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When Driving is about Lifestyle, Car Life Nation is the Answer

When Driving is about Lifestyle, Car Life Nation is the Answer

A blue 2023 Kia Telluride for sale near you is shown from the front.

Kia Might’ve Made the Perfect Midsize SUV for a Weekend Outdoors

First, I’m not going to try to convince you that the Kia Telluride is the ultimate off-road machine because it’s certainly not. If you like tackling challenging trails and splashing through riverbeds, then you’ll undoubtedly be served better by other options. That said, if you’re interested in spending a long weekend at your favorite campground, perhaps with a boat out on a river or lake, then the Telluride is a fantastic option – arguably one of the best. For the 2023 model year, it’s only gotten even better thanks to a mid-generation refresh and update with some great features included.

Whether you’re looking for a Kia Telluride for sale near you or you like to stay up-to-date on the latest models and what’s out there, I’m here to help. Going off-road and splashing through the mud can be a lot of fun, but it’s not for everyone; I personally prefer getting outdoors and hiking and camping rather than spending my time inside my vehicle. If you’re like me and passionate about getting out – but you recognize the importance of a great SUV to get you there – then you should know what the Telluride delivers.

Sporty Performance

First introduced for the 2020 model year, the Kia Telluride hasn’t been around as long as many other impressive midsize SUVs, but it’s already proven itself in that time. There’s a single engine offered on the Telluride, which keeps things simple – fortunately, it’s also powerful enough for most drivers. The Telluride offers a naturally-aspirated V6 engine that delivers 291 hp and 262 lb-ft of torque, which is plenty for a midsize model like this. It comes paired with an eight-speed automatic to make for a smooth driving experience that responds to the road.

It’s certainly not the fastest or most powerful midsize model out there, but it can get the job done and offers a sporty ride for running errands, getting through a daily commute, and enjoying the weekend. Some drivers have complained that it rides a bit harshly on the road, but the available air suspension helps soften this and makes for a better time behind the wheel. That said, the brakes respond quickly, and the steering feels precise, which is what I’m looking for in a crossover model like this. Altogether, the Telluride makes for a great driving experience, which is a big reason why so many reviewers have rated it highly since it was first introduced.

A silver 2021 Kia Telluride is shown from the side overlooking a desert view.

Leaving the Road Behind

Since we’re talking about whether this model is perfect for heading outdoors, we need to look at more than its overall performance and ride quality. The Kia Telluride can be a fantastic option for anyone interested in some light off-roading and navigating tricky dirt roads and similarly rough conditions. The Telluride has Front-Wheel Drive (FWD) standard, but Kia’s available All-Wheel Drive (AWD) elevates the Telluride and turns it into a great choice for a weekend of camping or otherwise heading out. An X-Pro trim, in particular, is the way to go for anyone interested in getting solid off-road capability out of the Telluride.

Not only does the X-Pro come with AWD, but it also features all-terrain tires, standard, for better traction when off pavement. Perhaps more importantly, however, the X-Pro increases the ground clearance of the Telluride to 8.4 in, allowing it to tackle rougher terrain than standard models. It also has improved approach and departure angles in case you need to navigate a steep incline or drive over any minor obstacles. This certainly won’t beat out something like the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon or Ford Bronco Badlands for serious off-roading. It can let drivers easily get to campgrounds and similar locations with confidence.

Along with this impressive capability, the Kia Telluride is engineered to be able to pull up to 5,500 lbs of weight behind it, perfect for someone with a boat or a small camper that they like to use when heading outdoors. Whether for a day out on the lake, camping weekend, or most anything else, this is a fantastic way for someone to reach their destination and enjoy everything that nature has to offer. It might not conquer a tough trail, but the Telluride can deliver a terrific overall experience for any driver who understands its limits.

A Gorgeous Interior

One of the main things many people like about the Kia Telluride is its fantastic luxury and technology features inside at a price that falls well below similar options in other brands. For example, starting features in the standard trim of the Telluride, the LX, include comfortable SynTex seating for up to eight people, dual-zone automatic climate control, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. Standard features include a six-speaker sound system, a 4.2-in instrument display, and a 12.3-in Infotainment display. There are numerous USB charging ports inside, a Smart Key system with push-button start and remote start, plus One-Touch sliding and folding second-row seats that make getting in and out of the Telluride easy for passengers.

Moving up to something like the SX trim, which is far from the highest level on the Telluride, you’ll find seven-passenger seating thanks to a pair of second-row captain’s chairs, along with rear-passenger automatic climate control. At this trim level, the interior is upgraded with a 10-way power driver’s seat featuring four-way power lumbar, an eight-way power front-passenger seat, and LED interior lighting. The SX also has a heated leather-wrapped steering wheel, woodgrain interior accents, and leather seating. Combined with its wireless phone charger, 12.3-in instrument display for the driver, and 10-speaker Harman Kardon premium audio system, you can see why the SX has so many fans.

A blue 2023 Kia Telluride is shown kicking up dirt on a desert trail.

Excellent Safety On and Off the Road

As fun as it is to head out for a camping weekend, the most important thing is that someone makes it home safely afterward. Kia seems to get that, and every Telluride comes with their Drive Wise package of driver assist technology, including a Forward Collision Warning and Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist system with Pedestrian, Cyclist, and Junction Turning Detection. Standard features also include a Blind-Spot Collision Warning, Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Avoidance Assist, and a Lane Departure

Warning with Lane Keeping Assist

Navigation-Based Smart Cruise Control with Stop & Go also comes standard on every model, along with a Driver Attention Warning and a comprehensive airbag system. Higher trims include some upgrades to the safety features on the Telluride, such as more options for the Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist system, like Lane Change Oncoming and Side detection. An available Surround View Monitor is also the perfect addition for heading outdoors, giving drivers a better sense of obstacles around them when navigating a campground or out on a trail.

Kia is doing pretty much everything right with the Telluride for a wide range of drivers, but the selection of off-road features makes it the perfect choice for going camping or otherwise enjoying a weekend away from the city. The fact that all of this comes with three rows of seating, making it perfect for big families, only adds to this impressive functionality. Best of all, the very reasonable price on the Telluride means it’s within reach of a wide range of campers and folks looking to head outdoors, which checks all of the boxes for me when it comes to this sort of SUV.

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