. In addition, Kia has also added traffic sign recognition and a left turn warning function to intervene if you attempt to turn left into the path of an oncoming vehicle. New is a version of the left-turn function that responds to oncoming traffic and cross-traffic during a manoeuvre, side-swipe events, and Highway Driving Assist 2. This is a more powerful HDA 1.5 that can handle automated lane changes.

Kia Telluride was sold out without any changes so you can expect these improvements to only increase buyer interest. On-sale timing and pricing information will be available soon. However, these details are unlikely to be of any value in today’s market, where prices can be several thousand dollars higher than what Kia is asking. And availability could come down merely to your family putting in a few elbows at Kia and outsmarting another family in feats.

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