2021 Kia Telluride

MSRP $31,890 - $36,290

Ranked #10 in Suv

8.2

Overall Rating

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2021 Kia Telluride Price, Review, Ratings and Pictures

Updated on: July 6, 2021

Nathan Dyer's image
Nathan Dyer 

Senior Editor


The 2021 Kia Telluride is a carryover model except for two minor changes; the first is the addition of the Nightfall Edition Package and the other is a dedicated engine start button in the keyfob. The 2021 Kia Telluride, as earlier, comes with a 291-hp V6 engine mated to a smooth eight-speed automatic gearbox. The combined setup helps it to scoot from 0-60 mph in a leisurely 7.2 seconds and hit a top speed of 141 mph. The V6 engine with the FWD drivetrain delivers 20 mpg of gas mileage in the city, which is at par with the rivals.

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Pros

Spacious cabin

Value for money

Loaded with features

Long list of standard safety features

Cons

Subpar fuel economy

Not engaging to drive

Slower than rivals

What's New?

Addition of the Nightfall Edition Package

Dedicated engine start button is now available on the key fob


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$31890

bodystyle

4dr SUV

passenger capacity

8

top speed

141 mph

drivetrain

front wheel drive

engine type

displacement

231 cu.in.

horsepower

291 hp @ 6000 rpm

torque

262 lb-ft @ 5200 rpm

transmission

8 speed Automatic

chassis

brake rotors (f/r)

13.4/12 in.

dimensions

wheelbase

114.2 in.

length

196.9 in.

width

78.3 in.

height

69 in.

curb weight

4354 lbs.

ground clearance

8 in.

capacity

passenger volume

157.1 cu ft.

cargo volume

87 cu ft.

towing capacity

5000 lbs.

payload capacity

1565 lbs.

performance

zero to 60 mph

7.2 sec.

zero to 100 mph

17.8 sec.

standing 1/4-mile

15.4 sec.

braking (70-0 mph)

177 ft.

warranty

basic warranty

5 yr./ 60000 mi.

drivetrain warranty

1 yr./ 10000 mi.

corrosion warranty

5 yr./ 100000 mi.

roadside assistance

Yes


Pictures & Videos


Trims

LX$31,890 onwards

S$34,290 onwards

Colors and Styles

2021 Kia Telluride in Ebony Black color
Ebony Black

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Ratings

Pricing and Feature

8.0

Buying Advice

8.0

Pricing and Features

9.1

Engine and Performance

7.9

Fuel Economy

7.0

Interior

9.1

Exterior

8.0

Safety

8.0

Competition

7.0

Final Verdict

8.5

8.2

OVERALL RATING

Expert Review, Pricing Analysis and Buying Guide

8.2

Overall Rating


The cabin of the Kia Telluride for this year remains the same. This means you get a luxurious and well-put-together cabin with lots of space in all three rows. The practicality quotient of the Kia Telluride is high, and it is a great family hauler. The standard safety features offered in the 2021 Kia Telluride remain a strong point among its contenders. Speaking of contenders, in the midsize segment, the Telluride takes on the likes of Honda PilotHyundai Palisade, and Chevrolet Traverse.

2021 Kia Telluride SUV front view
2021 Kia Telluride SUV rear view

7.9/10
Engine and Performance

7.0/10
Fuel Economy

9.1/10
Interior

8.0/10
Exterior

8.0/10
Safety

7.0/10
Competition

8.5/10
Final Verdict


2021 Kia Telluride Features

One of the best things we like about the Kia Telluride is the lesser number of trims that are logically stacked. That said, the 2021 Kia Telluride is offered in four different trims that are LX, S, EX, and SX. The price for the base trim with FWD configuration starts at $31,990 and goes up to $44,090 for the top-end SX trim with AWD configuration. The FWD configuration along with the eight-speed automatic transmission is standard. The AWD configuration is optional across the trim lineup and can be had for $2,000 extra over the base price of that trim.

The Kia Telluride right from the base LX trim is decently stacked and gets a bevy of safety features. Few worth mentioning standard features from the list are remote start, keyless entry, 18-inch alloy wheels, synthetic leather upholstery, 8-inch touchscreen infotainment with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, rear bench seats (8-seater configuration), etc. The standard safety features include automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, forward collision warning, blind-spot monitoring, etc.

Model

LX

S

EX

SX

MSRP (FWD)

$31,990

$34,590

$37,390

$42,190

MSRP (AWD)

$33,990

$36,590

$39,390

$44,090

Features

291 hp, 3.8-liter V6 engine

Adds or upgrades to ‘LX’

Adds or upgrades to ‘S’

Adds or upgrades to ‘EX’

 

18-inch alloy wheels

20-inch alloy wheels

18-inch alloy wheels

20-inch alloy wheels

 

8-inch touchscreen infotainment 

Heated front seats

Eight-seat configuration

10-speaker Harman & Kardon sound system

 

Six-speaker audio system

Seven-seat configuration

Leather-trimmed seats

Front fog lights

 

Simulated leather upholstery

Sunroof

Power-adjustable front seats

Panoramic sunroof

 

Remote start

Power-adjustable driver’s seat

Ventilated front seats

Automatic high-beam headlights

 

Keyless entry and push-button start

 

10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment 

Surround-view parking camera system

 

Eight-seat configuration

 

Navigation

Memory function for driver’s seat

 

Automatic emergency braking

 

Dual-zone automatic climate control

 
 

Driver drowsiness monitor

 

Hands-free power liftgate

 
 

Adaptive Cruise Control

 

Wireless phone charging

 

Both EX and SX trim, other than their standard features, offer a few optional packages. The EX trim can be had with Nightfall Edition Package and the Towing Package, the former one costs $1,295, while the latter costs $795. As for the SX trim, you have the package from the EX trim and one additional package, i.e., SX Prestige Package. The SX Prestige Package adds heated and ventilated rear seats, premium leather upholstery, and a rain-sensing windshield wiper.

We Recommend:

The beauty about the Kia Telluride is that even in the base trim it packs in the essential features and still costs under $32,000. Thus we suggest looking no further and going for the base LX trim. Another reason for suggesting this trim is that it also has the majority of safety and driver-assist features, so you won’t have to worry about safety either.

2021 Kia Telluride Engine and Performance

7.9/10

For 2021 the Kia Telluride carries over the same 3.8-liter naturally aspirated V6 as standard across the range. The big V6 churns out 291 hp and 262 lb-ft of torque and is rated to have a 5,000 pounds of towing capacity. However, the big V6 has its shortcomings, the Telluride manages to run 0-60 mph in a leisurely 7.2 seconds and takes another 8.2 seconds to cover the quarter-mile distance. Believe it or not, these figures are the lowest in the segment, and even its sibling Hyundai Palisade with the same engine and gearbox is faster in both 0-60 and quarter-mile runs. 

2021 Kia Telluride SUV engine bay

Model

2021 Kia Telluride S

2021 Honda Pilot EX

2021 Chevrolet Traverse LS

2021 Hyundai Palisade SEL

MSRP

$34,590

$34,930

$32,900

$35,325

Engine

3.8-liter V6

3.5-liter V6

3.6-liter V6

3.8-liter V6

Drivetrain

FWD

FWD

FWD

FWD

Transmission

8-speed automatic

9-speed automatic

9-speed automatic

8-speed automatic

Power (hp @ rpm)

291 hp @ 6000 rpm

280 hp @ 6000 rpm

310 hp @ 6800 rpm

291 hp @ 6000 rpm

Torque (lb-ft @ rpm)

262 lb-ft @ 5200 rpm

262 lb-ft @ 4700 rpm

266 lb-ft @ 2800 rpm

262 lb-ft @ 5200 rpm

0-60 MPH

7.2 sec

5.9 sec

7.1 sec

6.9 sec

Quarter Mile

15.4 sec

14.4 sec

15.5 sec

15.1 sec

Top Speed

141 MPH

133 MPH

130 MPH

130 MPH

Every SUV in this comparison gets a V6 but with a different displacement. The Honda Pilot with a 3.5-liter V6 has the smallest displacement V6, while the Chevrolet Traverse powered by a 3.6-liter V6 churns out the highest 310 hp and 266 lb-ft of torque. Honda Pilot is fastest in 0-60 mph with a time of just 5.9 seconds, while the Hyundai Palisade comes in second place with a full second behind it. The Honda Pilot covers the fastest quarter-mile and again does it in a full second less time than the Telluride.

Ride and Handling:

The Kia Telluride comes with three drive modes to modulate the steering and suspension response. This is a saving grace as by default the suspension setup of the Kia Telluride is stiff and the steering has a more than necessary heft to it even at the parking speeds. So for the city, we recommend keeping the Telluride in Comfort mode to soften all settings. The steering lightens up, and maneuvering this big SUV becomes a child’s play. 

Overall the Comfort mode also helps soften the ride quality, and the Telluride gobbles up undulation and potholes without a fuss. While the Sports mode, as the name suggests, puts everything to the max setting, and you would be surprised how that transforms completely the handling of the Telluride. To conclude, the Telluride is a wholesome car that can haul the family in comfort and even take care of spirited driving urges.

Braking:

The brakes setup of the Telluride is satisfactory, and there is nothing to complain about. Press the brake pedal, and the Telluride stops without much drama. The Telluride gets all four discs with the front one measuring 13.4-inches and the rear ones measuring 12-inches in size. In panic braking situations, the Telluride takes 120 feet to stop from 60 mph.

2021 Kia Telluride SUV brake rotor

Model

2021 Kia Telluride S

2021 Honda Pilot EX

2021 Chevrolet Traverse LS

2021 Hyundai Palisade SEL

Brake Rotors Front (in.)

13.4

12.6

12.6

13.4

Brake Rotors Rear (in.)

12.0

13.0

12.4

12.0

Curb Weight (lbs)

4,317

4,004

4,362

4,231

60-0 MPH (ft.)

120

123

130

126

Among the rivals, the Honda Pilot is the only car that has a smaller front brake rotor compared to the rear ones. Even then, it takes three feet more than the Telluride to halt from 60 mph. The Chevrolet Traverse is the heaviest SUV here and also gets the smallest front brakes, so it is not a surprise when it takes the longest 130 feet to stop from 60 mph.

2021 Kia Telluride Fuel Economy

7.0/10

The 2021 Kia Telluride is powered by the same V6 as the last year, and the V6 mated to the 8-speed automatic combination has delivered respectable figures. The 2021 Kia Telluride has an EPA estimated gas mileage of 20 mpg in the city, 26 mpg on the highway, and 23 mpg combined. These numbers are for the FWD configuration while going for the AWD configurations sees the numbers dip to 19/24/21 mpg in city/highway/combined, respectively. Irrespective of the drivetrain configuration, you get an 18.8-gallon fuel tank which can return a range of 376 miles in the city and 489 miles on the highway from a tankful of gas.

Model

2021 Kia Telluride S

2021 Honda Pilot EX

2021 Chevrolet Traverse LS

2021 Hyundai Palisade SEL

MPG (City)

20

20

18

19

MPG (Highway)

26

27

27

26

MPG (Combined)

23

23

21

22

Fuel Tank

18.8

19.5

N/A

18.8

Range (City/Highway/ Combined)

376/ 489/ 432

390/ 527/ 448

N/A

357/ 489/ 413

The Chevrolet Traverse has the lowest gas mileage of 18 mpg in the city and 21 mpg combined. However, Chevrolet shares the crown with Honda Pilot for the highest gas mileage of 27 mpg on the highway. The Honda Pilot also comes with a bigger fuel tank compared to its peers, and that translates into a 500 plus miles range from its 19.5-gallon fuel tank.

2021 Kia Telluride Interior

9.1/10

The 2021 Kia Telluride is offered in either an eight-seater or a seven-seater configuration. The latter configuration replaces the middle row bench seats with a captain’s chair. Step inside the cabin, and the first thing you notice is how well crafted the cabin is. Luxury vibes from this cabin are in abundance even when the topmost trim doesn’t cross the physiological barrier of fifty grand. The interior is well-built, making use of the tastefully chosen material to ensure an upscale appeal. The overall layout of the dash is ergonomically done, and we especially liked the placement of the heating and ventilation control for the front seats, very well executed and thoughtfully done. 

2021 Kia Telluride SUV front seats

The overall dash is divided into two halves, the upper half has the infotainment, driver’s display, and air-con, while the lower half has all the controls. Moving on to the seats, you will be once again surprised to see how well the Kia designers have managed to squeeze space in all three rows. We are happy to report that even the third row can be occupied comfortably by adults for short rides. Accessing the third row is also very easy, especially in the models with the captain's chair. That said, the cargo space with all the seats up is a generous 21 cubic feet, which can go up to 87 cubic feet with both the rear rows folded.

Model

2021 Kia Telluride S

2021 Honda Pilot EX

2021 Chevrolet Traverse LS

2021 Hyundai Palisade SEL

Passenger Capacity

7

8

8

7

First Row (Head/ Shoulder/Leg) (in.)

40.9/ 61.6/ 41.4

40.1/ 62.0/ 40.9

41.3/ 62.1/ 41.0

40.7/ 61.2/ 44.1

Second Row (Head/ Shoulder/Leg) (in.)

40.2/ 61.2/ 42.4

40.2/ 68.0/ 38.4

40.0/ 62.2/ 38.4

40.1/ 60.8/ 42.4

Third Row (Head/ Shoulder/Leg) (in.)

38.1/ 55.3/ 31.4

38.9/ 44.6/ 31.9

38.2/ 48.5/ 33.5

37.8/ 55.2/ 31.4

Cargo Capacity (ft3)

21.0

16.5

23.0

18.0

The Kia Telluride and the Hyundai Palisade are almost similar in cabin size, but there are two minor diversions. The Palisade has better front legroom compared to the Telluride, while the Telluride has more cargo space compared to the Palisade with all the seats up. Among the peers, the Telluride and the Palisade are the only SUVs that have adult-friendly third-row seats. As for the cargo capacity, the Chevrolet Traverse with 23 cubic feet of cargo space behind the third row has the highest cargo space to offer among its peers. Highlights of the interior include:

  • Power-adjustable front seats
  • Heated front seats
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • Keyless entry and push-button start
  • Ventilated front seats (available)
  • Heated rear seats (available)
  • Panoramic sunroof (available)

Infotainment System:

The 2021 Kia Telluride offers two screen sizes for the infotainment system. The base one is an 8-inch unit, while the EX trim and higher get a 10.25-inch touchscreen. Irrespective of the screen size, the infotainment of the Kia Telluride is more or less sorted and easy to navigate. The frequently used features are on the main screen, and there are lesser layers of menus that make it very convenient to navigate.

2021 Kia Telluride SUV infotainment screen

The standard set of features accompanying the Telluride infotainment system are a six-speaker sound system, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Bluetooth, USB charging ports, etc. Climbing to the 10.25-inch screen adds wireless device charging and a few more USB ports. While the top-end trim gets the 10-speaker Harman & Kardon premium sound system. Highlights of the infotainment system include:

  • 8-inch or available 10.25-inch touchscreen 
  • Six-speaker sound system
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • UVO Link Telematics
  • 10-speaker Harman & Kardon premium sound system (available)
  • Navigation (available)
  • Wireless device charging (available)

2021 Kia Telluride Exterior

8.0/10

The looks of the Kia Telluride carry an all-new and fresh design among the similar-looking midsize SUVs’ burgeoning population. The front end has a massive tiger-nose grille, which is finished in chrome in top trims. Flanking at the sides is a vertically stacked headlight setup that gets a smoked black effect inside. The headlights have been pushed to the extreme ends of the front face and house the LED daytime running light that also doubles up as a turn signal and side reflector all in one unit. The foglights have been placed at the bottom grille, and in the traditional place of fog lights, you get functional air curtains. Also worth noting at the front is the front skid plate for added protection while off-roading and the front air diffuser for better aerodynamics. 

2021 Kia Telluride SUV 

From the sides, Kia hasn’t been adventurous with the design and stuck with the clean yet boxy looks, in our opinion, that’s the best Kia could have done here. Coming to the rear, you get J-shaped upside-down taillights with the reverse lights integrated into them. Overall the rear design is simple and inoffensive. Other than these design elements, you get a sunroof which gets upgraded to a dual-pane panoramic sunroof in the top trim. Base trims ride on 18-inch alloy wheels, while higher trims get 20-inch black alloy wheels. Last but not least, there is an all-new Nightfall Edition Package for this year that gets the alloys and other exterior trims done in a black finish.

Model

2021 Kia Telluride S

2021 Honda Pilot EX

2021 Chevrolet Traverse LS

2021 Hyundai Palisade SEL

Curb Weight (lbs)

4,317

4,004

4,362

4,231

Length (in.)

196.9

196.5

204.3

196.1

Width (in.)

78.3

78.6

78.6

77.8

Height (in.)

69.3

70.6

70.7

68.9

Ground Clearance (in.)

8.0

7.3

7.2

7.9

Wheelbase (in.)

114.2

111.0

120.9

114.2

Coming to the dimensions, there is no doubt the Chevrolet Traverse is the longest (204.3-inches), widest (78.6-inches), and the tallest (70.7-inches) SUV among all here. The Traverse also has the longest wheelbase of 120.9-inches, a full 6.7-inches longer than the Kia Telluride’s wheelbase. As for the length, the Telluride is smaller than the Traverse by 7.4-inches and is shorter than the Traverse by 1.4-inches. But the Telluride has the highest ground clearance of 8-inches. That said, the Traverse remains the heaviest SUV weighing 4,362 pounds. Highlights of the exterior include:

  • 18-inch alloy wheels
  • Halogen headlights
  • Sunroof (available)
  • Dual-pane panoramic sunroof (available)
  • 20-inch alloy wheels (available)
  • Surround-view parking camera (available)

2021 Kia Telluride Safety

8.0/10

The 2021 Kia Telluride has been praised by both the safety-rating agencies, and that was bound to happen. The Kia Telluride underpins a very sturdy and robust structure; it is based on a monocoque shell that uses approximately 59% of advanced high-strength steel. The usage of light-weight aluminum is not found on the Telluride but critical points use high-strength steels, and the Telluride is now 10% more torsionally stiffer than theKia Sorento. These all along with the standard safety features make it one of the safe midsize SUVs.

Let’s now see what the rating agencies have to say about the Kia Telluride and its safety. The NHTSA has given the 2021 Kia Telluride a five out of five-star overall rating, while the IIHS has rated the Telluride with a rating of ‘Good’ in all its six parameters. The base and EX trim’s headlights have been rated with the lowest rating of ‘Poor,’ while the SX trim and EX trim with optional package get the second-lowest rating of ‘Acceptable’. Highlights of the safety features include:

  • Rear parking sensors
  • Rear cross-traffic alert
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Lane departure warning w/ lane keep assist
  • Driver drowsiness monitor
  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Surround-view parking camera system (available)
  • Automatic high-beam headlights (available)

2021 Kia Telluride Competition

7.0/10

2021 Kia Telluride Vs 2021 Honda Pilot

The Honda Pilot is the biggest threat to the Kia Telluride. The Honda Pilot has been for a little longer than the Kia Telluride, so it has adapted well to our market needs. Both the SUVs offer good practicality and space inside the cabin. But the Pilot feels much more lively and peppier than the Telluride. The Pilot is faster than the Telluride by a margin in both the 0-60 mph and quarter-mile run, and still, the Pilot manages to offer a similar gas mileage in the city and one mpg more on the highway. To conclude, both the SUVs are competent, and buying either one of them will not make you regret your decision.

2021 Honda Pilot

2021 Kia Telluride Vs 2021 Chevrolet Traverse

The Chevrolet Traverse is a big and bulky SUV that could have easily tamed down the Telluride with its dimensions itself had it not been the Telluride’s clever space management inside the cabin. The result is that the Telluride is more spacious than the Traverse in all three rows and has just two cubic feet smaller boot than the Traverse. The Traverse offers lower gas mileage and has a similar performance level as the Telluride. The Traverse has the pricing advantage though to seduce some buyers. But in Traverse, you will have to compromise on interior fit and finish levels and overall comfort compared to the Telluride. So unless you are on a tight budget and want a big ride, you can skip the Traverse and go for the Telluride.

2021 Chevrolet Traverse

2021 Kia Telluride Vs 2021 Hyundai Palisade

The Hyundai Palisade and the Kia Telluride are almost similar to each other except for the exterior styling and cabin space distribution. The Telluride offers a more spacious and practical cabin, while the Palisade has a mature ride and handling and faster 0-60 mph and quarter-mile timings under its belt. Exterior design is subjective, so we won’t compare them in this aspect. In short, there is nothing else to differentiate between the two here. That said, both the SUVs are like the same gift wrapped in different packaging, so we will let you take the call as to which one would be your next ride.

2021 Hyundai Palisade

 

2021 Kia Telluride Final Verdict

8.5/10

The Kia Telluride, right from its launch in the year 2019, has unsettled a lot of segment dominators like the Honda Pilot. That is proof enough for how competent and well-rounded Telluride is. For this year, it is a carryover model, so the pros and cons remain unchanged as last year. Even if we start nitpicking, then except for the low gas mileage, stiff ride, and slower performance, there is hardly anything more we could find not impressive in this SUV. The entry of Telluride has split the market between the Koreans and Japanese, with American SUVs being side-lined altogether. That said, the 2021 Kia Telluride will once again be our most favorite and top-rated SUV in the midsize segment.

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