Regardless of your lifestyle, you might consider visiting a Kia dealership because of the brand’s reputation for practical, affordable vehicles. But does Kia offer luxury features in any of their models? Over the past several years, Kia Corporation has paid particular attention to implementing a variety of unique features that cultivate a more upscale experience for drivers—proving itself as surprisingly fierce competition for the industry’s posh, high-end brands.
A dark horse of the upscale market, the 2022 Kia Telluride is an attractive option for buyers due to its diverse choice of trims. Each offers various combinations of luxury features without breaking the bank.
The 2022 Telluride has established a prestigious name for itself as an award-winning vehicle for safety, value, and all-around quality. It’s been named a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, also earning a five-star safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Administration. It received the awards for “The Best 3-Row SUV for Families,” as well as “The Best 3-Row SUV for the Money” by US News & World Reports. Autotrader has designated it as a top-five pick for “Best Car Interiors under $50,000”—specifically for its SX trim, citing its roominess and leather interior as top reasons for the achievement. The 2022 Kia Telluride has also gained top accolades from several other leading sources, including Kelley Blue Book, JD Power and Associates, and Car and Driver.
Upscale Features Come Standard in the Telluride LX
The 2022 Telluride’s base trim level, the LX, includes an array of luxury features that come standard, including a commanding and stylish exterior design and a spacious interior with palatially ample legroom. Perks like a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a 10.25” touchscreen navigation display with Kia Connect, and auto front and rear tri-zone climate control provide extra convenience and comfort—for the driver and their passengers. With the Tow Package, all trims have a capacity to trailer up to 5,000 lbs—enough to accommodate a small camper for weekend trips and long-term road-tripping.
The Telluride also boasts a plethora of high-tech driving assistance technologies, including Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist for both pedestrians and cyclists; Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist at the rear; Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist; Lane Keeping Assist; and Lane Following Assist. All of these systems work independently and in tandem to provide an extra layer of protection on the road.
All trims also come with Safe Exit Assist, which works when the car is stopped or at very low speeds. This feature uses sensors positioned under the taillights to detect approaching cars and cyclists, warning its occupants of oncoming cars and bicyclists—then locking the doors if danger is imminent. This feature is especially useful for people who live and work in high-traffic areas like urban centers, as well as families with young children. Another hugely important (and perhaps life-saving) assistance feature that comes standard on the 2022 Telluride is its Rear Occupant Alert system, which displays a visual and audio alert when an occupant is left in the back seats. This feature helps to prevent adults from unintentionally leaving a sleeping or distracted child in the car.
Posh Available Upgrades
The Telluride offers two distinct trim options that incorporate a sunroof. The S trim includes a power sunroof and roof rails, but it’s the SX that really stands out with its dual sunroofs: one in the first row and another in the second. Heated front seats are another posh bonus available in the S trim. But, for prime luxury, the heated and ventilated front power seats in the EX and SX are the way to go.
The LX and EX comfortably seat eight passengers, while the S and SX seat seven passengers with a second row of captain’s chairs. A futuristic-looking center console that accompanies the captain’s chairs includes convenient features like cup holders and charging ports—to make your passengers feel like VIPs.
In the realm of technology, the wireless phone charger built into the S and SX is a huge convenience upgrade, especially for busy professionals and active families. However, standard in the LX, S, and SX come six traditional USB ports, and an impressive seven USB ports are featured in the EX, making it a particularly attractive option for families with teens—as well as business travelers who need several options to charge various devices on the run. To increase its appeal to those looking for a high-end experience, the LX, S, and EX all come with an audio system consisting of six crisp, high-quality speakers—all of which are controllable from the front seats with a Quiet Mode function. In terms of safety, the SX stands out from other Telluride trims, but also from other cars in its price range—particularly because of its surround-view monitor, providing a full view of the vehicle’s blind spots on both sides thanks to four cameras located around its exterior.
A Luxury Gem: The SX Trim
The highest-level trim package available on the 2022 Telluride SUV is the SX, which includes previously mentioned features like dual sunroofs and heated and ventilated power front seats. But the SX is also brimming with other luxury features on top of those—and the already abundant baseline of features that come standard in all Telluride trims. For aesthetics, the SX and EX upgrade the standard SynTex seating materials to Nappa leather for a lavish, top-of-the-line interior look. Complimentary to the lush interior style is the Harman Kardon 10-Speaker Premium Audio System, creating a personalized ambient experience for travelers.
Second-row door sunshades (also available on the 2022 Telluride EX) are a popular luxury feature available on the SX. These shades help create an ambient interior effect, blocking out the sun while also assisting with temperature control. Another extremely useful feature, especially for drivers who share a car with one or more other individuals, is front power seating with Driver’s Memory. With this feature, the driver’s seat can be programmed to adjust to specific driver preferences, saving the information for each user—with the use of a set of small buttons.
Another way the SX sets itself apart from other Telluride trims, but also from other cars in its price range, is with the available Surround-View Blind Spot Display, providing a full view of the vehicle’s blind spots on both sides using four cameras located around its exterior. This is a unique feature that assists the driver at low speeds, in parking lots and residential neighborhoods. However, it also has a function that provides an aerial view of the back of the SUV, displaying guiding lines on the monitor screen to help you line up your vehicle to hitch a trailer.
Can I Really Afford a Luxury Kia?
A 2022 Kia Telluride, even with its most luxurious trim package, is surprisingly accessible for its general value. This may be why it seems to have reaped droves of awards celebrating its all-around quality. For the standard trim, the starting MSRP is $33,390, even though it has been compared to models like the Cadillac XT6, which costs significantly more but lacks in places like leg, shoulder, and head room. For the Telluride S Trim, a starting MSRP of $35,890 isn’t much of a jump from the cost of the basic trim package. It’s easy to upgrade if you’re interested in more luxury characteristics.
The EX’s starting MSRP is again only a small incremental change at $38,390. Meanwhile, the SX, even with all its posh features, is $43,290—shockingly low for its posh flavor—making it a top pick for Kia buyers with luxury tastes.