The new Kia Telluride has been having the most bizarre reveal processes in recent memory, with the company choosing to release multiple modified “concepts” at shows like SEMA, while uncovered images of the stock Telluride keep leaking online. Irrespective, there are now enough imagines floating around to get a good sense of what the final product will look like, and how it fits with the growing family of Kia vehicles.
I have long been a fan of Kia’s approach to design, which walks a fine line between creating a strong family resamblance, and making sure its cars don’t fall into the “same sausage, different lenghts” trap of many German carmakers. With the Telluride the company seems to have come up with a new version of its grille, much broader and more upright than in any of its cars, which pushed the headlaps really far to the sides. Interestingly, the closest version of this design we’ve been to date is on the 2014 Kia GT4 Stinger, a small sports car concept that’s about as far from the Telluride as you can get. Applied to a large, blocky SUV shape the new grille/headlamp assembly makes the Telluride look a lot like the GMC Yukon.
As you turn to the profile and rear it’s clear that Kia was more interested in making the Telluride resemble established market players, such as the Volvo XC90, rather than making the Telluride look like a larger Sante Fe or Sportage. The Telluride looks most like the XC90 from the side, with a gently-rising window line ahead of the D-pillar, but the rear too seems to take inspiration from the Swede, in particular in the quasi-lobster claws taillights that result in an extra-wide expanse of bodywork down where the license plate sits.