The eight-seater Telluride is the largest vehicle to ever bear a Kia badge

Kia has finally pulled the wraps off the production version if its Telluride SUV at the 2019 Detroit auto show after having previously teased it on a number of occasions. First came the concept (to which the series model ended up bearing no resemblance), then the trio of modified versions Kia decided to show off last year at SEMA.

2020 Kia Telluride finally shows its production form in Detroit
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Granted, the vehicle shown at SEMA was more or less the final production incarnation, but now is our first occasion to officially see it as it will be available to customers. The Telluride is a large SUV with seating for up to eight people, striking styling and a premium-esque interior - it’s a model that has been designed specifically to appeal to American customers by the automaker’s US design center in Irvine, California.

It is mechanically very similar to the Hyundai Palisade, even if they don’t really look alike.

Power for the Telluride comes from a 3.8-liter naturally aspirated V6 that puts out 291 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 262 pound-feet of torque / 355 Nm at 5,200 rpm. With peak torque kicking in so late in the rev range, the standard eight-speed automatic transmission will have its work cut out scrambling for gears on kickdown.

2020 Kia Telluride finally shows its production form in Detroit
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Base models will come with just front-wheel drive, but all-wheel drive will be optionally available.

And the available Smart, Eco, Comfort and Sport modes also affect how much of the drive is sent to which axle.

For instance, in Smart and Eco modes, even all-wheel drive-equipped models turn front-wheel drive and it’s only when you put it in Comfort mode that it splits power with the rear (80:20 split in this mode) - in Sport mode, though, the ratio is 64:35, so while it’s still front-wheel drive-biased, the rear still gets plenty of power.

Kia is proud of the fact the Telluride is a big and quite bold looking vehicle, but at the same time it assures future owners that it is not lacking for capability. Although with the front-wheel drive-biased all-wheel drive system, it’s only realistically going to go so far off-road...

2020 Kia Telluride finally shows its production form in Detroit
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It’s not all bad, though, as it comes with the promise of strong torsional rigidity and there’s even the option of self-leveling rear suspension (standard on higher grade models). The vehicle is also “brimming with technology,” according to Kia, as well as upscale inside, two of the most important criteria for modern car buyers, especially those in the market for a large family SUV.

Kia has so far not announced when exactly the Telluride is set to go on sale, nor how much it will cost, but it’s realistically going to start reaching showrooms in early 2020.

2020 Kia Telluride finally shows its production form in Detroit
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Further Reading

2019 Kia Telluride Spyshots Exterior
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Read our full speculative review on the 2020 Kia Telluride.

2016 Kia Telluride Concept Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2016 Kia Telluride Concept.

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