Carrying over lots of design cues from the boxy, rugged-looking concept that was a big hit in 2016, the almost production-ready Telluride wears a much wider grille and taller, narrower headlights than the concept, which we think is a bit of a letdown. The side profile also incorporates a slight kink up in the chrome trim that lines the windows where the two doors meet, but unfortunately the production model doesn’t carry over the concepts suicide door design for safety reasons, so it looks a bit out of place.
Out back, there are two tall LED taillights that curve upwards and give the rear profile an almost Volvo XC90-style look, which is to say very handsome. Overall, it’s a handsome design that looks big enough to suit even Texas, so perhaps the setting is fitting after all.
As for details, Telluride will be assembled at Kia’s Georgia manufacturing plant and will provide a new V6 engine option. It’s longer and wider than Kia’s current largest SUV, the Sorento, and will have seating for up to eight passengers in its production form.
Also, those bumpers, skidplates, and sidesteps won’t be on the production model, and nor will the exact natural wood and saddle-inspired interior trim that adorns the upscale-looking cabin, unfortunately. There may be a Texas edition option package that includes the trim, but most Tellurides will likely do without it. Expect more modest wheels and tires as well as more pedestrian exterior trim, too.
As anything with raised ride height and all-wheel drive continues to sell gangbusters, this could be a surprise hit for Kia, taking the fight directly to the likes of Jeep with its planned Grand Wagoneer model and Chevrolet with its enormous Traverse crossover.