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2020 Kia Telluride Wins Awards as a Top Off-Road SUV

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The 2020 Telluride mid-size SUV is the largest Kia has made, offering comfortable seating for up to seven passengers. Operating on a powerful Atkinson cycle 3.8 liter GDI V6 engine, with 8-speed automatic transmission, Telluride is packed with technology that makes it one of the easiest to operate on the market.

Telluride also offers all-wheel-drive, helping it win several off-road drive competitions. Last spring it was named Texas Auto Writers’ top off-road SUV. Built and designed in America, Telluride boasts bigger, bolder design elements that beg for adventure.

2020 Kia Telluride Wins Awards as a Top Off-Road SUV

Photo: Kia Media

The Telluride is a good-looking SUV. Mine was attired in a Dark Moss shade with gray interior. Its stacked headlamps and wide grille, inverted L tail lamps with LED stripes, and sculpted rear with twin-exhaust tips proclaim its off-road readiness. Inside the cabin, Telluride features premium trim, a wide console, and spacious head and leg room.

Several factors contribute to Telluride’s ability to handle any terrain. These include self-leveling rear suspension, so ride height is calibrated depending on vehicle load. Choose from four drive modes, Smart, Eco, Sport and Comfort. Also two settings: Snow or AWD Lock.

Telluride Wins Off-road Awards

2020 Kia Telluride Wins Awards as a Top Off-Road SUV

Photo: Kia Media

With AWD, torque is distributed between front and rear wheels based on road conditions and driver commands. “Eco” and “Smart” modes give 100 percent power to the front wheels. “Comfort” and “Snow” modes give the front wheels 80 percent power and the rear 20 percent. Sport mode splits the power 65-35 percent between front and back, and “Lock” mode distributes power evenly to all four wheels, making this the preferred mode for off-road adventures.

Telluride can tow up to 5,000 pounds, and downhill brake control keeps the SUV steady on steep roads.

Telluride technology includes blind-spot collision avoidance assist, rear cross-traffic collision avoidance, lane following assist, safe exit assist, highway driving assist, and rear occupant alert. My SX model was priced at $43,490, and featured 20” steel alloy wheels for even more stability.

2020 Kia Telluride Wins Awards as a Top Off-Road SUV

Photo: Kia Media

Kia added a Prestige Package with head up display, Nappa leather seat trim, premium cloth headliner and sun visors, and rain-sensing front windshield wipers for an additional $2,210. The total price for the test model, with destination charges, was $46,860. Fuel economy was estimated at 19 mpg in town and 24 mpg on the highway, for an average of 21 mpg overall.