The Kia Telluride has been spotted undergoing testing with a lot of camouflage and a brand new grille.
When we first saw the Telluride Concept at the 2016 Detroit Auto Show, we weren’t quite sure what to make of it. Japanese and Korean automakers have been slow to catch up to North America’s swing back to SUV culture, and they’ve been scrabbling to snag a slice of the utility pie for years.
Subaru is set to come out with their first full-size SUV, the Ascent, sometime later this summer. Now Kia is also getting in the action by bringing the Telluride from concept to production vehicle.
It too will be a full-size SUV, with three rows and 8 seats to fit a family and then some. It’s based on the same platform as the Hyundai Santa Fe, which will be turning from a compact crossover into a mid-size SUV later this year.
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From the spy photos courtesy of AutoGuide, we see that the Telluride will still share the same overall shape as the boxy concept, with a wide stance and a “no funny business” front bumper. It looks like the grille has changed slightly from the rectangular concept into something that more closely resembles the current “tiger nose” design that Kia is so fond of, although it still seems more spread out than before.
Under the hood, we expect to find a 3.5-L V6 or possibly a 2.0-L turbo at the base-level trim. The concept had a 3.5-L V6 mated to a hybrid powertrain which produced a combined 400 hp, but we’re not sure if the production version will come with an electric motor or not.
We do know that the Telluride will be a family-focused people hauler first and foremost. There’s going to be tons of cup holders, USB ports, and cargo space to haul everything and the kitchen sink. Expect some optional pull-down TV screens too.
We’re really hoping that the production version retains the suicide doors as found on the concept, but the word “suicide” doesn’t seem to fit with the whole family-friendly vibe that Kia is going for.
It’s still a long way from seeing a debut, but the Telluride could be out as early as spring of 2019 if we’re really lucky.