Ace of Base: 2020 Kia Telluride LX

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy
ace of base 2020 kia telluride lx

Korean automakers have a history of labelling their crossovers and SUVs with names ripped from rugged-sounding towns of the American mid- and southwest. Witness the Santa Fe and Tucson. The newest entrant? Telluride. Even the little-known Borrego Pass got a nod during the five minutes in which Kia built a body-on-frame brute.

Until now, the most we’ve seen of the new Kia Telluride was that oddball New York fashion week thing, replete with a not-from-factory rear spare tire carrier and leather hood straps. Now that the build and price site’s gone live, we can see the model without all that froufrou. You know we’re most interested in the base LX model…

It matters not what trim one selects on the Telluride totem pole; a 3.8-liter V6 making 291 horsepower will be under its bonnet, backed by a real eight-speed automatic and not a miserable CVT. This is an excellent start for the LX, as a pay-to-play system rankles the budget shopper worse than rogue ATM fees. It makes that power on regular 87 octane unleaded, too. A 5,000-pound towing capacity is standard across the board, but be aware that all-wheel drive is a $2,000 option.

Wearing a sticker price of $31,690 before inevitable destination fees, the front-drive 2020 Telluride LX is surely one of the cheapest ways in which to ferry eight passengers, save for corralling an octet of bicycles. An expansive 8.0-inch touchscreen handles infotainment duties, seeing fit to bundle in Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Safety nannies like blind-spot monitoring, forward collision warning, and lane keeping stand at the ready.

Five USB ports and a trio of 12V outlets keep devices charged and kids (mostly) silent. Rear seat minions also get their own air conditioning and set of controls for such. Many leatherettes died to create the seating surfaces but real dead cow covers the steering wheel and gearshift knob. As is Kia’s wont, there are no option packages. Those who desire more features will have to step up to another trim level.

Sadly, only two colors – Everlasting Silver and Gravity Grey – are no-charge choices. The other three, including a good-looking Sangria, cost $395. Your author seriously enjoys the silver TELLURIDE billboard on the hood’s leading edge, not unlike the one found on the Ford Flex.

Making solid value-for-money and value-for-passenger-volume plays, the new Telluride from Kia checks a lot of important boxes. All that’s left now is for us to drive one.

[Images: Kia Motors]

Not every base model has aced it. The ones which have? They help make the automotive landscape a lot better. Any others you can think of, B&B? Let us know in the comments. Naturally, feel free to eviscerate our selection.

The model above is shown in American dollars with American options and trim, absent of destination charges and available rebates. As always, your dealer may sell for less.

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2 of 23 comments
  • MiataReallyIsTheAnswer MiataReallyIsTheAnswer on Mar 22, 2019

    Seems like maybe you should drive it before proclaiming it Ace of Base, no??

  • MiataReallyIsTheAnswer MiataReallyIsTheAnswer on Mar 22, 2019

    I've now seen several Tellurides on the road, and the taillights are the major letdown on the base models. Cheapo looking incandescent, you know, the forefront of lighting tech in about 1935. The higher level models with LED tails look about 10 classes higher just from that one simple feature.

  • JMII So this pretty much confirms the long standing rumor that the C8 platform was designed for hybrid AWD support. If this is even faster then the current Z06 it will be a true rocket ship. GM was already hinting that even more impressive C8 was coming, most assume a turbo ZR1 but an e-assist AWD package seems more like... and apparently it will be called E-Ray.
  • Tassos the announcement is unnecessarily verbose, aka full of it. Most 'justifications" for the shutdown are shameless lies.
  • Jwee I can post images...?????
  • Jwee @Bobby D'OppoThere is no element of the reported plan that involves taking people's carsSeems like you missed the Southpark reference: comment was humor (or humour if you prefer). The city council is not literally taking people's cars, but seems like they wouldn't mind a drop in car ownership. More cyclists! Less pollution! More public transport! A £70 fine per violation! Surely if they came out and said "we are going to take your car", they would get a very stern letter written to them in the strongest language possible, or perhaps even called a bunch of rotters. I am all for good transport networks, but this is just a terrible plan. Visit Amsterdam, and study how to manage traffic skillfully in a dense, medieval city, with no traffic cameras whatsoever, with first rate public transport, where pedestrians, bikes, boats and cars coexist.
  • Tassos with 170k+ miles, and over 15 years old, this vehicle has had a full life. Maybe it's time for the scrapyard.