LAUREN MCCAY: Well, check you out.
EMME HALL: Yeah. Hey, that Telluride looks pretty good on you, too.
LAUREN MCCAY: I have been a fan of the Kia Telluride since it debuted. It's the king three-row crossover with its impressive tech, great space, even in the last row. It's just a great well-thought-out vehicle.
EMME HALL: As for me, I have always been a fan of Mazda. So I'm super stoked to see this all-new CX-90 debut with a really strong inline-six-cyliner engine and a rear-wheel drive biased all-wheel drive system. Now, what that means is that this vehicle is a little bit more fun to drive than your average crossover. Yeah, this is a family hauler that really hauls.
LAUREN MCCAY: Emme is going to get into this refreshed Telluride and-- I don't know-- maybe forget about the CX-90.
EMME HALL: I mean, look, I know the Telluride is nice. But I mean, come on. This thing's pretty dope.
LAUREN MCCAY: Before we get into these crossovers, remember we've got a ton of information on both the Telluride and CX-90 over at edmunds.com/ And if you're looking for a cash offer for your current car, you can head over to edmunds.com/sellmycar.
EMME HALL: So, Lauren, it looks like this new Telluride got a little bit of a facelift for 2023.
LAUREN MCCAY: It did. You have a good eye.
EMME HALL: I'm quick like that when it comes to design. All right, what's going on?
LAUREN MCCAY: OK, so the most notable change is for 2023 is that Telluride actually has added two sub-trim levels. So you've got the X-Line and the X-Pro. They're meant to make it a bit more rugged.
EMME HALL: Ooh, rugged.
LAUREN MCCAY: Get out in the world.
EMME HALL: Yeah, I like it.
LAUREN MCCAY: See the outdoors. Yes?
EMME HALL: Yeah!
LAUREN MCCAY: We're working today with the X-Pro.
EMME HALL: OK.
LAUREN MCCAY: It's a top-level trim. You're the off-roading queen. So I mean, I want to see if that passes your check.
EMME HALL: OK.
LAUREN MCCAY: So first, we've got all-terrain tires here.
EMME HALL: Yes.
LAUREN MCCAY: So then, it's got about 8 and 1/2 inches of ground clearance.
EMME HALL: OK.
LAUREN MCCAY: So that's like 3/4 of a check. That's not bad. Not bad for its class.
EMME HALL: We're not taking away checks. So that's good.
LAUREN MCCAY: Yeah. And all-wheel drive.
EMME HALL: OK.
LAUREN MCCAY: Big check mark.
EMME HALL: Yeah.
LAUREN MCCAY: And heavy duty cooling, so it's able to have about 500 pounds more towing capacity.
EMME HALL: Oh, that's great! So you can tow all of your stuff out to the mountains or the desert and have a good time.
LAUREN MCCAY: All right, Emme, aside from off-roading, all-new 2023 Tellurides, they get a bunch of things. But among them is a new fascia headlights and taillights.
EMME HALL: Yeah, but have you seen that lower fascia right there? It looks like something geeky kid with braces like this. And they're just like-- it looks like that.
LAUREN MCCAY: I don't know why my face is doing what your face is doing. But you're throwing some shade at the Telluride. I actually don't mind it. I like the rugged look, which is what they're going for.
EMME HALL: All right.
LAUREN MCCAY: But what you cannot throw shade at is the inside, all right? Spacious just like every Telluride that we've known. 21 cubes behind that third row.
EMME HALL: Ooh, that's a lot. I think I need to sit in the third row and see what it is.
LAUREN MCCAY: Fair enough.
EMME HALL: OK. All right, so third row. I'm going to press that button. Oh, that's pretty fast. All right. It's a pretty big opening here for my big, old butt. All right. Pull this back. This is the main thing.
Ooh, OK. So this seat right now is all the way back. I can put my fingers there. It's not too bad. I mean, it's not great either. Good armrest. USB-C port, that's cool.
It looks like they're supposed to be room for three people back here. I mean, two adults, I could see it for short trips. But no way would I do three. But I do think that there is more headroom back here than there's going to be in the CX-90. But Lauren's shorter than I am. So it might be OK.
LAUREN MCCAY: All right, Emme, the CX-90, replacing the CX-9. Now, I got to see this just superficially at the first look. Tell me what you think of it?
EMME HALL: OK, so the design of this, where as the Telluride is really rugged, this is much more sophisticated. It is an emphasis more on performance, right? So there's curvier lines. Everything's really sleek. The front fascia is sleek. It has these giant, 21-inch wheels. The tires are not an aggressive rubber. In the back like that, the taillights are nice and smooth. And they look great.
And then underneath that, instead of those exhaust outlets, like having those big, oversized exhaust outlets, instead, the pipes actually face down. So there's nothing there. So the whole rear is just like, bam, right there in your face.
And this is appealing to the customer that definitely is more performance oriented. And you can tell that because, in the back behind those rear seats-- 21 cubes in the Telluride-- this one is 14, 15 cubes. It's so small.
LAUREN MCCAY: All right, it's a little tight getting in to this third row. You got to step up. And then, this seat sits a little low. I'm liking the interior, cupholders, USB-C. There's air vents here, so you're not forgotten about in the back seat.
What I don't like is, look, I'm short. I'm 5'3". I have knee room if I want to sit here. But I'm not going to sit like that. I want to spread my legs out even just a little. And it's a bit uncomfortable.
So if I were Emme, I would probably-- because Emme's much taller than me, she would probably have a difficult time back here. I think this third row back here is kind of reserved for maybe a kid.
EMME HALL: So, Laura, the first thing I noticed when I get in here is this whole dash area, I love it. I think it looks great.
LAUREN MCCAY: Yes, this X-Pro trim, oh my gosh. I'm loving the two tone.
EMME HALL: Yeah. Yeah, yeah.
LAUREN MCCAY: The tan and the charcoal black color, it just gives it a really elevated look. And I'm just loving that. The steering is actually pretty decent.
EMME HALL: Yeah?
LAUREN MCCAY: It's what you would expect. It's light when I'm going parking-lot-type speed. And then, it just weights up and gives you security when you need to turn. So honestly, I have no true complaints with the steering.
EMME HALL: Oh, that's great. I love it. All right, so it feels good in the turns. But what happens on a straight line, like maybe a freeway onramp?
LAUREN MCCAY: Yes. So actually, our 0 to 60, about 7.5 seconds out of it.
EMME HALL: I mean, that's not bad.
LAUREN MCCAY: So yeah, the Honda Pilot has gotten the same. It's similar to the Palisade. So it's right in the vein of where we would think it would be. And I mean, with 291 horses, I mean, that's a decent amount of power to get you where you need to go. Emme, let's talk fuel economy.
EMME HALL: Very important.
LAUREN MCCAY: The EPA estimated range on this is 21 combined.
EMME HALL: OK.
LAUREN MCCAY: So all right, I'm not doing cartwheels. We were able to squeeze 23.
EMME HALL: Oh.
LAUREN MCCAY: So yeah, in our testing. So I mean, that's pretty good.
EMME HALL: And you were just driving like a normal human being, right?
LAUREN MCCAY: Exactly, like I'm driving now. I'm so normal. Don't I feel normal?
EMME HALL: Yeah. Yeah.
LAUREN MCCAY: So, Emme, how are you feeling?
EMME HALL: I feel really good. What I love is that we have heated and cooled seats up here in the front. And we have the cooled on right now. And it's great. And I also noticed that heated and cooled seats in the second row as well, which is pretty great.
LAUREN MCCAY: Yes.
EMME HALL: This leather feels good. The seats feel pretty supportive. But one thing I want to touch on is I do love Kia's infotainment system. But one thing that's really interesting is that you have to have wired Apple CarPlay. I don't understand why.
This is a premium product. But you still have to be wired in. I mean, in the grand scheme of things, is it that big of a deal? No, but it's still a weird little quirk. I mean, listen, the Telluride, it feels nice. We get good acceleration. We've got a little bit of off-road capability. I can dig it.
LAUREN MCCAY: I love that.
EMME HALL: Yeah.
LAUREN MCCAY: I'm glad that you're having a good experience.
EMME HALL: Yeah, I am. I'm having a good experience, but I want to drive my car.
LAUREN MCCAY: All right, Emme, so listen, this interior in the CX-90, it is--
EMME HALL: It's pretty good.
LAUREN MCCAY: It's pretty nice. It's giving luxury is what it's giving.
EMME HALL: Mazda does really good interiors, especially at this price point. However, with all of this white, would you put a kid in here?
LAUREN MCCAY: Absolutely. I don't even want to put myself in here.
EMME HALL: No, this is--
LAUREN MCCAY: I can't even wear white on a regular basis.
EMME HALL: Yeah. But the big difference here between your Telluride and mine is this. I have a 3.3-liter inline-six turbocharged engine with 340 horsepower and 369-pound-feet of torque, which means I can go from 0 to 60 in 6.5 seconds, which is a second faster than your Telluride.
LAUREN MCCAY: Yeah, I feel the difference in the acceleration, sure.
EMME HALL: And what's great, too, is that this is a mild hybrid. So that doesn't necessarily give you any-- it gives you a little bit more power. And it helps a little bit in gas mileage.
But if you really want, if you're really into the efficiency, you can get this in a plug-in hybrid version. And that actually has more power. So I'm very interested in driving that and to see how that feels. It'll be a little bit heavier. But I think it'll still be pretty fun to drive. What I am worried about is this tech.
LAUREN MCCAY: I'm--
EMME HALL: Dude, it's really bad.
LAUREN MCCAY: Look, Emme, I cannot lie to you.
EMME HALL: It's real bad.
LAUREN MCCAY: The tech in most Mazdas drive me nuts.
EMME HALL: Yeah.
LAUREN MCCAY: Really, it's the click wheel. It's the clunky menu.
EMME HALL: Yeah, so for this, when you're in the Mazda native system, you can only use the dial. And then, you push on the dial. And that is what makes your selection. The good news is that there is Apple CarPlay and Android Auto here. And when you switch over to that, then suddenly this becomes a touch screen.
LAUREN MCCAY: Right, so now, I can swipe easily, get to all the apps.
EMME HALL: Which you can't do in the native system.
LAUREN MCCAY: Yeah.
EMME HALL: And here, it's wireless. So I don't have to worry about the wire like we do in the Telluride.
LAUREN MCCAY: OK. So those are some pluses.
EMME HALL: Yeah, those are some pluses.
LAUREN MCCAY: But still, overall, yes, it has Apple CarPlay. But the overall system still feels a little clunky to me.
EMME HALL: I agree. No, I totally agree. I totally agree. And also, a lot of it's driver assistance tech. So I also have something that's equivalent to your highway drive assist here. It's called traffic-jam assist. It's OK. Like you, I kind of want to be more in control. And I just like using it during traffic jams, which is probably why it's called traffic-jam assist.
Overall vibe, this is a crossover for adults, especially in this trim, right? It's more fun to drive. There's a little bit less room. The tech is not as good. But if you are someone who values your driving experience, you should give this a look. You could go and spend $10,000 more and get something that's a little bit more upscale and luxury. And you would still get that same driving experience and better tech. But at this price point here, the Mazda's doing pretty good.
Lauren, do you want some spray cheese? Look at that. So good.
LAUREN MCCAY: I'm going to-- I'm going to stick with--
EMME HALL: OK, I'm going to distract myself.
LAUREN MCCAY: --cube cheese.
EMME HALL: Let's talk about the price. Price, price, price, it's a big thing. So what does this guy go for?
LAUREN MCCAY: So first of all, I'm glad we're in Telluride doing this because there's more space.
EMME HALL: Yeah, totally.
LAUREN MCCAY: It's priced at 55K, which given the space you get, given all the intricate details that you get with this vehicle, it feels fair to me. It feels like you get a decent bang for your buck.
EMME HALL: Yeah, and people who are buying three-row crossovers, what do they want? They want space, number one. And they want to have good tech. Performance is not really on their list. Now, that is where the CX-90 really excels, right, because that inline-six is great. But the tech isn't as good. And the space is not as much.
And that thing, in that top trim, $61,000. Sure, you can get something that's cheaper in the baser trims. But still, top trim to top trim, I mean, that's like a $7,000, $8,000 difference. So when we get into it, I don't know. Which one would you take home?
LAUREN MCCAY: Honestly, it's not even that hard for me, personally. It's the Telluride. For me, it feels like Kia sat their demo down, their demographic down in a room, and said, what kind of crossover, what kind of vehicle do you want? They heard their people. And they delivered.
EMME HALL: Right. Yeah, I mean, listen, I love a good performance thing. I'm a Mazda fan. But having said that, if I will have a three-row crossover it's because I want space.
LAUREN MCCAY: Right?
EMME HALL: And also, I do hate the tech in that. So I think I would go for the Telluride, too.
LAUREN MCCAY: Look at you!
EMME HALL: That's right. Despite the fact that it's got a lot more power and is more fuel efficient, the CX-90 just can't overcome the Telluride's superior space, easier to use tech, and significantly lower price tag. The Mazda nets an 8.1 score from our test team, while the Telluride sits pretty with an 8.4. Both are great choices. But the Kia remains the better bet for more families.
LAUREN MCCAY: Cheers.
EMME HALL: Cheers.
LAUREN MCCAY: I'm glad we got--
EMME HALL: Big piece of cheese on it.
LAUREN MCCAY: Not the whole--
EMME HALL: Yes!
LAUREN MCCAY: Never. All right. Little, baby cheese.