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The Refreshed 2023 Kia Telluride Is Better Than Ever 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 2023 Kia Telluride will come in five trim levels. Under the hood, the 2023 Kia Telluride retains the tried and tested 3.8-Liter V-6 GDI engine, which produces 291 horsepower and 262 pounds-feet of torque. An 8-speed automatic transmission sends power to the wheels. Front-wheel drive Tellurides have a rating of 23 MPG combined while that number drops on the all-wheel drive variants at just 21 MPG.

While all-wheel drive is available as an optional extra, the X-Line grades come standard with AWD, a snow mode, and an AWD lock, while hill descent control is a feature that comes across the range. Also available on the Telluride facelift is the new self-leveling suspension.

Additionally, the X-Line variants feature a revised traction control system, that can send up to 50 percent of torque to the rear axle. You also get an improved tow mode, better approach and departure angles, and an additional 10mm of ground clearance. Upgrade to the X-Pro and the Tellurides’ towing capability has now gone up from 5000 pounds to 5500 pounds.

Coming to the exterior styling, the Telluride was already quite attractive, to begin with. Thankfully Kia hasn’t changed much on the outside aside from a couple of minor tweaks to bring it in line with other models in Kia’s portfolio. The Telluride looks largely the same as the previous model. With this refresh, Kia really wanted to give it a rugged makeover and at that, they’ve clearly succeeded.

Starting up front, the orange rectangular lighting elements are no longer present in the headlamp cluster; instead, you now get twin vertical LED bars and LED fog lights in their place. The TELLURIDE lettering on the hood is now gone, and Kia has tweaked the Tiger Nose Grille. Based on the trim you select, you get blocky gray inserts in the bumper.

Aside from a pair of updated LED strips for the taillights, the changes made to this Telluride refresh are even more difficult to spot. The Kia Telluride brings updated wheel designs across the range. You get new wheel designs on both trims. The X-Pro rides on 18″ rims with all-terrain tires, while the X-Line rides on 20-inch rims.

On the inside, there is a brand-new dashboard that is undeniably eye-catching. It sure does draw some inspiration from the KIA EV6 and has two highly configurable 12.3-inch displays for both the instrument cluster and infotainment screen, housed within a curved panel.

The air conditioning vents and trim pieces have been redone, and the steering wheel is all new as well. KIA has also retained actual physical buttons for things like the drive selector mode, radio, and climate control.

The updated feature set includes a larger 8.5″ color heads-up display, a 10-speaker Harmon Kardon audio system, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, wireless charging, and digital key capability that works with iPhones, Apple Watches, and Samsung Galaxy devices. The package also includes over-the-air upgrades and a WiFi hotspot.

Official pricing for the 2023 Kia Telluride isn’t out yet but the outgoing model started in LX trim and carried an MSRP of $33,390. The range-topping SX topped out at $43,290. Given the level of additional equipment on offer with this latest Telluride, you can expect a marginal bump in prices. The new flagship X-Line and X-Pro models could cross the $$50,000.

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