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2023 Kia Telluride First Look: If It Ain’t Broke, Just Add to It

2023 Kia Telluride First Look: If It Ain’t Broke, Just Add to It

Small changes to a big SUV

  • The 2023 Kia Telluride gets a series of small changes inside and out.
  • New looks, some new tech, and a few new trims.
  • Is it enough to stay ahead of the pack?

The Kia Telluride is our favorite SUV in the crowded three-row segment. It's won the Edmunds Top Rated SUV award for three years in a row, ever since its debut. It doesn't get more dominant than that, but Kia isn't keen to rest on its laurels, and it's made some small but significant changes for 2023.

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Perhaps most obvious of all will be what Kia has done to the car's front end. More evolution than revolution, the headlights get a reworking with a new dual-bar design, and the air dam beneath the grille is slightly larger but better hidden than before. The rear end also gets a nip and tuck, and the taillights, though not different in shape, have also been revamped. The engine, however, hasn't changed. The V6 that resides under the hood still makes 291 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque. It sends that power through an eight-speed automatic transmission to either the front or all four wheels.

Kia is adding two models to the Telluride lineup in 2023: X-Line and X-Pro. The X-Line is Kia-speak for "this is better for off-roading," and to that end Kia has added a slightly higher ride height, improved approach and departure angles, a reworked traction control system, unique 20-inch wheels, a trim-specific grille and a roof rack. X-Pro models get everything from the X-Line but replace the 20s with 18-inch wheels and 18-inch all-terrain tires and add a 110-volt power inverter in the cargo area. The X-Line and X-Pro models also up the Telluride's tow rating 500 pounds to a maximum of 5,500 pounds.

Inside, the Telluride gets a new set of displays, one for the instrument panel and another for the infotainment display, both measuring 12.3 inches. The steering wheel is new, and the dash gets a slight redesign as well. Kia has also seen fit to add more driver assistance systems to the Telluride, making intelligent speed warning (a system that alerts the driver to changing speed limits and slows the car if necessary) standard and offering a front collision avoidance system that works at intersections, as well as dead ahead, an optional extra. A Wi-Fi hotspot also now comes standard across the lineup.

Edmunds says

Are the changes for 2023 enough to stave off the competition for yet another year? We'll find out as soon as we drive the updated Telluride. Stay tuned.