Its list of honors and raves is endless. U.S. News’ Best Three-Row SUV for families. Car and Driver’s 10 Best Trucks and SUVs. Kelley Blue Book’s Best Buy Award in the 3-Row Midsize SUV. Insurance Institute of Highway Safety’s Top Safety Pick. SlashGear’s Best Family SUV. The Car Connection’s Best Family Car To Buy. You get the picture. Honestly, the 2023 Kia Telluride is a sensational hit.

Available in 7- or 8-passenger configuration, the SUV is equipped with a sole power train: 3.8-liter V-6 engine pumping out 291 horsepower @ 6000 rpm and 262 pounds-feet of torque @ 5200 rpm, more than tolerable to climb a mountainous terrain or navigate the sharp turns of a countryside road. The 8-speed auto gear box with paddle shifters is immaculate, offering instantaneous up and down moves. The SUV also is fitted with an start/stop system, which turns the engine off at a halt to save fuel.

An independent MacPherson strut front and multilink rear suspension does a particularly good job of soaking bumps and potholes with skill and in this front-wheel or all-wheel-drive SUV. Also worth noting is the motor driven power rack-and-pinion steering, effortless at higher speeds or while pulling into a parking lot. Also serving the overall efforts is 59 percent advanced high-strength steel and sound-damping materials that hold wind and road noise to a minimum.

Taking up a sizeable space up front is a radiator grille with gloss black insert and dark gray surround trim, flanked by LED projector-style headlights and black bezels. It comes standard with forward-collision avoidance, safe exit and lane keep assists, and smart cruise control; there also are 10 airbags, driver knee airbag, four-wheel antilock brakes with brake assist, vehicle stability/traction control, front/rear crumple zones, daytime running lights and tire pressure monitoring system.

Switch over to eco, comfort, smart and sport drive modes (snow and AWD lock for all-wheel drive) via a knob on the center console. Also offered are 10-way driver and 8-way front-passenger power seats, and dual 12.3-inch displays: a touch screen for infotainment system, and other for digital instrument cluster; Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, head-up display, cooled/heated front and Nappa leather seats, dual sun roof, surround-view monitor, tilt/telescopic steering column, dual auto a/c, stainless-steel pedals/scuff plates, satin chrome door handles; and a10-speaker Harman Kardon surround sound system.

Don’t be deluded into believing that the mighty 4,524-pound vehicle lacks muscle. In fact, the gas pedal releases forceful but silent acceleration to make the Telluride an elegant, pleasing and easy-riding companion. And Kia’s five-year, 60,000-mile basic, and 10-year, 100,000-mile power train warranties should convince you to sign on the dotted line.


Tires: 245/50R20

Wheelbase: 114.2 inches

Length: 196.9 inches

Width: 78.3

Height: 70.5 inches

Tow capacity: 5,000 pounds

Fuel capacity: 18.8 gallons

City: 18 mpg

Highway: 24 mpg

Base price: $51,785

Price as tested: $54,120

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