2024 Kia Telluride X-PRO

PHOENIX — The Kia Telluride remains as a carry over into 2024 virtually unchanged from 2023 after a styling refresh and updating, the first since it launched for the 2020 model year. Last year's refresh included a new updated grille, redesigned LED headlamps, a new front bumper and fascia on the exterior. Inside, there was an all-new digital instrument panel with dual 12.3 inch panoramic LED screens that serve as the infotainment center and gauge displays.

Navigation became standard across all nine trim levels including two new trim levels, the X-Line we tested last year and the X-Pro for heavier towing duty tested here for 2024.

Every Telluride is powered by a smooth operating 3.8-liter 261-horsepower V6 engine with enough power to satisfy most buyers. Driver’s get a choice of five drive modes – Smart, Eco, Sport, Comfort or Snow each using different settings for powertrain, drivetrain, and steering effort mapping to provide the desired driving experience. An 8-speed automatic transmission is standard.

The Telluride offers a generous complement of standard features with our range topping SX-Prestige with the fanciest of accoutrements delivering a near-luxury experience loaded with high-end features including a Harman/Kardon Premium Audio system including Apple CarPlay, Android Auto capability. A feature called Driver Talk amplifies the driver's voice through speakers in the back two rows to better communicate with passengers back there.

There's dual front and rear sunroofs, second-row captain’s chairs, quilted Napa leather seat trim, heated and cooled front and second-row seats, heated steering wheel, smart power rear liftgate, self-leveling rear suspension, head-up display, Sirius XM, wireless phone charging and more.

The only thing new on our 2024 SX-Prestige X-Pro from 2023 is the addition of amber colored daytime running lights and gloss black exterior trim accents on the X-Line and X-Pro trims.

Both the X-Line and our tested X-Pro are basically trim appearance packages including a trim-specific grille design, 20-inch wheels with aggressive Continental all-terrain tires, bridge-type black roof rails, and special badging including X-Line embossing on the front seats. There's also a marginal 0.4 inch chassis lift for a total of 8.4 inches ground clearance. Towing capacity increases 500 pounds to a total of 5,500. But the X-Pro is more looks than muscle and less rugged and capable off-road than competitors such as the Jeep Grand Cherokee 4x4 Overland or Toyota 4Runner TRD-Off Road and TRD Pro.

The Telluride is an excellent mid-sized three-row SUV that's easily one of the best in its class, if not actually sitting atop of it. It's handsome in style, has a roomy cabin with supremely comfortable seats and room for all passengers but worth noting the third row isn't as roomy as we preferred and is best suited for the kids than adults.

As mentioned there's a wide variety of trim levels, nine in fact, ranging in price from the Base LX with an MSRP of $38,075 to the range topping SX Prestige X-Line at $54,270. Regardless of which trim level you land on, you really can't go wrong. It's that good.

Vital Stats
Base Price: $53,185
Price as Tested: $55,540
Engine/Transmission: 3.8-liter 261 horsepower V6 engine paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission and standard 4-wheel drive.
EPA Fuel Economy: 18/24/21 mpg City/Highway/Combined
Seating: Up to 8

Crash Test Safety Ratings: Overall highest possible 5-star rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and overall highest possible Top Safety Pick + from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Where Built: West Point, Georgia

Competes With:
Buick Enclave
Chevrolet Traverse
Dodge Durango
Ford Explorer
Honda Pilot and Passport
Hyundai Palisade
Jeep Grand Cherokee
Nissan Pathfinder
Toyota Highlander
Volkswagen Atlas

Well built with excellent materials and craftsmanship
Drives beautifully with smooth demeanor and quiet cabin
Loaded with standard features at near luxury and a bargain price

One engine choice — no hybrid version
Wished for better fuel-efficiency

— Jim Prueter