The biggest hit in the SUV world lately has been the Kia Telluride. The brand's first three-row SUV hit just the right design notes, as well as providing a premium look and feel to the segment for a great price. The fact that you can get a loaded one for the mid-$40,000 price range is remarkable, and it's been drawing customers away from the premium brands. Not content to stay complacent, Kia has given the Telluride a slight refresh for its third production year, namely in the form of a revised grille with the new Kia logo. But the changes are more than skin deep thanks to some upgrades.
The large Tiger Nose grille gets updated with the new Kia logo with bigger lettering and the removal of the oval background. It certainly gives the Telluride a more premium look with this small change. The font is now significantly larger and extends almost the full width of the grille's center notch, whereas the old one with the oval was quite a bit smaller. It looks like both the regular grille and the blackened Nightfall Edition retain their mesh patterns from 2021. The new badge also shows up on the liftgate, as well.
The Telluride is now packed with more standard features on the lower LX and S trims including the larger 10.25" touchscreen previously only found on the higher trim levels (EX, SX, SX Prestige. They also now benefit from standard automatic climate control and Highway Driving Assist technology. S trim models will also have an available wireless device charger. The Telluride also receives standard Navigation-Based Smart Cruise Control-Curve (NSCC-C), which adjusts the cruise control speed automatically when it recognizes curves, changes in the speed limit, and even school zones.
In terms of power, the 3.8-liter V6 (291 hp and 262 lb-ft of torque) remains the same. The engine is smooth, and the eight-speed automatic shifts well. No changes were really necessary because the powertrain works remarkably well and makes the Telluride a pleasure to drive. Front-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive is optional.
The interior styling has been unchanged, and that's a good thing. The seats are excellent, as are the ergonomics and styling. There's plenty of room for a family of up to eight, depending on seating configuration (second-row Captain's Chairs or a bench seat). First-row occupants get 40.9 inches of legroom, and the second-row passengers have 41.4 inches of legroom to stretch out. Row three has 31.4 inches, which is better suited for shorter adults or children. The only thing we'd like to see is real wood trim instead of the matte faux wood that feels a bit cheap to the touch. Maybe next time around. Everything else really does befit a premium SUV that costs far more than the Telluride.
The 2022 model will be available in the next several weeks. The base price of the LX base trim is $34,015, all the way up to $48,115 for the SX Prestige. This includes the $1,225 destination charge. Upgrading to all-wheel-drive adds $2,000 (LX, S, EX), $1,900 on the SX, and standard equipment on the SX Prestige. Keep in mind that dealers might be charging a premium on the Telluride right now due to chip shortages and SUV demand.