This year, the Kia Telluride receives its first refresh updates since its introduction in 2020. The 2023 Telluride gets some styling changes at the front and rear, two new trim levels, bigger interior display screens, and some updates to driver assist features.
Changes to the exterior are subtle, but give the Telluride a less truck-like appearance compared to before. Some softening of the front grille and lighting, more pocket edges for the rear lighting, and some sculpting to the front and rear bumpers are the most obvious changes.
There are still five trim levels to choose from for the 2023 Kia Telluride, but two new add-on versions, the X-Line and X-Pro, are now added as sub-trims. These attach to the mid-level and upper-tier EX, SX, and SX Prestige models. The X-Line goes with any of these three while the X-Pro is only on the SX and SX Prestige. These packages add a slightly higher ride height, distinctive grille and body color options, bridged roof rails, and larger wheels. The X-Pro specifically also adds better all-terrain tires and a 110-volt power inverter for the cargo area. The X-Pro also adds a more powerful engine cooling fan, increasing towing by about 500 pounds.
All 2023 Kia Telluride models get larger 12.3-inch screens for the infotainment at the center of the dash. The SX and SX Prestige models also get a larger driver’s instrument cluster and information screen to match.
Newly added is a Highway Drive Assist system that, when adaptive cruise control is activated, will change lanes for the driver upon a turn signal press. The system works with the lane keeping assistance tech. Scanning for blind spot objects and keeping pace with traffic, the HDA will change lanes and center into the new lane when the driver uses the turn signal indicator. It will refuse the lane change if something is detected in a blind spot for that lane.
Other changes include new alerts for speed limit changes and upgrades to crash mitigation that also watches oncoming lanes at intersections.
In the real world, these systems work well. In the situations they’re made for and when there isn’t too much blocking their “view.” Which, in the winter in Wyoming, is a lot of the time. But the systems don’t default to being overly jumpy and interfering when they cannot “see” what’s going on. They default to just turning on a warning light and not working. Which is preferable.
The 2023 Telluride continues forward with the well-done 3.8-liter V6 and eight-speed automatic transmission it’s used since it appeared. Front-wheel drive is standard, but all-wheel drive is available for all trims (standard on SX Prestige). This setup is just about right for the size and capability of the Telluride and needs little coaxing to have confidence in most driving situations.
Our chief complaints with the Telluride are in bad weather situations. The traction control system is pretty good with the AWD setup in inclement weather, but transmission shifts (especially in Snow Mode) can be a little stiff. Snow also tends to accumulate and compact into the wiper wells and can cause the wipers to stick and not move as a result.
Outside of those complaints, we found the 2023 Kia Telluride to be a great family hauling SUV with a lot of style. It’s comfortable, well-designed, and ergonomic. The safety systems are top shelf and the driver’s aids are useful. This is one of the best three-row options on the market today.
Pricing for the 2023 Telluride starts at about $38,000 with delivery. Most will be purchasing in the $45,000 range at the mid-tier.