2020 Kia Telluride SX V-6 AWD Test Drive

Kia Launches Their Biggest Ever SUV with the 2020 Kia Telluride SX V-6 AWD. 

Gateway Canyon, CO – Kia has just launched its five-door, three-row 2020 Telluride, their biggest SUV yet in Telluride, Colorado of course, with the on and off-road debut actually beginning in Gateway, Co. The luxurious SUV is capable of carrying seven or eight in comfort with room for their adventure gear. Telluride comes in four trim grades or models; a base LX; a well-equipped S model; an upscale EX; and the top-of-the-line SX grade. It was designed in America and built in America in Kia’s West Point, Georgia manufacturing facility, and it’s ready to take on America with the whole family aboard, including the family pet. The Telluride is available in either FWD or AWD.


2020 Kia Telluride SX V-6 AWD  OVERVIEW

What do you do when you want to succeed in life? Naturally you “Give it Everything You’ve Got”, and Kia has done just that with the all-new mid-size Telluride SUV. There are advanced driver assistance systems, technology as well as comfort and convenience features galore. There’s plenty of power too, provided by the 3.8-liter V-6 engine that mates to an eight-speed automatic transmission. More on that in a bit.

The 2020 Kia Telluride is the first Kia designed specifically for the U.S. and is a product of the Kia Design Center in Irvine, CA. The exterior image is intentionally big, bold, and boxy. Key design points include a long, broad hood and wide signature grille; bold, stacked headlamps; a tall windshield and clean side profile; inverted “L” tail lamps with LED stripes (standard on EX and SX trims); elongated nameplates on the hood and liftgate’s leading-edge; and a sculpted rear skid plate with integrated twin right side exhaust tips reference off-road ability and power (standard on S, EX and SX trims).
The well-appointed premium interior is chock full of technology that enhances comfort, convenience, utility, and versatility. Significant elements include: grab handles integrated into the wide, horizontally emphasized center console that features premium fit and finishes. The cabin is also spacious providing generous hip, shoulder, leg, and headroom, even in the third row.

The front longitudinally-mounted Atkinson cycle 3.8-liter, DOHC, 24-valve GDI V-6 engine with dual CVVT engine produces 291 horsepower at 6,000 rpm, along with 262 lb.-ft. of torque at 5,200 rpm. Motive energy is geared to the driving wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission with four operational modes: Smart, Eco, Sport, and Comfort, each using different settings for powertrain, drivetrain, and steering effort mapping to provide the desired driving experience. Sadly, there are no paddle shifters, but not to worry, gears may be manually selected through the regular console-mounted shift knob.
The Active On-Demand 4WD system may be set to “Snow” or “AWD Lock” to adjust for specific terrain conditions. The available active on-demand all-wheel-drive system helps provide enhanced driving performance by actively distributing torque between the front and rear wheels depending on road conditions and driver input. Standard towing is rated up to 5,000 pounds with the optional $2,000 towing package.

My test 2020 Kia Telluride was an SX trim model in an AWD configuration. The exterior was sprayed in a Dark Moss (Green) metallic finish; while the interior was executed in Gray tones with satin finish faux wood trim accents. The base sticker was set at $43,480., while optional fare along with inland freight and handling charges, bumped the final count and amount to $46,860. Pretty amazing all things considered with its long, loaded feature content list. The only option missing on my test vehicle was the optional tow package. Later at home, I spent more time in an SX V-6 AWD finished in Snow White Pearl metallic with an Ivory interior with a final total price of $47,255.

Comfort is enhanced by available heated and ventilated first- and second-row seats, Ceiling-mounted second-row climate control, HVAC diffusing ceiling vents for a wider spread of airflow, reclining third-row seats, leather-wrapped, tilt and telescoping steering wheel with available heating
Connectivity and infotainment are paramount as well,; with features such as: an available 10.25-inch color touchscreen with rear view monitor and parking guidance; an available 630-watt, 10-speaker Harman/Kardon audio system (AM/FM/SiriusXM8) with Quantum Logic Surround Sound and Clari-Fi; Apple CarPlay and Android Auto; available wireless smartphone charging; available six total USB charging ports – two in each row – (five ports are standard); available multi-Bluetooth wireless connectivity allows two phones to connect simultaneously for audio streaming.

Staying safe is easy too with seven airbags (dual front advanced airbags, dual front seat-mounted side airbags, side curtain airbags and driver’s side knee air-bag); Antilock braking; Vehicle stability management; Electronic stability control; Hill-start assist control; Smart Cruise Control with Stop & Go; Blind Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist Rear; Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist; Lane Following Assist; Safe Exit Assist; Highway Driving Assist; Headup Display, Driver Talk; Quiet Mode; Downhill Brake Control and Rear Occupant Alert with ultrasonic sensors and Tire pressure monitoring system.

2020 Kia Telluride SX V-6 AWD  PERFORMANCE

To test the mettle of the all-new 2020 Kia Telluride national automotive journalists were given the opportunity to experience driving it in a variety of conditions including rain and driving snow on the open road and over twisty, challenging mountain roads as well as over greasy, slick, muddy and rutted surfaces. The ride is not only balanced and stable but quiet too.
Steering is spot on and positively responsive, providing a sporty quality to the handling characteristics, which are confidence-inspiring.

The Active AWD system during normal driving distributes power according to the drive mode selected. “Eco” and “Comfort” modes can deliver up to 20 to 35 percent of the power to the rear wheels, respectively. “Sport”, “Smart” and “Snow” modes can deliver up to 50 percent of the power to the rear wheels. “AWD Lock” mode delivers power evenly to all four wheels.


The 2020 Kia Telluride SX V-6 AWD displays a bold, attractive appearance in a rather boxy but very functional format. It provides the ultimate in comfort in its class and is amazingly affordable. It is definitely a top pick in the mid-size SUV category.

SPECIFICATIONS: 2020 Kia Telluride SX V-6 AWD

Base Price: $43,490.
Price as Tested: $46,860.

Engine Type and Size: Atkinson cycle 3.8-liter, DOHC, 24-valve GDI V-6 with dual CVVT.

Horsepower (bhp): 291 @ 6,000 rpm
Torque (ft./ lbs.): 262 @ 5,200 rpm

Transmission: Eight-speed automatic with Smart, Eco, Sport, and Comfort modes.

Drive Train: Longitudinally mounted front engine / FWD or Active On Demand 4WD.

Suspension: Front Independent, MacPherson struts, coil springs, stabilizer bar.
Rear – Independent, Multi-link, stabilizer bar.

Brakes: Power-assisted dual diagonal, split circuit four-wheel discs (vented front) with ABS, DBC, ESC, HAC, VSM, TS, TVCC, EPB and TPMS.

Tires: Michelin Primacy Touring 245/50 R20 Mounted on 5-“W”-spoke Black painted alloy wheels.

Wheelbase: 114.2 inches
Length Overall: 196.9 inches
Width: 78.3 inches
Height: 69.3 inches – with roof rails – 68.8 without.
Ground Clearance: 8.0 inches
Approach Angle: 17 degrees
Departure Angle: 20.9 degrees
Curb Weight: 4,255-4,317 lbs.
Turning Circle: 19.4 ft.
Fuel Capacity: 18.8 gallons
EPA Mileage Estimates: 19.0 mpg city / 24 mpg highway
Drag Coefficient: Not listed
0 – 60 mph: Not tested

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