Spied: 2020 Kia Telluride, the Biggest Kia Crossover Ever (Bigger Than Even in Your Dreams)

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

You’ve already forgotten about the Borrego, so this large, hulking Kia is sure to impress, if for no other reason than its dimensions.

Photographed in Orange County, the square-rigged three-row you see above is the upcoming Kia Telluride, a range-topping crossover first teased in concept form at the 2016 North American International Auto Show. At the time, the concept’s almost showroom-ready outward appearance (normal side mirrors!) signalled Kia’s intent to put the Telluride into production. Two Kia execs essentially confirmed it earlier this year.

Expected to debut next year as a 2020 model, this is our first glimpse of Kia’s newest beast.

Unlike the concept, however, this Telluride isn’t boasting suicide doors, nor will it monitor your health and wellness. No, this vehicle’s mission is to give an outdoorsy driver with a spouse and six kids a reason to visit a Kia showroom.

The camo is thick with this one, but the model’s blocky proportions are clear as day. It appears nearly identical to the Detroit concept, right down to the raised chrome trim on the B-pillar and a leading roof edge that dips towards the center of the windshield. Hyundai’s planning a similar big-and-bold look for its Santa Fe XL replacement.

The concept parked itself on a stretched version of the Sorento platform. However, while recent comments from U.S. product planner Orth Hedrick led many to believe the Telluride might adopt the rear-drive platform of the K900 sedan, the long front overhang of this model hints at front-drive architecture.

As for what engine lies behind that blunt front end, that’s a mystery. The concept appeared with a plug-in hybrid powertrain generating 400 horsepower, and it’s still possible buyers might be able to choose a 3.5-liter V6/electric motor combo. A lower-trim model will surely just carry a V6, as even the Stinger’s 255 hp 2.0-liter seems too small for this rig. Time will tell.

The Kia Telluride should appear during the upcoming U.S. auto show circuit.

[Images: Brian Williams/Spiedbilde]

Discuss this story on our Kia Telluride Forum

Steph Willems
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  • Bd2 Bd2 on May 10, 2018

    The production version of the Telluride needed a revised grille and headlight design and from what I have heard, changes have been made (from what can be made out underneath the cladding, looks to be an improvement). The whole notion of the Telluride possibly being RWD was misinterpreting the words of Kia's head of production planning when he stated that a RWD CUV based on the K900 is a possibility. While Kia probably is looking to do a luxury CUV (or 2) - they would have to wait until Genesis' new RWD architecture is ready.

  • Gregg Mulry Gregg Mulry on May 10, 2018

    It is NOT nearly identical to the concept. Yhe Telluride concept had RWD proportions with the front wheels much closer to the front end. This one may have some of the same styling cues, but it has FWD proportions with a heavy front overhang. It changes the look considerably.

  • Dave M. IMO this was the last of the solidly built MBs. Yes, they had the environmentally friendly disintegrating wiring harness, but besides that the mechanicals are pretty solid. I just bought my "forever" car (last new daily driver that'll ease me into retirement), but a 2015-16 E Class sedan is on my bucket list for future purchase. Beautiful design....
  • Rochester After years of self-driving being in the news, I still don't understand the psychology behind it. Not only don't I want this, but I find the idea absurd.
  • Douglas This timeframe of Mercedes has the self-disintegrating engine wiring harness. Not just the W124, but all of them from the early 90's. Only way to properly fix it is to replace it, which I understand to be difficult to find a new one/do it/pay for. Maybe others have actual experience with doing so and can give better hope. On top of that, it's a NH car with "a little bit of rust", which means to about anyone else in the USA it is probably the rustiest W124 they have ever seen. This is probably a $3000 car on a good day.
  • Formula m How many Hyundai and Kia’s do not have the original engine block it left the factory with 10yrs prior?
  • 1995 SC I will say that year 29 has been a little spendy on my car (Motor Mounts, Injectors and a Supercharger Service since it had to come off for the injectors, ABS Pump and the tool to cycle the valves to bleed the system, Front Calipers, rear pinion seal, transmission service with a new pan that has a drain, a gaggle of capacitors to fix the ride control module and a replacement amplifier for the stereo. Still needs an exhaust manifold gasket. The front end got serviced in year 28. On the plus side blank cassettes are increasingly easy to find so I have a solid collection of 90 minute playlists.