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Leader of the Pack: 2023 Kia Telluride on Everyman Driver

Three years after bursting onto the scene as one of the most in-demand and award-winning three-row eight-passenger SUVs in the U.S., the Kia Telluride returns for 2023 with an array of enhancements that build upon the success of the original.  The Telluride has not only attracted over 75 percent of its buyers as new to the Kia family, but because of high customer satisfaction, Telluride owners have the most brand loyalty of any midsize SUV when returning to market for another vehicle. Big, capable, and powerful, the Telluride is as ready as ever for adventures of all kinds, from family road trips across the country to off-road excursions bound by few limits.

The SUV that swept the “triple crown” of automotive accolades and claimed the most recent award for best resale value from JD Power now wears new design elements inside and out and brings an expanded list of ADAS safety technology for greater peace-of-mind and driver confidence.  With class-leading passenger room, the Telluride arrives with two all-new trim levels for 2023: X-Line and X-Pro.  These iterations exude a more rugged personality with features and capabilities that allow the Telluride to venture off the beaten path and explore new realms of wilderness.

The only SUV to have ever swept the 2019 NACTOY Utility Vehicle of the YearMotorTrend SUV of the Year and Car and Driver 10Best awards in the same year, the 2023 Telluride sports fresh design elements inside and out along with an expanded list of ADAS8 technology for greater peace-of-mind and driver confidence. The 2023 Telluride is slated to arrive in showrooms this fall.

Designed for America

Designed for the U.S. market, the Telluride has been a head-turning proposition from the very start. Retaining its bold and sophisticated appearance, the Telluride undergoes some exterior restyling for a more rugged and refined look in the new model year:

  • Revised vertical headlamp design (available LED type) and available foglamps
  • New front fascia and grille
  • Revised taillamps
  • New rear fascia and trim
  • New wheel designs for every trim
  • Three new exterior colors are available
    • Midnight Lake Blue
    • Dawning Red
    • Jungle Green

As before, the 2023 Telluride interior captures a feeling of upscale exploration in a spacious, three-row, seven or eight-passenger environment with class-leading second-row legroom. Thoughtful new updates include:

  • Curved and seamless dual 12.3-inch display screen
    • 12.3-inch gauge cluster is available
    • Center display including navigation is standard  
  • Redesigned dashboard with revised trim panels and HVAC vents
  • Redesigned steering wheel
  • New interior color packages

Introducing Two New Adventure-Ready Trim Levels: X-Line and X-Pro

The new Telluride introduces two new trim levels – X-Line and X-Pro – to appeal to drivers who enjoy going off the beaten path. Both all-wheel drive trims offer a roster of exclusive upgrades and enhancements over other Telluride trims. As seen below, the X-Pro trim builds off the X-Line trim. Furthermore, the X-Line trim replaces the former Telluride Nightfall Edition.

Telluride X-Line


  • Unique radiator grille design
  • Raised, bridge-type roof rails
  • Body-color door handles
  • Exclusive 20-inch wheels
  • “X-Line” badging


  • “X-Line” embossing on front seat upper backrest
  • Exclusive color packages

Chassis and Capability

  • Higher ground clearance (+10mm)
  • Improved approach and departure angles
  • Tow mode for enhanced trailering performance (adjusted powertrain settings)
  • Upgraded Traction Control System (TCS)

Telluride X-Pro (in addition to or in place of X-Line features)


  • Exclusive 18-inch black wheels and 18-inch all-terrain tires (Continental)
  • “X-Pro” badging


  • “X-Pro” embossing on front seat upper backrest
  • 110-volt inverter outlet (cargo area)

Chassis and Capability

  • Increased towing limit from 5,000 pounds to 5,500 pounds9

As Powerful and Capable As Ever

The new Telluride continues to provide a capable and confidence-inspiring experience for driver and passengers, alike. Major mechanicals remain virtually unchanged, maintaining the SUV’s composed ride and performance:

  • Atkinson Cycle LAMBDA II 3.8L V6 GDI engine producing 291 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 262 lb.-ft of torque at 5,200 rpm
  • 8-speed automatic transmission
  • Four-wheel independent suspension
  • Rigid body structure due to the monocoque shell that is composed of 59.4 percent advanced high-strength steel
  • Available self-leveling rear suspension2. This system is designed to automatically calibrate ride height depending on vehicle load to help enhance control and stability
  • Choice of four drive modes – Smart, Eco, Sport and Comfort – each using different settings for powertrain, drivetrain, and steering effort mapping to provide the desired driving experience. In addition to the four regular drive modes, in vehicles equipped with AWD, drivers can select from two different modes, “Snow” and “AWD Lock” for specific driving conditions
  • Available active on-demand all-wheel drive2 is designed to help provide enhanced driving performance in a variety of circumstances by actively distributing torque between front and rear wheels depending on road conditions and driver input. The system utilizes electro-hydraulic AWD coupling to precisely activate the multi-plate clutch, constantly redistributing the amount of power transferred to the front and rear wheels. During normal driving, power is distributed according to the drive mode selected. “Eco” and “Comfort” modes can deliver up to 20 to 35 percent of the power to the rear wheels, respectively. “Sport”, “Smart” and “Snow” modes can deliver up to 50 percent of the power to the rear wheels. “AWD Lock” mode delivers power evenly to all four wheels
  • Standard towing rated up to 5,000 pounds (5,500 pounds for X-Pro trim)5
  • Newly added Downhill Brake Control (DBC)2 maintains a controlled descent on steep roads

A New Level of Convenience Technology

The 2023 Telluride receives newly available technology features to help make ownership easier and more convenient:

  • Standard upgraded 12.3-inch navigation screen (increased from 10.3 inches)
  • Optional Full Display Mirror with HomeLink10 functionality (replacing traditional rearview mirror)
  • Available Smart Power Liftgate with “Auto Close” functionality

Kia Connect11 services provide advanced embedded connectivity:

  • Available Digital Key12: Allows customers to use their compatible iPhone, Apple Watch, and Samsung Galaxy smart devices as a virtual vehicle key to lock, unlock and drive. Furthermore, these keys can be shared with friends and family over text messages on available devices
  • In-vehicle Wi-Fi Hotspot13 connects up to five devices to 4G LTE-based internet
  • Map and Infotainment Over-The-Air (OTA) updates: Can keeps maps and infotainment system updated automatically with the latest functionalities to help deliver the best driving experience
  • Kia Access App with smartwatch compatibility through Apple Watch and Samsung Galaxy smart watches to access features like remote climate control, door lock/unlock and more14
  • Stolen vehicle tracking and immobilization capability
  • Connected Routing: The server-based system is designed to calculate the optimal route by using real-time and predicted traffic information based on past information and AI that has learned the user’s preferred route
  • Smart Speaker Integration lets customers use Amazon Alexa15 or Google Assistant16 enabled smart speakers or devices to remotely control some functions (such as remote start)

Technology highlights carried over from the previous model year include:

  • Available 10-speaker Harman/Kardon17 audio system (AM/FM/SiriusXM18)
  • Apple CarPlay19
  • Android Auto20
  • Available wireless smartphone charging21
  • Up to six USB charging ports – two in each row. Five ports are standard (now updated from A type to C type)
  • Multi-Bluetooth wireless connectivity22 allows two phones to connect simultaneously for audio streaming
  • Head-Up Display23 Upgraded from 8.5-inches to 10-inches. Added information makes this system especially useful. Provides turn-by-turn navigation, speed, smart cruise control, and blind-spot warnings (available)
  • Driver Talk: Uses a microphone to help enhance communication with second- and third-row passengers
  • Quiet Mode: Cuts audio output in second and third row so the audio choices of the front occupants are less perceptible to rear occupants
  • Rear Occupant Alert24: Uses ultrasonic sensors designed to detect child or pet movement in the second and third row after the car’s doors have been locked and then can issue audible alerts to the driver

Expanded ADAS Suite

As Kia’s flagship SUV, the new Telluride is brimming with technology designed to help provide drivers with alerts and assistance and even intervene in certain situations to help avoid collisions. The long list of ADAS8 features grows for 2023 with several new additions, including two new standard systems (ISLA, FCA-JT):

  • Intelligent Speed Limit Assist (ISLA)25: Can detect a road’s maximum speed limit in some cases, provide alerts to the driver and even limit the speed of the car depending on the settings (standard)
  • Navigation-based Smart Cruise Control – Curve (NSCC-C): Leverages the available navigation system and, in certain circumstances, can lower the vehicle’s speed proactively before upcoming curves in the road (available)
  • Highway Driving Assist 2 (HDA 2)26 A driving convenience system that helps to maintain a predetermined distance from the vehicle detected in front, keep the vehicle within detected lane markers on certain highways, and also assist in lane changes under certain conditions (available; HDA 1.5 is standard on Telluride)
  • Forward Collision Avoidance – Junction Turning (FCA-JT): Is designed to detect oncoming vehicles while turning left at an intersection (junction). If the system detects that a collision may be likely, the system may apply the brakes to help slow or stop the car (standard)
  • Forward Collision Avoidance – Junction Crossing (FCA-JC): Is designed to detect crossing vehicles while passing through an intersection. If the system detects that a collision may be likely, the system may apply the brakes to help slow or stop the car (available)
  • Forward Collision Avoidance – Lane Change Oncoming (FCA-LO): Is designed to provide steering input to help prevent collisions if the system detects oncoming vehicles while passing other vehicles (available)
  • Forward Collision Avoidance – Lane Change Side (FCA-LS): Is designed to provide steering input to help prevent collisions if the system detects cycles/vehicles in front of the car while changing lanes (available)
  • Forward Collision Avoidance – Evasive Steering Assist (FCA-ESA): Is designed to provide steering input to help prevent collisions if the system detects obstacles/pedestrians/vehicles in front of the car while driving straight (available)

The 2023 Telluride’s long list of carryover ADAS4 (standard and available) systems include:

  • Forward Collision Warning (FCW)
  • Forward Collision Avoidance Assist with Pedestrian & Cyclist Detection (FCA)
  • High Beam Assist (HBA)27
  • Lane Departure Warning (LDW)
  • Lane Keeping Assist (LKA)
  • Blind Spot Collision Warning (BCW)
  • Blind Spot View Monitor (BVM) (available)
  • Driver Attention Warning (DAW)28
  • Smart Cruise Control with Stop & Go
  • Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist (RCCA)
  • Parking Distance Warning – Forward (available) and Reverse
  • Surround View Monitor (SVM)29(available)
  • Highway Driving Assist (HDA)27 (HDA 1.5 – standard)
  • Lane Following Assist (LFA)
  • Safe Exist Assist (SEA)30

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