2023 Kia Telluride SX-Prestige X-Line V-6 AWD

“Kia’s Stellar MID-Size SUV Continues to Impress”

BY Arv Voss


Kia launched its biggest SUV in 2020 as a five-door, three-row model named the Telluride. The debut took pl of course inTelluride, Colorado. Incliding both on and off-road venues.The 2023 model lineup continues as a luxurious mid-size SUV capable of carrying seven or eight in comfort with room for their lifestyle gear.
This latest Telludide lineup deletes Nightfall Edition. but adds an X-Line bundle of features to the EX, SX, and the new SXP trim levels for 2023. Also added is an X-Pro appearance bundle to the SX X-Line and SXP X-Line models. Now, instead of four, the trim level grows to 10 this year – LX, S, EX, EX X-Line, SX, SX X-Line, SX X-Pro, SX Prestige, SX Prestige X-Line, and SX Prestige X-Pro.

The Telluride is designed and built in Kia’s West Point, Georgia manufacturing facility. It’s poised to take the whole family aboard, including the family pet on personal adventures, and it’s available in either FWD or Active On-Demand All-Wheel Drive.

 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.


The 2020 Kia Telluride was 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;
A styling refresh for 2023 updates the Telluride to make it even more attractive, including an updated grille, redesigned headlamps, and a new front bumper. Inside, Kia has integrated a new all-digital instrument panel with dual 12.3-inch screens serving as infotainment and gauge displays. Navigation is now standard across the lineup, as is an onboard Wi-Fi hotspot. More rugged-looking X-Line and X-Pro trims join the crew and unlocks the Telluride’s maximum 5500-pound towing capacity.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 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. 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 5,500 pounds with the optional $2,000 towing package.


My test 2023 Kia Telluride was a V-6 SX-Prestige X-Line trim model in an AWD configuration. The exterior was done in a Wolf Gray finish; while the interior was executed in Terracotta and Gray tones with satin finish faux wood trim accents. The base sticker was set at $51,785., while optional fare along with inland freight and handling charges, bumped the final total to $54,120. Pretty impressive considering the lengthy, loaded feature content list.



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 12.3-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 paramount as well, 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.


To test the mettle of the first 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 remains not only balanced and stable but also quiet. 

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 2023 Kia Telluride SX V-6 Prestige X-Line AWD displays a bold, attractive appearance in a somewhat boxy but still very attractive form. It provides the ultimate in comfort in its class and is amazingly affordable. It is absolutely a top contender in the mid-size SUV category.

SPECIFICATIONS: 2023 Kia Telluride
Model: SX Prestige X-line V-6 AWD

Base Price: $51,785.
 Price as Tested: $54,120.

Engine Type and Size: 3.8-liter, DOHC, 24-valve GDI V-6

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 / Active On Demand AWD.

Suspension: Front Independent, MacPherson struts, coil springs, stabilizebar.
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 w/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.
Fuel Capacity: 18.8 gallons
EPA Mileage Estimates: 19.0 mpg city / 24 mpg highway
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