The 2024 Kia Telluride has seating for up to seven or eight passengers, depending on cabin configuration: a middle-row bench or two captain’s chairs. (Photo provided by Kia)

The 2024 Kia Telluride has seating for up to seven or eight passengers, depending on cabin configuration: a middle-row bench or two captain’s chairs. (Photo provided by Kia)

2024 Kia Telluride makes every drive a pleasure

The midsize SUV has more going for it than many others in its class.

As midsize SUVs go, a person would be hard pressed to find one with more going for it than the Kia Telluride: great innovative design, a big spiffy cabin, mellow ride, sophisticated powertrain, deft handling, standard-feature generosity, first-rate infotainment tech, a raft of safety systems, and competitive pricing.

The Telluride has three rows, with seating for up to seven or eight people, depending on whether the middle row is a three-seat bench or two captain’s chairs.

There are 10 trim levels in Telluride’s lineup, a hurdle for those with decision-making stress, but powertrain selection is a cinch. All models come with the same proficient V6 engine generating 291 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque, hooked to an eight-speed automatic transmission. It’s a top-notch pairing that delivers smooth and satisfying acceleration without sabotaging fuel economy too much.

When equipped with front-wheel drive, Telluride’s EPA rating is 20 mpg city, 26 mpg highway, and 22 mpg combined. With all-wheel drive, the numbers are 18/24/20 mpg. That’s not the best nor the worst in the midsize SUV class.

The base Telluride model is the LX. It has front-wheel drive and goes for $37,585. Among its many standard features are eight-passenger seating, synthetic leather upholstery, dual zone automatic climate control, remote start, a 12.3-inch touchscreen, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, SiriusXM, Bluetooth, navigation, voice recognition, six-speaker audio system, and a Wi-Fi hotspot.

I drove a Telluride SX-Prestige, the chart-topping model, with the X-Pro off-road-oriented package applied. All-wheel drive, a $2,000 option for the other models, is standard on the SX-Prestige. It incorporates every feature, or a more upscale version of it, found on all other models combined.

A week’s worth of living with the 2024 Telluride proved it excellent enough to make every driving trip a pleasure, no matter how dull or dreaded the destination or how hideous the traffic. Even at a standstill in my old gravel driveway, the Telluride delivered. Its artistic exterior styling was emotive. Not exactly Louvre-like, but a nice splash of sheet-metal beauty for the far reaches of rural Snohomish County.

2024 KIA TELLURIDE SX-PRESTIGE X-PRO

Base price, including destination charge: $54,550

Price as driven: $55,540

Mary Lowry is a member of the Motor Press Guild and a member and past president of the Northwest Automotive Press Association. She lives in Snohomish County. Vehicles are provided by automotive manufacturers as a one-week loan for evaluation purposes only. Manufacturers do not control content of the reviews.

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