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Mission Accomplished: The 2023 Kia Telluride SX-Prestige X-Line V6 AWD

2023 Kia Telluride front 3/4 view

I've never designed an automobile before, but I have to imagine that the hardest thing---harder even than a clean-sheet design---is to update a vehicle you got right the first time.

2023 Kia Telluride rear 3/4 view

That's the position Kia's team found itself in this year---a mid-cycle refresh of the Tellruide---an instant hit out of the gate when it arrived for model year 2020. A right-size three-row family SUV that gives off major Range Rover vibes at a fraction of the price. The Kia team did the near-impossible. Changed it---improved it---without messing it up. The revised headlamps, front and rear fascias and fog lamps make the Telluride look even more purposeful, as do the addition of X-Line (our tester) and X-Pro trims. The X-Line gets increased ground clearance, raised roof rails and downhill brake control, while the X-Pro gets all those things plus increased towing capacity, a tow mode, 18-inch wheels and Continental all-terrain tires.

2023 Kia Telluride hood up

2023 Kia Telluride engine

Under the hood, the 291-horsepower 3.8-liter V6 engine continues, as does an eight-speed automatic transmission. Zero to 60 happens in 6.8 seconds---more than respectable for the Telluride's size and weight. The EPA city/highway fuel economy average is 21 mpg---and I was able to beat that in a week of city street and urban freeway driving, getting 22.5.

2023 Kia Telluride rear liftgate open

2023 Kia Telluride rear seats

2023 Kia Telluride front seats

2023 Kia Telluride front seat detail

2023 Kia Telluride instrument panel

Kia also updated the interior---something I wouldn't have thought was really necessary while driving the '22, but the more modern screen setup is a very nice evolution.

The base price of the 2023 Kia Telluride SX-Prestige X-Line V6 AWD is $53,120 including destination. And virtually everything comes standard, including a complete suite of active safety features, dual panoramic 12.3-inch displays, navigation, a surround view monitor and blind spot view monitor, a head-up display, a Harman/Kardon premium audio system with a three-month free trial of SiriusXM Satellite Radio, smart key with remote start, a digital rear-view mirror, wireless phone charger, Nappa leather seat trim, heated and ventilated front and second row seats, a heated steering wheel, dual sunroofs, a smart power liftgate, rear privacy glass, 20-inch black alloy wheels, tow mode and a self-leveling rear suspension.

2023 Kia Telluride steering wheel and gauge cluster

2023 Kia Telluride center console

2023 Kia Telluride center stack

The only extra-cost options on our test vehicle were the Wolf Gray paint ($495), the terracotta interior color package ($295) and carpeted floor mats ($210), so the as-tested price of the 2023 Kia Telluride SX-Prestige X-Line V6 AWD is $54,120.

2023 Kia Telluride front view

2023 Kia Telluride side view

2023 Kia Telluride rear view

A steal at that price. Again, your neighbors will be guessing $75K plus. Bravo, Kia! do you follow this?


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