Big Space for Grand Adventures: Kia’s 2020 Telluride

When you want to take the road less traveled, of course you want to share the fun with your crew. With seats for up to eight in three rows, Telluride gives you room to roam.

Maybe Kia should add a polite warning sticker to Telluride’s four, wide-opening doors: Please Wipe Your Feet Before Entering.

Not that the adventurous new Telluride can’t handle a bit of mud on its floor mats. It’s just that as the flagship of the Kia SUV line-up, its designers went all-out to make the cabin look and feel like a true flagship.

We’re talking exquisite available Nappa leather trim — double- stitched, quilted, perforated and extra-padded. We’re talking stunning, matte-finished, wood-like veneers with delicate graining and sleek, brushed metal-look trim.

Open a door, climb aboard and you’re going to feel like you’ve just stepped inside some high-end sedan that just happens to sit higher off the ground.

MATERIAL GAINS

Even for entry-level Telluride models, Kia made the bold decision not to offer cloth upholstery. The thinking? Cloth just isn’t quite upscale enough. Instead, it uses a remarkable new synthetic leather called SOFINO.

Run your fingers over it and it feels more like leather than many automotive leathers. It looks like the real deal too; it’s nicely grained, beautifully soft, yet super-durable. Any mud splatters? They’ll wipe right off.

Throughout this new Telluride, you’ll see remarkable attention to detail, superb fit and finish, and super high-quality materials. In a section of the market where the competition tends to focus more on utility and less on rich materials, Telluride sets a new benchmark.

STRETCH-OUT SPACE

Three rows. Seats for you and up to seven of your closest friends and family. Space for a ton of luggage. And no nook or cranny overlooked to transform Telluride into a true space capsule. That’s what sets it apart.

Take out the tape measure and you’ll get some idea of Telluride’s size. At almost 197 inches ‘tiger nose’ to tail, it’s among the longest SUVs in its class. And with over 114 inches between its wheels, its stretched wheelbase ensures plenty of space for lengthy limbs.

One look at the exterior design and you know this SUV is going to be roomy. There’s no trendy coupe-like rear-end to compromise load space. No low, squat roof line to reduce the amount of glass that makes the cabin feel dark and cramped.

In fact the designers went all out to make Telluride big, bold and boxy. Big enough to carry up to eight people, and for no one to feel tight on space. Big enough to offer a huge amount of cargo space. With Telluride, it’s all form and lots of function.

Take your pick from either a three-across bench for the second row, or reclining, adjustable, biz-jet-style captain’s chairs with armrests. Either way there’s impressive legroom.

Want to get into that third row? At the press of a button the middle row seat backrest tilts and the whole seat glides forward to make it a cinch to climb into the back. Big, beefy grab handles make getting in even easier.

And, amazingly, that third row, with its reclining seatback, is big enough to handle a trio of adults. Maybe not all the way to grandma’s house, but for short trips, no problem. And for young kids, just perfect.

Up front, driver and front passenger are cosseted in well-bolstered seats with plenty of adjustment. And like the second-row seats, they can be heated and cooled.

LOAD IT UP

Kia designers listened big-time to customer feedback about the need for an abundance of storage. So they equipped the center console with a tray in front of the shifter, a storage place for keys or a cell phone in front of the cupholders, and a big, open storage bin beneath the console.

You get even more storage when you lift-up the center armrest, or open-up the roomy glovebox.

When it comes to hauling loads, Telluride truly is a champ. Leave the third row seat in place and there’s an impressive 21 cubic feet of space. Enough for a couple of big suitcases.

And, don’t tell anyone, but there’s a secret storage area beneath the rear load deck. Perfect for stashing valuables away from prying eyes.

The third row is split 60/40 for added load-carrying flexibility. Fold both sections flat and the space expands to 46 cubic feet. Need more? Just flip forward the second-row seats — press a button by the tailgate opening and they’ll drop automatically — and you get a whopping 87 cubic feet. * And loading-in all your ‘stuff’ couldn’t be easier thanks to Telluride’s large tailgate opening, low load height and smart automatic opener.

While some competitors require you to balance on one leg while shaking your foot to open the trunk— a pretty risky action, especially if there’s ice on the ground — Telluride senses the key in your pocket when you’re standing behind the vehicle, and pops the tailgate.

It even understands that the tailgate needs to power-open pronto when it’s raining and you’re rushing towards it with an armful of groceries. Set the tailgate speed to ‘fast’ and a press of the tailgate release button on the key fob cuts the opening time from six seconds to 4.5.

Telluride is truly an accomplished load carrier. Think of it as a celebration of space, a high-luxury people hauler great at hauling your stuff. It offers space to load up, kick back, stretch out and enjoy the ride.

Kia’s thinking with its new SUV: Give It Everything.

Just make sure you wipe those feet before you climb aboard.

*(All cargo should be evenly distributed, properly secured and never piled higher than the seatback).

Listen-up: No system, no matter how advanced, can compensate for driver error and/or driving conditions. Always drive safely. Some features mentioned are optional. Total legroom comparison based on 2019 and available 2020 midsize CUVs and SUVs as of April 2019.

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