By Larry Lark, contributor
Big, bold and boxy, that’s the newly tweaked 2022 Kia Telluride mid-size SUV.
The largest Kia ever, Telluride seats up to eight passengers and comes with a premium, well-appointed interior, loads of technology, and numerous comfort, convenience and utility amenities to make the passenger experience top drawer.
Telluride gets its name from the Colorado ski resort, serving notice it traverses mountain passes, rugged off-road trails, and crowded city roads with equal aplomb.
Powered by a 3.8-liter, gas direct injection, six-cylinder engine mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission and active, on-demand, all-wheel drive, Telluride generates 291 horsepower and 262 lb.-ft. of torque. Telluride produces 24 miles per gallon fuel economy down the highway.
The go-anywhere, do-anything SUV adds a navigation-based, smart cruise control system for this model year along with fully automatic temperature control front and rear, highway driving assist and a wireless phone charger.
Telluride is the first Kia designed specifically for the U.S. and is a product of the Kia Design Center in Irvine, CA. It is fully assembled in West Point, GA. Telluride will be available in four trims, LX, EX, S and SX ,with a choice of front-wheel or optional all-wheel drive.
The exterior is highlighted with a long, broad hood, wide grille, upright windshield, inverted L tail lamps with LED stripes, and a sculpted rear skid plate with integrated twin exhaust tips. Other features include a smart, hands-free lift gate, and power folding heated outside mirrors.
My tester, the SX trim level, added a Nightfall Edition Package ($1,395) and a Prestige Package ($2,300), along with a Towing Package ($995). All of that is on top of a model that includes a rear sunroof, surround view and blind-spot monitor, Harman/Kardon surround sound audio, second row captain’s chairs, and parking distance warning.
Nightfall Edition adds exclusive 20-inch, black-finished, alloy wheels, exclusive front grille with black finish and black exterior trim to contrast against its Wolf Gray coat of enamel. Prestige delivers Nappa leather seat trim, heated and ventilated second-row seats, and rain-sensing wipers. And the tow package adds a hitch and self-leveling rear suspension.
Drivers can choose from four drive modes – Smart, Eco, Sport and Comfort – each using different settings for powertrain, drivetrain, and steering effort mapping to provide the desired driving experience. In addition to the four regular drive modes, AWD drivers can select from two different modes, “Snow” and “AWD Lock”, for specific driving conditions.
Interior creature comforts include a 10.25-inch touchscreen with navigation system, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Sirius XM radio, smart key with push-button and remote start, front and rear automatic climate control with auto defogger, and side-window curtains on the rear doors.
Kia’s flagship nameplate is completed with “Drivewise” driver-assist technology that allows owners to sleep at night. The long list of attributes includes forward collision avoidance assist, lane keeping and lane following assist, rear cross-traffic collision avoidance assist, are exit assist, highway driving assist, reverse parking distance warning, electronic stability control,
vehicle stability management, and rear occupant alert with ultrasonic sensors.
Base Price: $45,815
Price As Driven: $51,010
Destination charge is included in base price. Vehicles are provided by the manufacturer. List price may vary at local dealerships.