Kia is surely late to the high-hauling party, but it has brought its finest wine. So far, American old-timers such as Cadillac and GMC have been known to dominate the SUV segment, amid which the Korean manufacturer needed a moniker that would put up an interesting fight against the established products. And Telluride is surely Kia’s contender in this space.
In a nutshell, the Telluride comes with a 3.8-litre V6 engine that churns out 290hp and 355Nm. It is paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission sending the power to either the front wheels or all. The all-wheel-drive is customizable. It offers an 80:20 front-to-rear split for all-weather situations, 65:35 for sporty handling, and 50:50 for gnarly off-road stuff.
On the tech side, a 10.25-inch Kia UVO touchscreen takes centre stage on the Tellurideâ€™s dashboard, including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for connectivity. Wireless phone charging, a total of six USB ports, and multi-Bluetooth connectivity for up to two devices at once are available features. Premium stereo units from Harman/Kardon are also available.
The Kia app allows Telluride cars to communicate with a paired smartphone to deliver â€śSend-to-Carâ€ť options for navigation, and to pre-condition the SUVâ€™s climate control.
While Tellurideâ€™s mechanicals and silhouette might seem pleasing, buyers planning to book it might want to check out its immediate rivals and subsequent alternatives.
Nissan has been known to score handsomely in terms of capable SUVs and the Pathfinder is an apt example for it. The 3.5-litre V6 engine is mated to an automatic CVT transmission, supplying 271hp and 340Nm of torque to all wheels. The Pathfinder cracks a ton in 7.6 seconds with a top speed of 192kph.
The SUV is safeguarded with the help of front airbag for driver and passenger, Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) with Traction Control System (TCS), Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH), Zone Body construction with front and rear crumple zones, Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS), Immobilizer Key System and Vehicle Security System (VSS).
The Pathfinder comes with AM/FM/MP3/CD audio system with 8-inch colour display and six speakers, illuminated steering wheel mounted audio controls with voice recognition button to access paired device phone book and audio song search capability.
The 2020 Ford Explorer garnered plenty of attention this year in its respective segment after its American maker switched back to rear-wheel-drive for its latest iteration. Powering the upcoming SUV is its old 2.3-litre engine that outputs a good 300hp and 420Nm of torque. However, a rung up the ladder can get you the 3.0-litre V6 engine rated at 365hp and 515Nm of torque. Both the engines are mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission.
Some of the available tech gimmickries include a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, a 10.1-inch vertical touchscreen infotainment system compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and wireless charging. The Explorer offers as many as four USB ports including a Type-C outlet, three 12-volt outlets, and a 110-volt outlet.
Over the years, Chevrolet has successfully stacked its image when it comes to reliability of SUVs, and the Traverse is no less. At the heart of it is a 3.6-litre V6 engine that puts out 310hp and 360Nm of torque. The engine is capable of reaching triple-digit speeds in eight seconds with a top speed of 208kph.
Chevrolet has graced the Traverse with a host of safety features including six airbags, Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD), ISO Fix Child Seat Anchors, Tyre Pressure Monitors, Traction Control and Vehicle Stability Control (VSC).
Talking about infotainment systems in the SUV, it comes with Bluetooth, AUX, CD player, MP3, 7-inch touchscreen, USB and steering mounted audio controls.
A Honda SUV is the most relatable vehicle that one can imagine while talking about motoring in the UAE. And the closest candidate in the Japanese automakerâ€™s lineup is the Pilot. The 2019 Pilot carries a 3.5-litre V6 engine that delivers 280hp and 355Nm of torque. This lunges the car to triple-digit speeds in about 9.4 seconds with a top speed of 175kph.
Honda has equipped the Pilot with six airbags, Anti-theft alarm, brake assist, Electronic Brakeforce Distribution, ISO Fix Child Seat Anchors, Parking Sensors, Front Seatbelt Pre-tensioner, Tyre Pressure Monitoring Display, Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), and Traction Control.
Inside the car, at the centre of the dash, is an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with AUX, Bluetooth, CD Player, Radio, USB. The car comes with steering mounted audio controls as well.
The Durango comes from a family of renowned mean muscle cars. It faithfully inherits the traits of its siblings with a 3.6-litre V6 engine that puts out 290hp and 366Nm of torque. With a top speed of 197kph, the Durango reaches 100kph in 7.5 seconds.
In the safety palette, Dodge has put in features such as anti-theft alarm, Dynamic Stability Control, Brake Assist (BA), EBD (Electronic Brakeforce Distribution), ISO Fix Child Seat Anchors, Front Seatbelt pre-tensioners, Traction Control and Tyre Pressure Monitoring System.
Hyundai’s Palisade and Kia’s Telluride have a common thread running through them. They are based on the same platform. The Palisade is powered byÂ a 3.8-litre V6 motor that makes 290hp and 355Nm. Performance stats are not out yet, but the torque figure should make the Palisade an able highway machine. The SUV also features HTracÂ all-wheel-drive with power fed to the wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission.
Every seat across the car has access to a USB port. The driver has the facility of an intercom to communicate with passengers in the rows behind him. Leather is available optionally for a wraparound finish, and there are a host of creature comforts like electronics and music system to affirm the SUVâ€™s role in the premium space.