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8 Top Kia Telluride Competitors

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If you’re looking for a stylish midsize SUV with impressive safety ratings and plenty of cargo space, the Kia Telluride can be a great pick. But you should also consider competitors like the Hyundai Palisade, Toyota Highlander, or Mazda CX-9.
With its well-deserved reputation for making reliable, safe, and budget-friendly cars aimed at commuters and families, Kia doesn’t disappoint with the 2022 Telluride. It’s easy to sing the praises of this popular three-row SUV—it was named a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, and even made Car and Driver’s 10Best list. But just because it has earned a few accolades doesn't mean it’s necessarily the right vehicle for you. 
If the Kia Telluride doesn’t quite live up to your expectations or preferences, check out this guide from the super app and
car insurance
expert,
Jerry
. We’ll go over crucial information like pricing, specs, selling points, and weakness for eight excellent alternatives—and how to save on your
Kia Telluride insurance costs
!

1. Hyundai Palisade

Starting price: $34,895 to $48,585
Selling points: Luxurious trim options, superior handling
Weak spot: Only one powertrain
If you love the Kia Telluride for its comfortable ride and smooth handling but want something a little different in terms of style, check out the
Hyundai Palisade
. This three-row SUV actually shares a platform with the Telluride, but looks and feels more like a luxury vehicle.
The Hyundai Palisade is equipped with a powerful 3.8-liter V6 that makes 291 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque. You also get seating for up to eight people, tons of storage space, and four well-equipped trim options. All trims come with plenty of standard tech—including driver assistance features—but the Palisade’s true creature comforts come in the form of the Limited and Calligraphy models. With these trims, you get some luxe amenities like dual sunroofs, premium leather seats, and customizable ambient interior lighting. 
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2. Toyota Highlander

Starting price: $37,070 to $50,725
Selling points: Optional hybrid powertrain, excellent safety ratings
Weak spot: Third row seating is a little cramped
If you’re looking for a family-friendly vehicle with modest styling and seating for up to eight people, the
Toyota Highlander
has you covered. It might not be the most interesting vehicle on the market, but it makes up for its lack of individuality with stellar safety ratings and high reliability scores
It comes standard with a powerful V6 engine that makes 295 horsepower, but for car buyers looking to save the environment—or just cut down on fuel costs—it’s also available as an eco-friendly hybrid that gets a respectable 36 miles per gallon

3. Jeep Grand Cherokee L

Starting price: $40,520 to $68,970
Selling points: Off-road capability, excellent towing capacity
Weak spot: Humdrum base engine
The
Jeep Grand Cherokee L
can haul your family around town, but it’s also got the chops for some serious off-roading. It offers more than eight inches of ground clearance, optional air suspension, and a towing capacity of up to 7,200 pounds.
All trims come with safety and convenience tech, and are roomy enough for adults to fit comfortably in the third row. But when it comes to performance, you’ll need to upgrade to the optional V8 engine and all-wheel drive for satisfying acceleration. With this setup, the Grand Cherokee L can go from 0 to 60 miles per hour in an impressive 6.2 seconds.

4. Ford Explorer

Starting price: $37,005 to $55,125
Selling points: Hybrid powertrain option, standard driver-assistance tech on all trims
Weak spot: Unexceptional fuel economy
With all-wheel drive and two turbocharged engine options, the
Ford Explorer
can be an excellent family vehicle or commuter car. But with a wide range of trims that cater to off-roading, luxury, or performance, this American-made three-row SUV can appeal to almost any car buyer.
Plus, if you’re looking for tech, the Explorer comes standard with driver-assistance features like automated emergency braking, lane-keeping assist, and blind spot monitoring on all models—including the very-affordable Base and XLT trims. While the Explorer can be optioned with a hybrid powertrain, its gasoline engines have a rather unimpressive fuel efficiency of 20 mpg that could be a sticking point for some.
MORE: Ford Explorer ST V6

5. Chevrolet Traverse

Starting price: $35,095 to $52,545
Selling points: Spacious seating in all three rows, quick acceleration
Weak spot: Cheap cabin materials
The
Chevrolet Traverse
is one of the largest midsize SUVs on the market, making it a great pick if your family includes older teens or more than two adults. Even its third row has enough legroom to accommodate people over six-feet tall.
Its V6 engine makes 310 horsepower, and its speedy 0 to 60 acceleration time of 6.5 seconds means it’s no slouch on the highways. The interior features plenty of modern tech like an infotainment system with intuitive controls, USB charging ports, and driver-assistance. Unfortunately, if you want to get away from the base model’s plasticky-looking cabin, you’ll need to go with a higher trim level and the leather package.  

6. Honda Pilot

Starting price: $39,375 to $53,165
Selling points: Good visibility, light steering
Weak spot: Unremarkable styling
Practical drivers will enjoy the
Honda Pilot
for its excellent visibility and precise steering. It’s far from sporty, but its 280-hp V6 offers plenty of power and control—especially when paired with the optional all-wheel drive
The Pilot hasn’t had a major redesign since 2016, making it look a bit dated compared to its rivals—but the Special Edition’s black accents and black 20-inch wheels give it a more modern look. All trim levels include some standard driver-assistance features and earn a five out of five star safety rating from the
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)

7. Mazda CX-9

Starting price: $36,885 to $48,785
Selling points: All-wheel drive is standard on all trims, attractive body style
Weak spot: Small rear window
With its sporty styling, turbocharged engine, and all-wheel drive system, the
Mazda CX-9
is a great pick for car buyers who need the convenience of an SUV but secretly yearn for a sports car. In addition to its firm suspension and light steering, the CX-9 is also reasonably fast, going from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 7 seconds.
Its interior combines soft plastic with aluminum accents and optional woodgrain trim to create a cabin that looks like it belongs in a luxury vehicle. It comes with a 10.3-inch infotainment display, and plenty of standard and optioned driver assistance features. But you should keep an eye out for the rear window. It’s on the small side, and offers reduced visibility compared to the other vehicles on this list.

8. Volkswagen Atlas

Starting price: $35,630 to $52,800 
Selling points: Generous cargo space, lower trim levels are well-equipped
Weak spot: Slow acceleration even with the engine upgrade
The
Volkswagen Atlas
might not be the fastest midsize SUV you can get your hands on, but it can be a great pick for car buyers looking for a high-value base model. Even if you opt for the SE, Volkswagen’s lowest Atlas trim, you still get some great features like a digital gauge cluster, an eight-inch touchscreen, three-zone climate control, remote start, and some driver-assistance tech.
It also has a generous cargo area, with 20.6 cubic feet available behind the third row, and a whopping 96.8 cubes with the second and third rows folded. Combine that with the optional towing package and the Atlas makes a great companion for family camping vacations or road trips.
MORE: Volkswagen Atlas V6

Kia Telluride vs. the competition

Still not sure which three-row midsize SUV is right for you? Here’s a side-by-side comparison of the Kia Telluride and its main competitors.
Model
Starting price range
Engine options
Maximum seating capacity
Maximum cargo volume
Maximum towing capacity
Fuel economy (city/highway/combined)
$34,725 to $44,625
V6
8 seats
87 cubic feet
5000 lbs.
20/26/23 mpg
$34,895 to $48,585
V6
8 seats
86.4 cubic feet
5,000 lbs.
19/24/21 mpg
$37,070 to $50,725
V6 or hybrid
8 seats
84.3 cubic feet
5000 lbs.
21/29/24 mpg
$40,520 to $68,970
V6 or V8
7 seats
84.6 cubic feet
7,200 lbs.
14/22/17 mpg
$37,005 to $55,125
four-cylinder, V6, or hybrid
7 seats
87.8 cubic feet
5,600 lbs.
18/24/20 mpg
$35,095 to $52,545
V6
8 seats
98.2 cubic feet
5,000 lbs.
17/25/20 mpg
$39,375 to $53,165
V6
8 seats
83.9 cubic feet
5,000 lbs.
19/26/22 mpg
$36,885 to $48,785
turbocharged four-cylinder
7
71.2 cubic feet
3,500 lbs.
20/26/23 mpg
$35,630 to $52,800
Four-cylinder or V6
7 seats
96.8 cubic feet
5000 lbs.
21/25/23 mpg
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