The Kia Telluride is a very attractive SUV offering tons of tech, luxury, and space. Should you buy a brand new or gently used Kia Telluride?
When it comes time to make a big purchase, like a new SUV for carrying your family around, you want to make the right decision. The Kia Telluride is a great choice as it offers plenty of interior space for your whole family to spread out, it packs in lots of luxurious features and technology, and the exterior looks terrific. Once you’ve settled on a vehicle like the Telluride, the next big decision is whether you should buy new or find a gently used version. Let’s take a look at both options for the Kia Telluride and see how they compare.
The Kia Telluride debuted as a 2020 model back in 2019 and hasn’t seen any major revisions since its introduction, so there aren’t too many differences to speak of. It’s a mid-sized SUV that offers three rows of seats, lots of impressive options, and starts at a reasonable price. The exterior draws admiring looks from other drivers thanks to its handsome design. The Telluride has a traditional SUV shape, with simple, clean lines that give it a sense of strength and capability. Kia dresses it up with available chrome grille, large 20-inch aluminum wheels, and the distinctive amber colored LED daytime running lights. If you want your Telluride to look a little stealthier, Kia offers a Nightfall Edition with blacked out grille, wheels, and headlamp bezels.
When you climb inside, you’ll find the Telluride offers seating for up to eight passengers when equipped with the second-row bench seat. If seven seats are plenty, you can go for Captain’s chairs in the second row which provides a bit more comfort, especially when equipped with the optional heating and ventilation, and puts a little space between passengers. Kia offers a range of premium materials for the seats, from the standard SynTex faux leather to the premium Nappa leather. Available dual sunroofs let in lots of natural light and fresh air when desired. When it comes to technology, the Kia Telluride comes with a standard 10.25-inch touchscreen display for the infotainment, offers plenty of charging ports for everyone’s devices, and has standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
The Kia Telluride comes with a single engine and transmission option. Power comes from a 3.8-liter V6 that develops a stout 291 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque. The transmission is a smooth and efficient eight-speed automatic that lets you choose the gear with the Sportmatic Sports Shifter. The Telluride is rated to tow up to 5,000 pounds when properly equipped and the available Active On-Demand All-Wheel Drive system comes with different modes like AWD lock and Snow mode to help navigate tricky terrain and weather. To read more about the used Telluride, check out our full review here.
The Kia Telluride performs well in its class thanks to its powerful V6 engine, with the ability to reach 60 miles per hour in about seven seconds. The driving experience is a joy as the engine does without turbocharging, so throttle response is smooth and predictable. The EPA has rated the Telluride’s fuel economy numbers at 19 miles per gallon in the city and 24 mpg on the highway for a combined rating of 21 mpg. Combined with its generous towing capacity, the Kia Telluride should be all the truck or SUV you need, assuming you don’t have to do any serious towing. Another area where the Telluride shines is ride comfort. The suspension is tuned well to smooth out imperfections in the road while still delivering good handling. Be sure to check out how the Telluride compares to the Chevy Traverse in our comparison here.
You probably want the interior to be a nice place to spend time when shopping for a three-row SUV, and the Telluride delivers. Whether it’s a new or used Kia Telluride, it offers plenty of space. It features seating for up to eight passengers with the second-row bench seat, or seven passengers with the available second-row Captain’s chairs installed. The seats come wrapped in SynTex faux leather on lower trims while the top trims get sumptuous Nappa leather with beautiful stitching. The Telluride makes it easy to get perfectly comfortable thanks to available heated and ventilated front seats, and makes the same available for second-row passengers as well.
The available Harman Kardon® audio system packs 10 speakers throughout the interior for a crisp and immersive listening experience. Kia also offers a handy Driver Talk feature that amplifies the driver’s voice through the rear speakers to make it easy to converse with passengers in the rear. The Quiet Mode focuses the sound system on the first row helping your passengers sleep or focus on their own activities. The only other SUV that could match this interior is its corporate cousin, the Hyundai Palisade. Check out that comparison here.
Trim levels have remained virtually the same between new and used models of the Kia Telluride. The LX trim is the entry point for the Telluride and starts at $32,790. It comes equipped with the standard 3.8-liter V6, 8-speed automatic transmission, and 18-inch alloy wheels. The interior features the SynTex seating, a leather wrapped steering wheel, one-touch sliding and folding second-row seats, and six USB ports throughout the interior. The LX trim also gets Kia’s Drive Wise driver assist technology with blind-spot collision-avoidance assist, Lane Keeping Assist, Smart Cruise Control, and Forward Collision-Avoidance assist. LX models also get the standard 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment, Smart Key, and tri-zone automatic climate control.
The S trim starts at $35,290 and upgrades to 20-inch alloy wheels, adds a power sunroof and roof rails, gets heated front seats, a wireless phone charging pad, and an 8-way power-adjustable driver’s seat.
The Telluride EX model starts at $37,790 and features more interior luxuries like leather trim for the seats, heating and ventilation for the front seats, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. The Smart Power Liftgate™ makes it easy to access the cargo area, power folding mirrors help in tight parking spaces, and 2-row window sunshades help keep passengers comfortable.
The top SX trim starts at $42,690 and gets things like LED headlights, taillights, and fog lamps, 20-inch wheels, and heated and ventilated front seats with the same available for the second-row seats as well. Leather trim is also standard on SX with Nappa leather offered as an upgrade. The surround View Monitor makes it easy to see what is around you and helps when navigating close quarters.
When it comes time to choose between a brand new or used Kia Telluride, buying a brand new one will probably make the most sense and there are a couple of reasons why. First off, the used car market is hot right now, which means you’re not going to save a great deal of money buying a used Kia Telluride, unless you seek out one with fairly high mileage.
For example, on Carsforsale.com, you can find a 2020 Kia Telluride AWD SX with less than 10,000 miles listed for around $52,000 while a brand new 2022 Kia Telluride AWD SX model is listed for $53,911. Buying a brand-new model means you can pick one with the exact color and options you desire, something that will be more challenging when buying a used model. The final reasons why a new one makes more sense is you get to be in charge of maintenance, don’t have any unanswered questions about how a used Telluride has been kept, and you get the full 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty coupled with the 5-year/60,000-mile limited warranty.
The one point where buying a used Kia Telluride model might have the advantage is simply availability. Dealer’s inventory right now is generally low, so it might be quicker to get into a used Kia Telluride than wait for a brand-new one. Either way, the Kia Telluride is a great family vehicle that you’re sure to enjoy.